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Harpur

Three win Bergman writing awards

Each year, three student writers are selected to receive the Andrew Bergman Award in Creative Writing. The contest, which began in 1996 with one winner, expanded in 2002 to annually recognize three students, with awards of $1,500 for first place, $750 for second and $250 for third. Students submit short stories, poems, scenes from screenplays or creative essays. The 2012 winners are Mi Kyung Shin ’12, a fiction writer, and Allison Hackman and Joanne Rosenthal, both poets.

Andrew Bergman, a 1965 Harpur College alumnus and novelist, playwright and screenwriter, endowed the awards. He wrote the original screenplay for the Mel Brooks’ comedy classic “Blazing Saddles” and has written and directed such films as “The Freshman” and “Honeymoon in Vegas” and the Broadway comedy “Social Security.”

Bergman entered Harpur as a freshman when he was only 16, and after graduating, earned his PhD in history at the University of Wisconsin at Madison before pursuing his writing and directing career.

“Harpur taught skepticism, which has been a valuable guide throughout my professional life,” Bergman says. “It also taught me to take risks and to work out of conviction and self-expression, to be inner-, rather than outer-directed.”

Bergman established the award to help inspire students. “My years at Harpur were very special to me, and I really wanted to give something back. Winning creative awards at Harpur — a $50 prize in those days — meant a great deal to me, so undergraduate writing fellowships seemed the way to go.”

—Irene Bunnell

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Last Updated: 11/29/12