The Phyliss J. McCarthy Scholarship


Excellence in Writing 

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

Learncurious is proud to introduce the first annual competition for the Phyliss J. McCarthy Scholarship for Excellence in Writing.

Scholarship Contest Details: 

Entries will be accepted until July 23rd, 2020. On August 6th, 2020, a grand prize scholarship winner ($1,000) and two runners up ($50) 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.

Please submit responses using the form below. Thank you for honoring Phyliss's love for the written word.

Best of luck!

Printable PDF: Rules, Details, & Prompts

2020 Prompts: 

In 3000 words or fewer, respond to one of the following prompts: 


  • NARRATIVE:  Tell a story about someone coping with loss or taking a leap of faith.

  • META:  Describe a major turning point in your evolution as a writer. 

  • WACKY: Complete the 20 Mad-Lib-style fill-in-the-blanks below, then craft a story that includes each of your chosen words at least once.

____ (singular noun)
____ (item found on a nature hike)
____ (positive personality trait)
____ (action verb)
____ (number between 1934-2019)  
____ (color)
____ (type of food)
____ (plural noun)
____ (location)
____ (animal)
____ (verb ending in -ing)
____ (mode of transportation)
____ (plural noun that ends with an apostrophe)
____ (TV show)
____ (adverb)
____ (random word you like the sound of)
____ (contraction)
____ (article of clothing)
____ (adjective)
____ (something comforting)

 Need to brush up on vocab or punctuation


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


The 2020 scholarship contest entry window has closed. Thank you to all those who've entered! 

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