Dramatists Guild Fund

Meet the Fellows: Sophie Jaff Lyricist, Librettist

Credits include Love is Red (The Nightsong Trilogy) HarperCollins Publishers (2015) musical Erika’s Wall The Musical Theatre Company Chicago (2010) children’s musical A Shelter in Our Car, produced at Symphony Space, Boosey and Hawkes (2007) children’s book The Adventures of Lula the Discontented Cow; Human & Rousseau (2005), Story of an African Farm winner of the Frederick Loewe Foundation Grant.

Sophie Jaff

Sophie Jaff

  • Who do you look to for inspiration?

I look towards other writers, novelists, playwrights. When I read a wonderful book or see a new riveting show it motivates and inspires me to push myself further. Another great source of inspiration is my beloved New York. Walking the streets, riding the subway, eavesdropping on other conversations while pretending to listen to my headphones, is an endless source of material. I love going to art exhibitions because they free up my mind. I also am a serious sucker for public libraries. I love going to concerts at the Philharmonic. I love the poetry of Keats, Mary Oliver and other poets-though they have to be wonderful-I can get very snooty about poetry.

  •    What is the one thing you hope to accomplish this year?

To finish a decent draft of my second novel in my trilogy (oh my God no pressure) and have completed version of our musical Erika’s Wall and how I hope you don’t notice how very sneaky I am by putting two things in one extremely long sentence.

  • What’s the best (or worst) job not related to your career you ever had?

I worked for various non-profits teaching songwriting, book adaptation and musical theatre for public school students for three years. Those kids are tough critics (especially the 5th graders) with the attention span of gnats and you have to keep on your toes all the time. It was amazing practice for improvisation.  I was also a legitimate Dungeon Master writing content for an online internet game. I wrote over 800,000 words of content and created new worlds, monsters and characters which wasn’t too bad either for getting the creative juices flowing.

  • Where would you rather be if you couldn’t be here doing this?

There’s nowhere else to be.

  • When did you decide you were going to take over the universe?

As I stood upon a great mountain top overlooking the wild and fearsome land, a single silver strand of melody floated cold and clear through the night. I held out my hand and a large white feathered quill drifted softly down through the darkness and fell as gentle as a kiss into my upturned palm. I raised my face towards the heavens, towards the pitiless stars and a booming voice most awesome and terrible (and which sounded very similar to my mother’s) announced ‘CHILD, THIS IS YOUR DESTINY.’

  • Why would you ever stop writing, if you ever stopped writing?

I will never stop writing. Unless there’s a new episode of ‘The Taste’ or ‘Millionaire Matchmaker’ or ‘Dateline.’ Then I have to stop writing briefly. But it’s always best to start again or I become undone.

Bonus Question: How do you measure, measure a year?

Seasons of looooo-ooooove, looooo-ooove, seasons of LOOOO-UUUUUU-OOOOVE….”

-Breaks off grinning and panting-resumes grave and mature air-

In all honesty I am continuously amazed and terrified about how quickly time passes apart from when I’m waiting for a subway or in the agonizing months of February, March and April.


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This entry was posted on February 24, 2015 by in Meet the Fellows and tagged .


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