The Wise Women’s Council: 2021 Scholarship Contest

by Jan 25, 2021Wise Women's Council

Wise Women's Council 2021 Scholarship Competition

Our annual scholarship competition for the Wise Women’s Council is back! Enter our competition to win a 50% scholarship to join the class of 2021

If you have been itching to join us in this year’s Wise Women’s Council, we are hosting our annual scholarship competition the first week of February. Join us for seven days of storytelling, sharing, and connecting with other parents who also like talking business, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Sign up for the challenge and the contest here.

Playing in the challenge comes with grand prizes—scholarship prizes to our annual leadership program, The Wise Women’s Council. The scholarships we award range from a quarter tuition to half tuition—please note that winners will still have applicable program fees between $1,125 to $3,375, as outlined below. Please read this post in its entirety for all the details on how to enter, the program requirements, how and when we’ll select the winners, and when you can expect to be notified of the results. No purchase is required to enter the scholarship competition or play in the challenge, and the entire challenge is free and open to anyone who would like to play. Good luck!

The challenge, should you choose to accept it, takes place Saturday, January 30th through Friday, February 5th, 2021. Your challenge is to write seven posts over seven days.

Once a day, for one week, you’ll write and share a story about your own parenting, motherhood, leadership, and business journeys and connect to other women playing in the challenge alongside you. The entire thing happens over on Instagram, where we’ll ask you to create seven posts based on the seven prompts we share.

Once a day, for one week, you’ll write and share a story about your own parenting, motherhood, leadership, and business journeys and connect to other women playing in the challenge alongside you. Instagram limits posts to around 400 words, and you can write as little or as much as you’d like. Anyone can play, even if you don’t want to play for prizes. Come join us for the challenge and be inspired to share stories about who you are and the work you’re up to in the world. All of the prompts are listed below, too, so if you can sketch out your ideas and stories in advance if you’d like. 

Join us for a seven-day storytelling challenge, connect to other parents, and be entered to win a space in The Wise Women’s Council Class of 2021.

The Wise Women's Council 2021 Scholarship Contest

First, let’s talk about the scholarship prizes:

  • ONE (1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER will win a 75% scholarship to the Wise Women’s Council, our annual leadership program, an award valued at $3,375. The program fee after the scholarship is $1,125.
  • ONE (1) SECOND WINNER will win a 50% scholarship to the Wise Women’s Council, an award valued at $2,250. The program fee after the scholarship is $2,250.
  • TWO (2) RUNNERS-UP will win a 25% scholarship to the Wise Women’s Council, an award valued at $1,125. The program fee after the scholarship is $3,375.
  • ALL FOUR (4) WINNERS of the competition will also get to select two books from our annual reading list to have mailed to them (digital copies will be sent depending on what is available or if you live outside of the United States).

That’s a lot of prizes!

We’re talking access to our year-long leadership program, a community of amazing parents and entrepreneurs, business breakout sessions, and more so you can unlock your inner badass and get cookin’ on your life’s work. And to our current and past students, you can play in this challenge, too. Anyone who is already enrolled in the program is also welcome to participate in the challenge. If you’re a prize winner, you can add your prizes on top of your current program.

But wait, there’s more…

A PRIZE FOR EVERY ONE WHO PLAYS — Every single person who joins the challenge and completes every step will get a complementary copy of our mini-book, Do Half: Streamline Your Business, Your Life, and Your Work. It’s our short book that guides you towards streamlining your business and doing less, but better. That’s right! Just by playing in the challenge, you get a prize.  Next, let’s talk about how to play in the challenge—please read all the rules so you can make sure you’re eligible to win.

How the Scholarship Competition Works:

Create seven posts in seven days (using the prompts below) on Instagram and tag us @startup_parent in each post.

This entire challenge will take place on Instagram this year. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to join us in writing one post a day, starting January 30th, 2021. We’ll give you prompts to share your work, your ideas, and your self with the world. Don’t worry—we’ll help you do it with prompts and samples, too.

“It’s my goal with this challenge to help you do a miniature visibility project and give you great incentives so you can play, stretch yourself past your comfort zone, and meet new people along the way.”

I know how many people out here want to show up, share your work, tell your story and connect with more parents who are business focused AND raising young kids. It’s my goal with this challenge to help you do a miniature visibility project and give you massive incentives so you can play, stretch yourself just past your comfort zone, and meet new people along the way. I love meeting new people and finding new stories, and this year has been extra-hard in meeting new people! So come play, post, and meet new people doing the challenge with you.

I’ll give you a prompt each and every day for the whole week. You’ll use the prompt to write a new post each day alongside everyone else who is playing.

Use the hashtags #wisewomenscouncil and #bossmoms in each post, and make sure to tag us @startup_parent so we can see everything you’re making. Follow the hashtags, and you’ll see other people playing alongside you. Throughout, you can comment, cheer, and connect with them too! The game is super fun, because you get to meet other people, you’ll push yourself for a week to create new posts, and I’ll kick us off with what to post each day.

