Sarah (Maraniss) Vander Schaaff is a freelance writer and playwright with an interest in mental health, parenting, and culture. Her writing appears in The Washington Post’s Health and Science Section, and their popular blogs on education and parenting, The Answer Sheet & On Parenting. Recently, her story about living in a historic house in Kennebunkport was featured in The New York Times' Domestic Lives Column.
Her play, Sustain Me, was performed at the Ground and Field Festival in Davis, California in October, 2019. She is currently developing Daughters of the Amendment, a play exploring the backlash to the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment. It recently earned the honor of advancing to the second round at the Austin Film Festival stage play competition under its previous title, Last of the Breed.
Her most recent play, Apartment 3F, is set during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in NYC.
A sampling of recent newspaper work:
The New York Times:
Living in a Private House with Public Meaning
The Washington Post's Health and Science
Coronavirus is testing those of us with Anxiety. We need to have mental health help available when the pandemic ends
For Gen-X Women, grappling with the anxiety and sleepless nights of midlife angst
The man who developed timeouts for kids stands by his now hotly-debated idea
New drugs, decades in the making, are providing relief for migraines.
When a child is extremely short, should a parent consider growth hormones?
Amid the opioid crisis, some seriously ill patients risk losing the drugs they depend on
Live from New York, it's doctor Radio
The Washington Post's The Answer Sheet on Education
The Washington Post's On Parenting blog
Sarah has been featured on the The Weather Channel’s morning show AMHQ, a guest on HuffPost Live’s program with Nancy Redd, and was a regular guest on NBC Philadelphia's program, Sandwich Moms. She spoke with journalist Bill Ritter of New York's ABC7 on his popular weekend program, sharing her personal commitment to mental health awareness.
As a mother of two, she wrote about her experience with sleep--or lack of it--in two pieces featured in The New York Times Motherlode blog with Lisa Belkin When a Child Does Not Sleep; (Finally) Getting Some Sleep. Years later, she still hears from moms who find her articles in the wee hours of a sleepless night.
Sarah cut her journalism teeth at CBS News/48 Hours before a career in teaching, motherhood and writing. She has an BS from Northwestern University and an MFA from the University of Alabama, where she studied theatre with a focus on Shakespeare.
Sarah comes from a family of journalists, from her grandfather, an original "newspaper man" to her brother and father, the Pulitzer prize winning journalist, David Maraniss.
Sarah completed her first play, The Last of the Breed, last spring. She is currently working on her second. Residing in Princeton, NJ, she regularly reviews McCarter Theatre for Broadway World.
Work Featured In:
Praise for Sarah
“Sarah’s insights into parenting have been a big plus to the On Parenting blog. I look forward to everything she writes. Her essays are often nuanced, funny and thought-provoking.”
-Amy Joyce, Washington Post On Parenting, Editor & Writer
"Sarah has contributed multiple blogs for our parenting series, Smart Parents, which have been featured on GettingSmart.com and The Huffington Post. Her writing is highly engaging and honest and she has able to connect deeply with our readers (something we know based on the number of shares and page views her blogs have received on our site). We are also delighted to feature two of her stories in our upcoming book, Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning which publishes this August."
-Bonnie Lathram, learner experience manager + contributing author, Getting Smart
"...Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff, a freelance writer who has penned some extraordinary pieces for The Washington Post."
-Valerie Strauss, Washington Post's The Answer Sheet
BIG NEWS: Sarah's stage play, Last of the Breed (revised title: Daughters of the Amendment) recently advanced to the Second Round at the Austin Film Festival. Script readers said the script had "...a stunning perspective and engaging relationships."