Sarah Jefferis is an author, editor, and mentor based in Ithaca, New York. Through her consultant business, Write. Now., Sarah serves as a 1:1 writing coach, facilitates generative workshops on the creative process and the importance of vulnerability, and offers content and/or copy editing services for clients and organizations across the world. As someone whose leadership exists across three domains—strategic, relationship building, and influencing—she always employs her five strengths of woo, connectedness, strategic, intellection, and input to empower writers across multiple genres. Several of her clients won awards for graduate school totaling $493,000 including the National Science Foundation grants and the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship. Other clients have successfully published poems in literary journals.
Sarah's first poetry book, Forgetting the Salt was published by Foothills Press in 2008. She won the Bea Gonzalez poetry prize for her poem, “Motherhood.” Her poems and nonfiction have appeared in Rhino, The Mississippi Review, The American Literary Review, Stone Canoe, Icon, The Hollins Critic, The Patterson Review, Icarus, The Healing Muse and other journals. Her essay, entitled, “Blood and Chocolate,” appears in an anthology entitled Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today's Best Women Writers, published by Farrar Straus and Giroux in 2014. She has been both a poetry fellow and fiction fellow at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Center in California. She holds an M.A. from Hollins University, an M.F.A. [Poetry] from Cornell University and a PhD [Memoir] from SUNY Binghamton. She is working on completing her first novel, entitled Running After Jesus, and a collection of essays on grief. Currently she lives in Ithaca, NY with her two daughters.
- Colgate Writers Conference, Colgate University, Poetry (2015), Fiction (2014)
- SOS Grant for Fiction, Community Arts Partnership, Ithaca, NY, Winter 2014
- Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize, The Patterson Review, 2010
- Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award, Stone Canoe, 2014
- Link Fellowship, SUNY Binghamton, Fall 2009
- Francis Newman Fellowship, SUNY Binghamton, Fall 2008
- Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for Service, Hollins University, 1995
- Cornelson Halsey Leadership Award, Hollins University, 1994, 1993
- John M. and Emily B. Clark, Distinguished Teaching Award, Cornell University,
- Spring 2001
- Hart Crane Memorial Award, Kent State University, 2001
As someone who is first gen and grew up below working class and outside of the dream of Higher Education, I intimately know the immense economic obstacles placed before students who are attempting to acquire a Bachelors and/or Graduate degrees. I know how difficulties can stop individuals and how they can serve as motivators. As a white bisexual woman, I believe it is my responsibility to challenge and intentionally debunk systemic structures of white supremacy in order to work towards manifesting racial equity and economic justice in every situation. I am called to examine my own blind spots and to not let them inhibit me from creating a vision.
I could not have gotten here alone. Theater and Writing professors mentored me along my own educational path, and their guidance combined with my internal grit motivated me to continue to be both an educator and a learner. In workshops and with students, my cultural responsive pedagogy of teaching centers on four words: validate, affirm, build and bridge. I am passionately committed to helping first gen, low income writers from under-represented communities across the disciplines through the written word. I hope to inspire writers to have an intentional relationship to the words in which they choose to speak, to believe in the possibility of joy, and to understand that we are all stronger together.
Please feel free to contact me for help.