To enter the scholarship competition, you must:

  • Sign up for the challenge here (you’ll get a daily reminder to write a post when you sign up for this specific challenge). In this special email series, I’ll also teach you some Instagram tricks.
  • Submit an application to The Wise Women’s Council to be eligible for the prizes.
  • Follow us @startup_parent on Instagram and then also follow the hashtags #wisewomenscouncil and #bossmoms.
  • Share this post and tell people you’re joining in the challenge!
  • Create all of the posts (listed below), on or before Sunday, February 7th, 2021. You can plan them in advance, if you’d like—scroll down for a peek at the prompts.
The Wise Women's Council 2021 Scholarship Contest

The Prompts

The Scholarship Challenge: create the following posts, one per day, sharing a photo and a story for each prompt. The challenge begins Saturday, January 30th and runs through Sunday, February 7th, 2021.


January 25th—January 30th, 2021

Grab this post (copy the images from this post or download them here) and share that you’re joining the challenge. Feel free to copy and paste this as a quote if you’d like:

I’m joining @startup_parent’s #2021creativitychallenge to create five posts in five days, starting February 1st, 2021. Come join and get to find and follow new creative makers and kind people on Instagram with me! #wisewomenscouncil #bossmoms

If you’re running your challenge from a private instagram account, let @startup_parent follow you—send us a DM and tag us in the post so we can find you.


January 31st, 2021

What’s your story? Introduce yourself and show us your face (if you’re comfortable giving a selfie), and tell us about where you’re from, what you do, and what some of your career, work, or creative journey has been like. I love starting the post like this:

Hey everyone! I haven’t introduced myself in a while, so I thought I’d say hi and share a little about what I’m up to. I’m currently living in [TOWN] with [PEOPLE] and I’ve been here for [A NUMBER OF YEARS]. Most of my focus goes to my day job, which is [DESCRIPTION]. I also love spending time [HOBBIES]. Fun fact, if you didn’t know [SOMETHING THAT’S NOT OBVIOUS ABOUT YOU RIGHT AWAY] #FridayIntroductions #wisewomenscouncil #bossmoms


February 1, 2021

What are the communities you lean on in your life, past, present, or future? Where have friendships or mentors shown up in your life? Where are there spots that you’d like to build community or join new ones?

For me, I love hosting dinner parties with small groups of people, and I adore taking a cluster of friends on a hike together. When I was younger, I used to invite people to walk + talks, where I’d assign reading in advance of the walk and give us a theme to talk about while we went on a hike. #nerdalert

At the same time, I deeply feel a sense of missing out on having older female friends and mentors, ages 50+. I want to learn and soak up the knowledge of people who are a decade older than me, learn from where they’ve been and what they’ve done.

Give us a glimpse into the people you have—and the people you want to meet more of—in your life. Use the hashtags #wisewomenscouncil and #bossmoms and tag @startup_parent when you share.


February 2, 2021

Today we have two options, because I know that it can be tricky to talk about work things online, and it can also be tricky to talk about parenting things online. If you’re in a private situation, pick one of the two prompts below that better matches your own life and storytelling focus right now.


What’s been the most surprising thing about pregnancy, parenting, or motherhood for you? What do you wish more people talked about when it comes to motherhood and parenting? If you’re not yet a parent but you’re open to sharing what you’re looking forward to, you can talk about a long-distant future like “One day, when I become a parent,” or talk about the friends you know who are parents.


What’s been the most surprising thing about entrepreneurship, leadership, or business for you? What do you wish more people talked about when it comes to business and women’s leadership?

And—if you could go back in time ten years and give your younger self business or career advice, what would you tell yourself?

You can answer both posts if you’d like, or you can pick the one that matches you better! Only one post is required for today.


February 3, 2021

How have you changed or grown in your work or parenting journey? Was the change anything that you expected? And, if journey has put you through the fire, what’s the growth process been like for you?

When writing your answers to this post, be as real as you can. No “and then everything was perfect because it worked out in the end” shiny story bows needed. What’s the real story—the courage, the growth, the stamina that was required—and did you sacrifice or lose anything along the way?


February 4, 2021

What kind of leaders have you been surrounded with? What examples of leadership do you really admire? What do you think are your own strengths when it comes to leadership? Is there anything you’ve learned about your own leadership style or philosophy that have emerged over the years of work you’ve been doing?


February 5, 2021

Why are you applying to join the council? What do you hope to gain from the experience? What elements or pieces do you want to add to your life? Tell us how this program would help you and what about the community attracts you. Bonus: if you could change anything about the year ahead, what would it be, and why? “Sleep” and “daycare” are totally appropriate answers!


February 6, 2021

Today’s a popcorn, bonus day—answer any or all of the following prompts: What’s something that’s not obvious about you right away? What’s something that you don’t often brag about (but maybe you should brag about)? What’s one way women have lifted you up and supported you in your life?

Plus, a little bit of wiggle room for all my business pandemic parents out there…

We’re posting this a week ahead of time, with all of the prompts, so you can write out your answers in advance, if you’d like. You can also use a scheduler (like Later, Buffer, TweetDeck, or any others you prefer) so you aren’t scrambling each day to get all of this done. Trust us, we know how hectic life can get from time to time.

