SF Said
S.F. Said is an award-winning author and the original author of the Varjak Paw series.


S.F. Said was born in Lebanon in 1967, but has lived in London since he was 2 years old. He wrote his first novel, Varjak Paw (2003), while working as a speechwriter for the Crown Prince of Jordan, and then as an arts journalist and film programmer.
Varjak Paw won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize for Children's Literature, as well as regional book of the year awards in Gateshead, Stockton and West Sussex. It has since been adapted as a stage play and an opera, and a film version is in development. It has been translated into 12 languages, and UK sales are now over 275,000.
The sequel, The Outlaw Varjak Paw (2005), won the BBC's Blue Peter Book Of The Year, was nominated for the Carnegie Medal, and won the Leicester Teenage Book Of The Year. Varjak Paw is currently featured on the CLPE's recommended reading list for primary schools, and both books are being taught in classrooms around the UK.
S.F.'s third novel, PHOENIX (2013), is an epic space adventure for readers of 9 and up. It was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award; nominated for both the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal; and won the Warwickshire Secondary Schools Book Of The Year. Like the Varjak Paw books, it is illustrated by Dave McKean, and published by David Fickling Books.
S.F. Said is also active in the wider world of literature. He has judged the Whitbread Book Awards (now the Costa Book Awards), and writes widely about children's and young adult fiction. His work has been published in both the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph.[1]

Varjak Paw Movie

On Tuesday, 9th April 2013, S.F. Said answered a question about a Varjak Paw movie, where he stated that he and his team tried to bring an animation movie of the first book to life in Hollywood, unfortunately with no success: The team supposedly managed to find a studio which would turn their dream into reality, as Varjak Paw was to be optioned by The Jim Henson Company and developed as an animated family feature film, with Faith Fawusi as director.[2] This, however, never happened. It is unclear whether or not the movie is still in production, but S.F mentioned that concept art for it exists.[3]
His co-worker Dave McKean, who primarily worked on the illustrations for the books, is said to also be a brilliant film director, so the two of them wrote a script together, while Dave worked on 'a lot of fantastic designs'. Eventually, they even came up with an unofficial movie poster, which SF Said featured on his blog.[4]
VP Movie Poster


  • S.F. Said stated that he definitely plans to publish a third Varjak Paw novel in the future, but he has not set a date for it yet, as he is still working on other novels.[5] It is likely that the third book will be written from Varjak's point of view during his time as an elder, as the first book played during his kitten time, while the second one showed him as an adult.[6]
    • He also stated that he does not plan to write a book about Jalal's story.[7]
  • Writing Varjak Paw took him five years, while The Outlaw Varjak Paw took three.[6]
  • S.F. stated that he did not imagine Varjak to look like he did on the official illustrations, but still appreciates the fantastic works Dave McKean did for his books a lot.[8]

References & Citations