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. 

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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