It Feels Great to Win an Award. Find Ways to Get Recognition for Your Work!

In lower school, it starts with a check plus. In middle school, you transition to grades.

The education system engineers students to expect an assignment, work towards a deadline, and receive a grade that qualifies the quality of their work. 

When was the last time you completed an ‘assignment’ for yourself? Wrote a short story? Coded a cool game? 

And what happens when the deadlines disappear? When you have to write your first cover letter? Or apply to your first job or internship? 

Eventually, no one is assigning work to you. You have to learn to set your own deadlines and initiate your own “assignments.”

Not only is it essential, but it is also liberating to learn to “do for you,” not because something was assigned. 


Curious Cardinals presents an opportunity for children to learn to do for themselves.

Whether it be by writing a short story or filming their own documentary, the motivation, passion, and excitement comes from within. 

This also means learning to find your own reward structures and to devise your own timelines. Finding ways to receive recognition for your work, of chasing the exhilarating feeling of working towards a deadline.

When I was in 7th grade, I wrote a poem in a class exercise - Ode to Biee, my blanket I have had since I was born and still have to this day, riffing of Pablo Neruda’s Ode to Tomato. I loved the poem so much that I spent time editing it and adding to it after the class exercise. I wanted to share it with more people than my proud parents! So I asked my teacher if she had any ideas and she suggested that I submit the poem to Scholastic’s Art & Writing Awards competition.

stI ended up winning a Gold Key award. It felt amazing. I learned that not only could I write poems for fun, but I could also share my work with others and get recognition for doing so.

And as a competitive athlete, “winning” and “awards” felt good. 

I continued to submit my work and didn’t win every year, but the lesson had been ingrained: I had learned to put myself out there. I knew that whatever I was doing for myself, I could still find a way to gain recognition for it.

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are accepting submissions for work in categories ranging from Digital Art to Humor to Journalism in December. Depending on your region, you have between 7-10 weeks to complete and submit your work. START NOW!

The New York Times also facilitates a range of competitions for students to submit their work to and even publishes daily writing prompts each week, choosing a few responses to publish.

poicThere are plenty of opportunities to take charge of your own work as long as you know where to look! 

Whether you need a mentor to help you map out a timeline and hold you accountable or would like a mentor to help you finetune a short story you already started, Curious Cardinals is here to support you!

Get going today. Take off without the restrictions of an assignment or the pressure of a grade. Create your own runway. 

Learn to push yourself on your own course and seek out opportunities to celebrate your work!

Schedule a brainstorm session today to see how one of our world-class mentors can help your chil bring their dreams to fruition.

Learn more


Stay Curious, 

Audrey Wisch

Co-founder and CEO, Curious Cardinals








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