Guild presents writer with Burkey Award

The Writers Guild of America East has tapped Joan Didion to receive its Evelyn F. Burkey Award.

The kudo, aimed at recognition of contributions that have brought honor and dignity to writers, will be presented to Didion at the guild’s 59th Annual Awards ceremony on Feb. 11 at the Millenium Broadway Hotel in Gotham.

Past recipients include Martin Scorsese, The Museum of Television & Radio, Colin Callender, Tom Fontana, Vaclav Havel, David Brown, Sidney Lumet, Dennis Potter, Arthur Miller, Joan Ganz Cooney, Jacqueline Babbin, George Schaefer, Art Buchwald, Horton Foote, Andy Rooney, the Communications Workers of America, Athol Fugard, Lloyd Richards, Herbert Brodkin, Elmer W. Lower, Walter Cronkite, Fred Coe and Barbara Schultz.

Didion co-wrote screenplays for “Panic In Needle Park,” “Play It As It Lays,” “A Star Is Born,” “True Confessions,” “Hills Like White Elephants,” “Broken Trust” and “Up Close & Personal” with her husband John Gregory Dunne. Her first play, “The Year of Magical Thinking,” based on the book she authored, is scheduled to open on Broadway in March.

Didion also wrote “Where I Was From,” “The White Album,” “Political Fictions,” “The Last Thing He Wanted” and “Play It As It Lays.” She has received the Edward MacDowell Medal, the Columbia Journalism Award, the George Polk Book Award, the American Academy of Arts Letters Gold Medal in Criticism & Belle Lettres, and the National Book Award for Nonfiction.

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