Sandra J Scofield



Occasions of Sin
"In its groping sense of honesty and its plainspoken, understated pain, it has the attributes of a classic." Art Winslow, Chicago Tribune

"Scofield investigates the insistence of desire, the inability to transcend the body.."
San Francisco Chronicle

Beyond Deserving
"An intelligent, wickedly observant novel." New York Times Book Review

Gringa: "...a richly sensory portrait of a world in exile."

GRINGA: a young woman at loose ends in Mexico
BEYOND DESERVING: sometimes you love someone more than you should and they learn how to deserve it
WALKING DUNES: a story of 1959 West Texas teenagers
MORE THAN ALLIES: friendship between young mothers separated from their husbands
A CHANCE TO SEE EGYPT: a widower goes back to the Mexican village where he honeymooned
OPAL ON DRY GROUND: a newly married woman takes in her divorced daughters and tries to fix their lives
PlAIN SEEING: a motherless daughter fails as a wife and goes looking for her mother's story
OCCASIONS OF SIN: daughter-mother memoir of adolescence and the body
MYSTERIES OF LOVE AND GRIEF: reflections on and interrogation of a grandmother's life
THE SCENE BOOK: A PRIMER FOR THE FICTION WRITER: the basics, the good stuff you need; you'll never give up your copy.

THE LAST DRAFT: A NOVELIST'S GUIDE TO REVISION. How to get from messy draft to satisfaction, and live to tell about it. Seriously, it draws on a quarter century of teaching and writing novels. It's not how to write a Hollywood movie, or a blockbuster; it's how to write the novel you want to write.


Sandra Scofield is a native Texan who has spent the last forty years in Oregon and Montana. She taught in public schools (grades 2-10) and at the university level; since 2006 she has been on the faculty of the Solstice MFA low residency program at Pine Manor College. She has taught at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival since 1993. She is the author of seven novels, a memoir, a book of essays about family, a book of stories, and two craft books for writers. Her work has been warmly praised; she was a finalist for the National Book Award, among other honors.

She is also an avid painter, a solitary traveler, a closet poet, and a besotted grandmother. She has been married to Bill Ferguson since 1975. She divides her time between Missoula, MT and Portland OR.

Work by Sandra Scofield:

NOW AVAILABLE: The Last Draft: A Novelist's Guide to Revision
Janet Burroway says, "...a needed book...a godsend."
Publishers Weekly calls it "a meticulous guide to revising a novel."

Novels: Gringa, Beyond Deserving, More Than Allies,
Walking Dunes, Opal on Dry Ground, A Chance to See Egypt, Plain Seeing
Memoir: Occasions of Sin
Essays: Mysteries of Love and Grief
Craft: The Scene Book
Swim: Stories of the Sixties

From Mexico to Mykonos, a young woman searches for love, home, and self.

Painting, like writing, is about passion and meaning; about observation and composition; about vision, persistence, and the joy of process.

Selected Works: Click the titles to see excerpts

A Craft Book for Fiction Writers
A scene has a function, an event, a pulse, and a structure. Study it. Master it.
A young woman tests the limits of her independence and takes notes on life. Available through Ingrams (bookstores) and online. Support your local indie store!
--a very beautiful book, smart and sharp. Karen Joy Fowler
A Craft Book for Novelists
A wise, friendly text for the novelist ready to revise. Readers say it is optimistic, comforting, practical, and engrossing.

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