No We Can - The Anthology Winners
Earlier this year, we asked young people like you, all across England and Northern Ireland to send us your No We Can stories - pieces of writing that demonstrated what No We Can means to you. The stories could be based on real life, or pulled from imagination. And we got some amazing contributions!
Then, with the help of creators Sakina Hussain, and Beth Reekles - writer of The Kissing Booth and The Kissing Booth 2 (now on Netflix!) - we read a shortlist of the entries and decided on the twelve best stories that would be published in the anthology and sent to our winners.
Check out the whole anthology over on Wattpad here or read it below.
And to get you in the mood, here’s what our judges had to say about each of the winning stories!
WALKING THE HALLS by Caitlin Lockrie
A story is about a girl who loses her confidence at school, but who keeps going and overcomes her inner demons.
Beth: This story had really strong imagery and good use of strong, emotive language!
NO, WE CAN by Cameron Nguekam
A powerful poem about being underestimated and not giving up on your dreams.
Beth: This was very well paced. It was a punchy and impactful read.
NO, WE CAN by Isaaq Ahmed
A story about working hard in school and having a well deserved confidence boost as recognition for this hard work.
NCS: It shows that there’s more to you than you think!
NO, WE CAN by Julita Gajewska
A young girl tells a story about what gives her hope.
Beth: A lot of symbolic and metaphorical language, and good use of emotive language.
Sakina: Another beautifully written piece. Very detailed with an eerie tone throughout, I was hooked.
FAITH WITH OCEAN DEPTH by Kydavia McCarthy
A well written and personal story about religion.
Beth: This piece of writing had a good story arc and use of emotive language.
NO, WE CAN by Kate Burton
A quick-moving story from multiple points of view about girls who want to push expectations of the sports that they can play.
Beth: Quick and easy read, engaging characters.
Sakina: Great story and very relatable.
DYSTOPIAN FICTION by Layla Freedman
An interesting story about an alternate universe where the clear divides on rich and poor are very apparent.
Beth: Good opening and pacing. Nice world-building is such a short story.
MY JOURNEY by Lewis Whitehead
An inspiring and personal story about growing up and defying expectations.
Beth: Nice message and inspirational story!
Sakina: The true definition of No We Can. Very inspiring and touching! Great job.
NO, WE CAN by Megan Thomas
A story about a fighter, a volunteer, and a young woman with the potential to have a positive impact.
Sakina: Very detailed and wonderfully written. Loved the last effect this had and shows how easy it is to make a change in the world no matter how small!
NO, WE CAN by Phoebe McDowall
An uplifting and heartwarming story about a brother and sister.
Beth: Loved that this one was told through the sister's POV instead!
Sakina: I loved the ending of this story, the love the characters shared for each other was shown throughout.
NO, WE CAN by Poppy Mercer
An inspiring statement about reclaiming what No We Can means to you.
Beth: Relatable, involves the reader directly through tone and questioning.
Sakina: Very relatable for everyone and especially young people! I love the message behind it.
BUMPS IN THE ROAD by Sophie Smout
An inspiring story of pain and progress, determination and success.
Beth: Quickly set the scene, nice introduction of family dynamics and motivation. Loved that even while the main character is succeeding, it's still a struggle.
Sakina: A very sweet story, I love the two characters and their heartwarming friendship.