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The Phyliss J. McCarthy Scholarship


Excellence in Writing 

Learncurious is happy

to announce the

2022 competition

for the

Phyliss J. McCarthy



Excellence in Writing

Scholarship Contest


Entries submitted using the form below will be accepted from June 4th, 2022 through July 23rd, 2022.


On August 6th, 2022, a grand prize scholarship winner ($1,000) and two runners up ($tbd) will be announced, and (pending author approval) their stories will be featured on the Learncurious website and blog.


Entrants must be high school juniors or seniors to win. Complete rules & details can be found here.

Thank you for honoring Phyliss's love for the written word.

Best of luck!

"We'll be assured of having more ideas and thoughts to exchange with others than we ever dreamed possible." ~ PJM

2022 Prompts: 

In 2000 words or fewer, respond to one of the following prompts: 


  • NARRATIVE: What are you most afraid of? Reflect on your greatest fear and detail your answer in story form: fiction, biographic, or something in-between. 

  • META: How do you define love? Tell a story or describe an experience & what was learned from it. 

  • WACKY: Complete the 11 Mad-Lib-style fill-in-the-blanks below, then craft a poem that includes both a secret message* as well as each of your chosen words at least once (in no particular order):

  ___ (something inherited)

  ___ (item found on a nature hike)
  ___ (random word you like the sound of)
  ___ (flowering plant)
 (something comforting)

  ___ (color)

  ___ (type of body of water)

  ___ (place that inspires nostalgia)

  ___ (character from mythology or folklore)

  ___ (something unfinished)

*Note: You may choose to include your secret message (or a hint to it) in the 'Anything you'd like to add?' box in the submission form below. Or not.

Happy Writing! :) 

 Need to brush up on vocab or punctuation


 Check out Learncurious's test-prep blog for tips, strategies, and memes. 

Application Form

The 2022 entry window for the Phyliss J. McCarthy Scholarship for Excellence in Writing has closed.


Our grand prize winner and two runners up will be announced on August 6th, 2022.

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