Featured Writer of the Month

Trish Vradenburg, Screen Writer & Novelist

"I love to be under pressure. That’s my favorite kind of writing. I like that immediacy."

Her name isn’t a household word, but her words have been heard in households all across America. Trish Vradenburg wrote for the hit television shows Designing Women, Kate & Allie and Family Ties. She has worked for Columbia Pictures and Paramount Studios. “My bio really makes me look great,” she quipped, and as I listened to her, it was easy to see how this clever, funny lady has been able to write the jokes and set up the comic situations that entertain us so well.

Vradenburg has always loved reading but didn’t know she would become a popular writer. “Nancy Drew books - I read all of them,” she recalled with enthusiasm. “I remember that feeling of I-can’t-wait-to-get-to-a-library,” when she was a child. A large part of the appeal of the Nancy Drew stories was the fact that a girl was in charge. But if at age twenty, someone had asked her “What do you want out of life?” she said her response would have been - “All I want is to be married and have two kids and a station wagon and to be able to go to the theater all the time.”

By her late twenties, that is exactly what her life had become. “I had all that and I thought, this can’t be all,” she remembered thinking.

Fortunately, that wasn’t all that was in store. While writing columns for the New York Daily News, she decided to take a night course. One thing led to another and she was given the chance to write for TV. “It was total luck,” she said. Working in television was a high stress, high stakes environment but Vradenburg thrived in it. “I love to be under pressure. That’s my favorite kind of writing. I like that immediacy.”

Vradenburg doesn’t only write for the screen. In 1986, her steamy novel Liberated Lady was a Literary Guild selection. Currently, she has a stage play, Surviving Grace, making the rounds. Surviving Grace evolved from her experience with her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Her mother eventually died in 1991 and Vradenburg has used what she’s learned not only to write a play about Alzheimer’s Disease but to raise aware-ness about the disease. Yet despite the serious topic, the play is full of laughter. “The humor comes from the human condition, not the Alzheimer’s condition,” she explained. “My husband tells me I deal with things by laughing. A sense of humor is a gift.”