School of Cinematic Arts Directory Profile

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Georgia T. Jeffries, B.A.

Associate Professor

Affiliated Divisions:

John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television

Email: gjeffrie@usc.edu
Work Phone: 213.740.3304
Office: SCA 335

Georgia Jeffries is a writer/producer of Emmy-winning drama and an author of contemporary fiction. Focusing on multi-dimensional characters that transcend cultural stereotypes, her critically acclaimed work – “devastating, standing ovation television” according to the L.A. Times – continues to contribute to the cutting edge.  The first individual woman screenwriter to earn the WGA Award for Episodic Drama, Jeffries received the honor for her very first produced teleplay. She cracked the glass ceiling on the ground-breaking female-driven Cagney & Lacey and China Beach, a Peabody Award winner for its powerful depiction of the Vietnam War.

After serving as a series showrunner, she created a dozen pilots for ABC, CBS, NBC and Showtime then went on to write and/or executive produce cable films for HBO, Showtime, USA and Lifetime, including the adaptation of the New York Times Notable Book, Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine, a 40-year family saga inspired by the aftermath of the Emmett Till tragedy. She has been honored with multiple Writers Guild Awards, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, the Humanitas Prize and the 2009-10 Women’s International Film & Television Showcase Screenwriter of the Year Award for her body of work.

She is currently completing her novel, Malinche, for Adaptive Books, the hard cover imprint of Adaptive Studios, producers of Project Greenlight (HBO) and Coin Heist (Netflix).  She is also developing a mini-series based on the New York Times best-seller, 72 Hour Hold.

Her short story, “Little Egypt” -- praised by Los Angeles Review of Books Executive Editor, Boris Dralyuk, as “a firecracker of a noir tale…the ending is perfect and gut-wrenching” -- appears in the 2017 anthology, LAST RESORT, for which best-selling novelist Michael Connelly wrote the introduction.

Angels in the Snow, a feature screenplay adapted from Jeffries’ first novel, was inspired by the true story behind the Los Angeles “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” investigation.  Among her other feature scripts are Confessions for Universal Pictures and Nobody’s Fool which won Best Screenplay Award at the Houston International Film Festival. She has also worked as a script doctor on selected films, including Iron-Jawed Angels, starring Oscar-winner Hilary Swank.

Jeffries graduated cum laude from UCLA and began her career as a journalist with American Film magazine where her cover story on Boulevard Nights documented the filming of the first major studio drama exploring Chicano life in the barrio.  Jeffries has contributed essays to the Huffington Post, Los Angeles Review of Books, Written By and many other publications.

“The First Time They Told Me I Write Like a Man”, appeared in The First Time…Tales From the Hollywood Trenches (Harper-Collins) and “The Last Gun of Tiburcio Vasquez”, originally published in the UC Press quarterly, BOOM: A Journal of California, can be viewed on the KCET website Artbound.  Jeffries was also a consultant for the Serial Box podcast, “False Idols”, scheduled to launch in 2017-18.

A tenured professor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and former chair of the TV Curriculum Committee, Jeffries created the writing division’s first drama pilot class in addition to launching the first undergraduate television thesis at an American university.  She also teaches graduate thesis as well as an accelerated course in episodic drama for first year MFAs. She has guest lectured at the American Film Institute, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Paley Center for Media, Humanitas Institute Master Writers Seminars, the Banff International Television Festival, the Melbourne National Screenwriting Conference, Australian Film Institute and Bouchercon, the international mystery writers conference.  She was awarded a Leighton Artists writing residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

A past vice-president of both Women in Film and PEN USA West, she was elected to the Writers Guild Foundation Board of Trustees and the Advisory Board of the Pasadena Literary Alliance. She has served as a judge for the PEN Teleplay Awards, the WGA Awards, as well as the annual Voice Awards which recognize film and television that educate the public about mental health, addiction and recovery.

Jeffries’ creative work has been profiled in Women Who Run the Show: How a Brilliant and Creative New Generation of Women Stormed Hollywood, Creating the TV Drama Series (first and second editions) and the upcoming China Beach Revisited (April 2018) written by Brad Dukes, author of Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks.