The Barbara Seranella Scholarship Program

For information, please contact Uschi Wilson VpPSWG@gmail.com



The Palm Springs Writers Guild annually awards a merit-based, monetary award to a Coachella Valley resident who is currently enrolled in a college or university and is majoring in a writing related discipline. Such majors include but are not limited to Journalism, English Composition, Creative Writing and Script/Film Writing. Students enrolled in an MFA program are also eligible.

Barabara Seranella PhotoThe scholarship is named for Barbara Seranella, a prolific and respected writer and an admired and beloved member of both PSWG and the Crime Writers of America. Barbara succumbed to liver disease after a long and courageous battle in 2006, and the scholarship, which is intended to aid the winner with tuition and other costs, was initiated as a lasting tribute in her memory.

The award is presented to a student with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, is a U.S. citizen with a valid social security number and is enrolled as a full time college/university student.  The amount of the award will be determined as budgeted by the PSWG Board of Directors. Historically, one award in the amount of $1,000 per year had been given, but the scholarship is not bound by that limit.

In addition, The Palm Springs Writers Guild knows that high school students realize there are some unique skills that are harder than others to capture on college applications.  Students who excel at sports will often have a long list of tangible achievements. Students who produce fine arts or participate in student leadership programs will easily find ways to highlight their participation in these extracurricular activities on college applications. But writers will often have a harder time highlighting the skills, time, and energy put into perfecting the craft of writing. 

Rancho Mirage High School teachers found a perfect way for students who excel at writing to be heard. A school-wide writing contest was held for their entire student population (just under 1600 students) and each student wrote an essay using the title “This I Believe.” The essays were read and judges from the Literary Society of the Desert selected 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place winners from each grade level (9-12) plus an overall winner.

     On May 5, 2018 at the PSWG General Meeting from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory the PSWG is inviting the 1st place winning students, their family, friends and teachers to attend this public meeting. Each Rancho Mirage High School grade level essay winner will be awarded a cash prize and Certificate with an additional prize award going to the overall winner. The overall winner’s essay will be read at this meeting.

The scholarship committee is composed of at least three PSWG members who are responsible for administering, promoting, and seeking funds for the scholarship program.
To make a donation to the Barbara Seranella Scholarship Fund, please fill out our online form. Donations can be made by credit card via PayPal or check payments.
Thank you for your contribution.

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