Established in 2010, and thanks to the generous donations of Sarah’s friends and family, the Sarah Verdone Writing Award is given annually to a female writer who has achieved notable success in her career following her participation in one of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's (LMCC) programs, and is presented to the writer of honor at LMCC's spring gala, The Downtown Dinner.
Sarah Verdone was exquisite—a talented writer, beautiful wife, and mother to two daughters, who lost her battle with cancer in 2010 at age forty-five. Sarah spent the early part of her career as editor of Microwave News and then as a freelance writer for Paper Magazine, I.D. Magazine, Cookie, and The New York Times. She was known for her witty commentaries on art, design, fashion, food, and travel. A great beauty, generous, funny, and deeply empathetic, Sarah’s charms also made her a muse to the jewelry designer Ted Muehling. After Sarah’s death, her family established a memorial fund at City & Country School for children with limited financial resources to purchase supplies, clothes, food, and holiday gifts. And to celebrate Sarah’s writing, her friend and college roommate Beth Rosenberg organized the Sarah Verdone Writing Award at LMCC. Not limited to any genre, the group of eight winners (so far) include fiction and non-fiction writers, playwrites, and a poet. As writers, it is an honor to be chosen for the award, but it is also the camaraderie of other winners, the creative and professional support, and the thoughtful readings of and discussions about their work that make it a very special community.
"Past recipients of the Sarah Verdone Writing Award have become an important cohort of literary artists...Sarah Verdone Award winners communicate with each other, and provide support and resources amongst themselves, creating a strong community of exceptional female writers. We are pleased to have recognized such women as making such a positive impact to the field, and to continue Sarah’s lasting legacy as an author and champion of the arts." - Diego S. Segalini Executive Director, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council