Married Paul Jacobs (a music director and songwriter).
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Random House Trade, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
Songwriter and composer, author, actor, and vocalist. Scriptwriter and lyricist for television, including coauthor of theme song for Between the Lions (series). National Lampoon comedy troupe, actor, c. 1970s; appeared in film National Lampoon Presents Disco Beaver from Outer Space, 1978.
Daytime Emmy Award, 2004, for contributions to Between the Lions.
(With others) The Book of Sequels: The Greatest Stories Ever Retold!, Random House (New York, NY), 1990.
The African Animals Alphabet, Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1998.
The Lucky Duck, illustrated by David Prebenna, Golden Books (New York, NY), 2000.
The Fruit Bowl Project (young-adult novel), Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2006.
Over the Hedge Movie Storybook (based on the animated film), Scholastic (New York, NY), 2006.
Author of scripts for television, including Hopping Hens Here! Lyricist, with husband, Paul Jacobs, for theme song from Between the Lions (television series), 2000, and of songs for television programs for Sesame Street, Square One TV, and other series.
The 2000 picture book Hopping Hens Here! by Louise Gikow, was adapted from a television script by Durkee.
Beginning her career as a member of the National Lampoon comedy troupe and working as a songwriter and scriptwriter for television, Sarah Durkee has seen her name included in the credits for several filmed productions, among them Sesame Street, Square One TV, and the award-winning public television series Between the Lions. With her first young-adult novel, The Fruit Bowl Project, Durkee melds the world of entertainment and that of creative writing while also showing her expertise in creating a range of believable characters.
Durkee sets her novel in an eighth-grade creative writing class at a New York City private school. Hoping to inspire her students, new teacher Ms. Vallas arranges through a family connection to bring noted rock musician Nick Thompson to class. Thompson is a songwriter as well as a musician, and his approach to writing helps to unleash the students' creativity. Through a class assignment in which all the students must include certain elements, every student's response is a creative one that varies in tone, speaking voice, genre, and format, and the second half of Durkee's novel features dozens of these student assignments. Stories and screenplays, as well as poems featuring literary effects such as the limerick and haiku are included among the student-written selections, each reflecting its eighth-grade author.
"Teachers and aspiring writers will enjoy the many clever ways a story can be told," commented School Library Journal critic Connie Tyrrell Burns in a review of The Fruit Bowl Project. Horn Book reviewer Susan Dove Lempke also enjoyed Durkee's novel, stating that "while this would obviously make a good tool for discussing writing technique, it's also an entertaining slice of classroom life." Calling Durkee's concept "clever," Booklist contributor Ilene Cooper added that while some of the student writings are "repetitive," the book serves as "a creativity wake-up call."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, December 1, 2005, Ilene Cooper, review of The Fruit Bowl Project, p. 48.
Horn Book, March-April, 2006, Susan Dove Lempke, review of The Fruit Bowl Project, p. 185.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2005, review of The Fruit Bowl Project, p. 1321.
People, February 25, 1991, Ralph Novak, review of The Book of Sequels: The Greatest Stories Ever Retold!, p. 21.
Publishers Weekly, November 9, 1990, Penny Kaganoff, review of The Book of Sequels, p. 54.
School Library Journal, January, 2006, Connie Tyrrell Burns, review of The Fruit Bowl Project, p. 130.
Random House Web site,http://www.randomhouse.com/ (September 10, 2006), The Fruit Bowl Project.