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The Phyliss J. McCarthy Scholarship


Excellence in Writing 

LearnCurious is happy

to announce the

2024 competition

for the

Phyliss J. McCarthy



Excellence in Writing

Scholarship Contest


Entries submitted using the form below will be accepted from February 20th, 2024 through July 23rd, 2024.


On August 6th, 2024, 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 of 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


 Need to brush up on vocab or punctuation


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

2024 Prompts: 

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


  • NARRATIVE: Do you remember the first time, or a specific time, you made someone laugh? OR do you remember a time someone made you laugh? Tell the story of what happened and its impact on you. 

  • META: Write a letter to your future self and detail a day in your life currently. Touch on what is most meaningful to you and what makes you feel the strongest emotions. 

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

  ___ (something inherited)

  ___ (item seen in nature)
  ___ (random word you like the sound of)
  ___ (type of weather)
  ___ (specific texture)

  ___ (color)

  ___ (type of body of water)
  ___ (plant or animal)

  ___ (specific scent or flavor)

  ___ (emotion)

  ___ (something you love)

*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! :) 

Application Form

2023's winners are now featured here!

Scholarship Application Form
Which prompt did you select?
Would you allow your submission to be featured on our website? Please note that your answer will not affect your entry in any way.
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