Louis A. and Mary Wagner-Berger Memorial Prize for Best Original Work of Fiction

This article about the Wagner Berger prize was published in the Spring 1888 English Department newsletter, WRIT (p. 2-3).

Fiction Prize Award

In 1987, Patricia Berger Porcello and her husband, Leonard Porcello, established the Louise A. and Mary Wagner Berger Memorial Prize for Excellence in Creative Writing.  This scholarship award has been created in honor of Patricia’s parents.  It is designed to encourage and reward excellence in creative writing at the College of St. Benedict. Patricia, a graduate of CSB and a writer of fiction herself, feels that this endowment is one way she can cultivate and stimulate women writers.  She also feels that this award provides her with an ideal opportunity to show her appreciation to the college community.

The Wagner-Berger Prize for fiction is the first scholarship of its kind at St. Benedict’s.  It is an annual scholarship that will be awarded every year to the CSB student who submits the most original, previously unpublished short story.  All submissions are judged by a committee of English Department members, and the winner receives an award of $1000.  The prize winning story will be published in Studio One every spring.

This year thirteen CSB students entered the competition for the Berger Prize.  The winning story is entitled “Anna’s Father”; it was written by senior English major, Jacqueline Edlund.  The story will appear in this spring’s issue of Studio One.

Though this story will be honored, and its author rewarded with a significant scholarship, the enduring value of this award will be demonstrated by the number of women who are encouraged to write a short story and to enter their work in this competition.  The Berger Prize committee expects more than thirteen entries next December 1.  And if the competition is as good next year as it was this year, the goal to encouraging women writers to find their own voices will certainly be reached.

Mike Opitz with Katie Streif
CSB/SJU English Department