#AD - No We Can - Get Published with NCS

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I am absolutely thrilled to share that I'm partnering with NCS and their 'No We Can' story competition – where you can win the opportunity to be published in an anthology!

NCS is a four-week programme that aims to empower sixteen and seventeen year olds, giving them the chance to pursue challenges, make friends, and gain new skills... and party at the end of it all. And I love their message of 'No We Can': encouraging young people to "prove the naysayers wrong" and "take the world by storm". That is very much my attitude to life.

If you want to find out more about NCS, head over to @NCS on Twitter and Instagram, and check out their website at wearencs.com - or find them right here on Wattpad, NCS_Official!

To mark NCS 2020, they're running a competition where 12 lucky young writers (aged 13-18) will get their 'No We Can' stories published in a motivational and inspirational anthology that will be shared with the attendees of the programme.

If you want to enter for a chance to be published in the anthology, here's a quick run-down of the rules...

● You must be between 13 and 18 years old to enter and living in England or Northern Ireland

● Your story can be up to 3,000 words. You can post it here on Wattpad (which I definitely encourage!) or on your blog if you have one, and send a link to wattpad@ncstrust.org.uk or, simply send it as a Word document attachment.

● Your story can be fiction or non-fiction – so long as it's about overcoming obstacles and channelling that 'take the world by storm' attitude!

Plus – did I mention I'll be on the judging panel to pick the winning entries? I can't wait to read your stories!

And now – on to my own 'No We Can' story...


The summer I turned 16 was a huge turning point for me. I never realised it at the time – I never thought of it as bold or courageous or impactful, or anything like that. It was all just... what seemed to make sense.

Let's start with school.

That summer of 2011 meant it was time to sit my last round of GCSEs and pick my A Levels. I'd done well in all my exams and classes, and while I seemed to have a bit of a flair for languages and was encouraged to pursue that, I'd decided that I wanted to do a Physics degree at university.

"But that's a boys' subject," people would tell me, their faces scrunched up and mouths twisted. I was the only girl in my A Level class, but it never phased me. It wasn't a boys' subject. It was my subject: one I liked, one I got good grades in, one I wanted to study further.

But when putting in my choices for A Levels, the list wasn't just Maths and Physics. It was also French and Spanish – because I honestly did enjoy those classes, too.

'Those don't mix,' people would tell me, frustrated. "Why don't you pick one or the other? Why those together? What about English with languages, or Chemistry with Maths and Physics?"

Because why not? I thought. So what if learning the past participles of verbs in French wouldn't help me learn how to differentiate an equation in my Physics lessons? Again: languages were classes I liked, the ones I got good grades in, ones I wanted to study further. I never saw any reason to not do them.

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