If you fall a day behind, don’t despair. The hard-and-fast-rule is that you must have all seven posts published by midnight on Sunday, February 7th, 2021. If you’re catching up, a day behind, or you only get to writing the seven posts on the last weekend of the competition, you can still apply.

All entries submitted before Sunday, February 7th, 2021 at 11:59pm Eastern time will count. 

Ready to get started? Head over here to sign up and get ready to make some creative posts on January 30th!


The contest begins Saturday, January 30th, 2021 at 6:00am Eastern. This competition is open to women navigating parenthood and business. In order to win, you must create all of the posts and also submit an application to The Wise Women’s Council on or before 11:59pm Eastern on Sunday, February 7, 2021. No purchase is required to enter.

A small panel of judges will review all of the entries. Winners will be chosen based on program fit and impact—we are looking for people who will benefit and grow courageously in a program like this, and who will contribute meaningfully and thoughtfully to the community. As such, we read every post and story you write to get to know you better, so share as much as you feel comfortable with during the challenge.

Prizes are scholarship awards valued between $1,125 to $3,375. Winners will have three days to accept the prizes or forfeit the scholarship to the next available entrant. If there are no qualified entrants, prizes will not be awarded.

Winners will be notified by email. All participants will be contacted with the results no later than Monday, February 22, 2021.

The Wise Women’s Council is back for a fourth year

If you’d like to join our annual leadership incubator for professional women navigating career and family, submit an application by February 15th to be considered for the Class of 2021. The program is March — December.


We're a weekly show that releases new episodes every Monday at 5:30 A.M. Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or whenever you listen to podcasts. If you'd like to get new episodes delivered to you by email, sign up for the weekly newsletter with insights, strategies, and new ideas for working parents. If you'd like to sponsor the podcast, feel free to reach out.  Lastly, if you like what you hear definitely leave us a review on iTunes. 


Our private Startup Parent Facebook Community is for working moms navigating all things parenting, business, career, and children. We also have a brand-new Linked In Parenting Group for folks of all genders to join and share resources on parenting and business. Join us in one or both groups.


Every year, we gather a group of women together to talk about pregnancy, parenting, marriage, partnership, work, business, children, and all the things that come up during this challenging season of life. Applications are now open. 



If you’re a fan of this podcast, you’ll love the private, ask-me-anything conversations with Sarah. When you become a Patreon backer, you'll get a brand-new episode every single month. Click here to become a back and get immediate access to the episodes.


Reflections on 2020: Growth, Slow Downs, and Surprises

Reflections on 2020: Growth, Slow Downs, and Surprises

Last year my family and I didn’t have childcare coverage for seven months. It was a long, tiring year, and we are starting 2021 in a similar place—we’re home for ten days, without childcare, waiting for the days when we can go back to daycare. I wish that 2021 could magically, instantly be different and that I could snap my fingers for all of us to remove so much of the chaos and uncertainty in our lives. Frustratingly, it looks like the upcoming year will certainly be bringing its challenges our way. In this podcast, I’m doing a highlights reel of the last year, and I want to share some of the key moments from 2020 and the lessons gleaned from the year we had.

read more
We Need Women’s Leadership Now, More Than Ever

We Need Women’s Leadership Now, More Than Ever

We need your leadership from where you are—as you are. We’ve known for a long time that we need much more diverse leadership, that we need women’s leadership, and that we need new models of power. As Elizabeth Lesser says, we need to embrace “power to,” not just “power over.” We need truth telling, and we need new visions. We need you, your work, and your brave new thinking. We need you to show up. We need you to be who you really are, not what an archaic model of power and “leadership” tells you to be. Take care, take the rest you need, take action, and show up. Even and especially as you are.

read more
What If I Only Work 2 Days Per Week? — Episode #160 with Kelsey Kerslake

What If I Only Work 2 Days Per Week? — Episode #160 with Kelsey Kerslake

Kelsey Kerslake runs a design agency as well as a coaching business, and has a young kiddo at home who just turned one. Her husband is an essential worker, so she hasn’t had a minute of childcare or backup help throughout all of this. Here’s how she is rescheduling her days and dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Her question—can she keep working on a reduced schedule and still have the same impact?

read more

Sarah K Peck

Founder, Startup Parent

Sarah Peck is a writer, startup advisor, and yoga teacher based in New York City. She’s the founder and executive director of Startup Parent, a media company documenting the stories of women’s leadership across work and family. She hosts the weekly Startup Parent Podcast and Let's Talk, her second podcast. Previously, she worked at Y Combinator backed One Month, Inc, a company that teaches people to code in 30 days, and before that she was a writing and communications consultant.

She’s a 20-time All-American swimmer who successfully swam the Escape from Alcatraz nine separate times, once wearing only a swim cap and goggles to raise $33k for charity: water. She’s written for more than 75 different web publications and and has delivered speeches and workshops at Penn, UVA, Berkeley, Harvard, Craft & Commerce, WDS, and more.