Meet Sophfronia Scott

A writer of fiction and non-fiction

Author Photos by Rob Berkley

About Sophfronia

Sophfronia Scott grew up in Lorain, Ohio, a hometown she shares with author Toni Morrison. She holds a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She began her career as an award-winning magazine journalist for Time, where she co-authored the groundbreaking cover story “Twentysomething,” the first study identifying the demographic group known as Generation X, and People. When her first novel, All I Need to Get By, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2004 Sophfronia was nominated for best new author at the African American Literary Awards and hailed by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as “potentially one of the best writers of her generation.”

Her latest book is The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton. Sophfronia’s other books include Unforgivable LoveLove’s Long Line, Doing Business By the Book, and This Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Child in a Secular World, co-written with her son Tain. Her essays, short stories, and articles have appeared in numerous publications including Yankee Magazine, The Christian Century, North American Review,, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Her essays “Hope On Any Given Day,” “The Legs On Which I Move,” and “Why I Didn’t Go to the Firehouse” are listed among the Notables in the Best American Essays series

Sophfronia is the recipient of a 2020 Artist Fellowship Grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.  She has taught at Regis University’s Mile High MFA and Bay Path University’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction. She’s also delivered craft talks and held workshops at the Yale Writers’ Workshop, Meacham Writers’ Workshop, and the Hobart Festival of Women Writers. Currently Sophfronia is the founding director of Alma College’s MFA in Creative Writing, a low-residency graduate program based in Alma, Michigan. She lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut where she continues to fight a losing battle against the weeds in her flower beds.

The Tea Interview

Honors & Awards

  • 2021, WINNER, The Thomas Merton “Louie” Award for The Seeker and the Monk, International Thomas Merton Society

  • 2021, NOTABLE ESSAY, for “Hope On Any Given Day,” Best American Essays

  • 2020, WINNER, Artist Fellowship Grant, Connecticut Office of the Arts

  • 2020, NOTABLE ESSAY, for “The Legs on Which I Move,” Best American Essays

  • 2017, NOTABLE ESSAY, for “Why I Didn’t Go to the Firehouse,” Best American Essays

  • 2014, FINALIST, for “Why I Must Dance Like Tony Manero,” Ruminate Magazine VanderMey Nonfiction Prize

  • 2014, HONORABLE MENTION for “White Shirts,” New Millennium Writing Awards

  • 2012, HONORABLE MENTION for “Murder Will Not Be Tolerated,” Glimmer Train Fiction Open

  • 2009, WINNER, Indie Excellence Book Award, Non-Fiction Business, Doing Business By the Book.

  • 2009, FINALIST, USA Book News Best Books, Non-Fiction, Doing Business By the Book.

  • 2006, Distinguished Alumni Award, Clearview High School, Lorain, Ohio

  • 2004, African American Literary Awards Show (AALAS) Open Book Awards, Nomination for Best New Author, Female.

  • 2002, Black Achievers in Industry Award given by the Harlem YMCA

  • 1998 Harvard College Fund, Joseph R. Hamlen Award for Alumni Service

  • 1993, National Association of Black Journalists Award for Excellence in Journalism for the Time Magazine article “The Hidden Hurdle”.