The 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.
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 invited the 1st place winning students, their family, friends and teachers to attend this public meeting. Each Rancho Mirage High School grade level essay winner was awarded a cash prize and Certificate with an additional prize award going to the overall winner. The overall winner’s essay was read.
The scholarship committee is composed of at least three PSWG members who are responsible for administering, promoting, and seeking funds for the scholarship program.