She’s a Woman On Fire! Meet Sophfronia Scott

Welcome back to our ongoing series to introduce you to each other!

She’s a Woman on Fire! member and we want you to know her. Please say hello to…

Sophfronia Scott

Sandy Hook, Connecticut

WOF member: #00040

Member since:  October 2011

Please tell us about YOU, your family, your work, what you are “on fire” about, etc

Many of our members know me as the publisher of Women on Fire Media, an imprint Debbie Phillips created with the vision of producing a whole series of Women on Fire books as well as future media by and inspired by Women on Fire.

It’s been wonderful to have this focus on the industry side with projects I love while I also pursue my own creative writing. I’m on fire about my writing because I’ve put it off for so long, allowing it to play second fiddle to the business I have coaching entrepreneurs to write and publish books.

I’m studying for a dual masters degree (in creative writing, fiction and nonfiction) at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. This past year my short stories and essays have appeared in Sleet MagazineNewYorkTimes.comNuméro CinqMid-American ReviewO, The Oprah MagazineGently Read Literature, and are upcoming in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers and the Saranac Review.

My husband, Darryl Gregory, is a middle school band director as well as a talented singer-songwriter. We are both grateful to have our joyous son Tain, age 8 and a half.

How did you originally connect to Women on Fire?  

I used to be in a large mastermind group and one of our meetings featured mentors who worked with us in smaller groups. Rob Berkley, Debbie’s amazing husband, was one of those mentors. We only spoke for a few minutes but I felt this connection with him, as though we were long-lost family. He went home and told Debbie about me and she invited me to a Women on Fire tea party in April 2009.

The last book you read that you would recommend to other Women on Fire?

Right now I’m absolutely enthralled by the book I won in the drawing at the Women on Fire members’ LIVE CHAT in January: Inspired & Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding in Your Life’s Work! by Tama Kieves. This has been my journey these past two years, to be inspired and unstoppable, and I feel as though Tama understands all the secret whisperings of my heart.

She knows inspiration requires work, but she also knows a certain amount of that work includes taking a break and making room for the magic to come in. Finding that combination has always been difficult for me because I’m all about working hard, but Tama is making me more confident in trusting my intuition.

What is your proudest accomplishment in the past 12 months? 

Completing the draft of my second novel, The Affairs of Midnight.

If you had an unexpected free day (a “found” day), how would you spend it?    

I would spend it reading, in meditation, and writing letters to friends. Last year I spent six months in an amazing correspondence where I wrote to a friend 2-3 times a month. Some of those letters inspired stories and essays I wrote later because the conversations we were having concerning creativity and spirituality were just that deep and rewarding. I’m still discovering more as I consider those conversations over and over again. There are days when I think I’d really benefit from spending time in a convent or a monastery.

Name another Women on Fire who has inspired you, and why?

M.E. Jones of Harrisville, Michigan, a co-author in the first Women on Fire book, because she wasn’t afraid to leave behind a life others told her she should be grateful to have. She boldly went after the life—and love—she really wanted.

If you had the opportunity to teach a child one strategy that would help to guide her life, what would that be?

I would guide a child, as I’m hopefully doing with my son, towards having a spiritual life. Most children, I believe, are already connected to source. They just need to have someone confirming for them what they feel is real and they can rely on that connection when life goes awry.

What is something that we might be surprised to learn about you?

When I was about 13, I became a certified “Beatlemaniac” even though the band no longer existed and Beatlemania was long gone. I soaked up so much of their history I sometimes forget I know it. Today, for instance, I walked through a room where I heard a man say, “Hello! Goodbye! Wasn’t that a song?” Without hesitation I said, “Yes, by the Beatles, the Magical Mystery Tour album, 1967” and kept on walking.

Name three women who have influenced your life, and what you’ve learned from each.

Wanda. When I met her she was in her 70s and I had just turned 30. She oversaw the garden behind the building where my husband and I bought our first apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I’d been waiting to learn how to garden my whole life and she was sorely in need of a willing assistant. She taught me everything from how to make compost to planting bulbs to pruning bushes. Every time I put my hands in the earth I think of Wanda.

Earline, my cousin. She’s about 30 years my senior and we met as adults after my father died. She lives in California and once, when I visited her there, I asked her why she lived so far away. She said, “Oh, honey, I moved out here in 1965 after my husband shot me.” She took her children, left an abusive relationship and got as far away as she could. Earline taught me that strength and bravery run in our bloodlines. If she could do what she did, I can do anything.

Pastor Kathleen Adams-Shepherd, our rector at Trinity Episcopal Church. She’s my shining example of faith in action as she brings all of herself—her intelligence, her heart, her strength—to bear as she guides our community. She’s also a tremendous writer and creates smart, inspirational sermons meant to help us practice faith in our everyday lives. If I were a spiritual leader, I’d want to be like Pastor Kathie.

 Who cheers you on?

Darryl, Tain, and Debbie Phillips!

 When you reflect on your life so far, what is the first word or two that comes to your mind?

“Love” and “Fear.” The pivotal moments of my life have all involved a confrontation of one or the other or both together. The lessons I’ve learned have been pretty much the same: the more I love, the less I fear. And the less I fear, the more I love.

More about Sophfronia ScottWhen Sophfronia published her first novel, All I Need To Get By, with St. Martin’s Press in 2004, one prominent reviewer referred to her as potentially “one of the best writers of her generation.”

Online you can read Sophfronia’s short story, “The Night Viera Kissed Her,” in the Fall 2012 issue of and an essay about her father, “White Shirts,” in the September 2012 issue of

She blogs at
Compiled by Women on Fire Senior Writer Becky Adams


Coming up in a future She’s A Woman on Fire! …

Who in our community felt excluded from being able to buy sophisticated, contemporary, well-fitting clothes in a plus-size? And 14 months later, while working a full-time job, launched a brand-new clothing line “for the majority of women” who wear sizes 12-24?  We’ll share the life and dreams of this inspiring Woman on Fire member in our next edition of She’s A Woman on Fire!

Not yet a monthly member? You are welcome to join our inspiring membership program and keep inspiration, strategies and support by your side all month long.  For information and to register, go here!