About me

Sophie Parkes was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire, in 1985. A graduate of the University of Manchester and the Manchester Writing School, Manchester Metropolitan University, she is currently studying for a PhD in creative writing and folklore at Sheffield Hallam University, for which she won a Vice Chancellor's Scholarship. You can read more about her research here.

In 2017, Sophie won the Arvon Award at the Northern Writers’ Awards for her collection of short stories influenced by English folk song. Her historical novel, Out of Human Sight, was shortlisted for the NorthBound Book Award at the 2021 Northern Writers' Awards. She is currently working on a novel as part of her PhD research, and you can read some of her writing at the bottom of this page.

Sophie's interest in specialist music, particularly folk music, has seen her publish the official biography of one of her all-time musical heroes, Eliza Carthy. Wayward Daughter (Soundcheck Books) came out in 2012 and the title of the book was later used by Eliza to name both an album and her big band. Sophie continues to write about music and musicians for an array of different titles, including Songlines and Rock'n'Reel.

 

In 2016, Sophie worked with endurance athlete, Blind Dave Heeley, to get his incredible story down onto paper. From Light to Dark (Pitch Publishing) is available now, with a portion of the story influencing short film, Seven Days, made by Pixel Revolution Films. It is also available as an audio book, courtesy of narrator, Adrian Chiles.

An Associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, she is a frequent facilitator of creative writing workshops in the community, leading workshops for The Portico Library, Saddleworth Literature Festival, The Tameside Health and Wellbeing College, and Tameside Libraries, amongst others. She also founded and continues to run Mossley Writers and in 2021 won an Arts Council England grant to run The Tameside WordShop

You can read some of Sophie's stories here:

Rituals & Declarations: 'Procession'

Dear Damsels: 'May Day'

M6 Theatre (performance): 'Bird Behaviour'

The Real Story (creative non-fiction): 'Hero'

Chethams Library collection: 'Mary Leech, née Blackwall, on returning to her parental home'

Chine Magazine: 'Milkers Day'

Streetcake (issue 52): 'Silence Surrounds Her'

The Pygmy Giant: 'The Unquiet Grave' 

William Faulkner's Typewriter: 'Tonight's the night that'll be the night'

Some writing highlights

 

2021     Out of Human Sight (novel) shortlisted in the   

             NorthBound Book Award (Northern Writers' Awards) 

             ACE grant for The Tameside WordShop

2020     Winning monologue, 'Bird Behaviour', M6 Theatre      
2019     Vice Chancellor Scholarship for fully funded PhD, SHU 

             Distinction in MA Creative Writing, MMU    

             Mossley Writers’ John Knight group project funding
2017     Northern Writers’ Award
2016     Founded Mossley Writers

             From Light to Dark (Pitch)
2014     Shortlisted for IdeasTap/Writers’ Centre Inspires
2013     YA novel longlisted for Macmillan Write Now! prize

2012     Wayward Daughter (Soundcheck Books)
2010     Contact Theatre (Verbally Challenged)
2008     Co-writer 'Crow Of Murders', Contact Theatre
2006     Shortlisted in PCS short story competition
2002     Fiction serialisation in Absolute Horse magazine

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Events

 
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Mossley Writers

Sophie founded and continues to lead Mossley Writers, a community writing group in the
small town where she lives. If you live locally and would like more information about joining the group, feel free to get in touch to join the mailing list.

This friendly, inclusive group meets on the third Tuesday of the month, at The Vale, Mossley's beautiful arts space, 7.30-9.30pm. We welcome all kinds of writers, at all stages of their career. A typical Mossley Writers get-together includes critiquing members’ work, writing together using fun and thought-provoking writing exercises, and – of course – tea and biscuits. There is a small monthly fee to cover the hire of the space at The Vale.

In 2019, Mossley Writers completed our first group project: A Worthy Mossley Man, an anthology and exhibition of our writing about John Knight, Mossley resident and prominent figure in the 1819 peaceful demonstration that became known as the Peterloo Massacre. You can read some of our work on this dedicated website.

In 2021, Sophie won an Arts Council England grant to run The Tameside WordShop, a year-long programme of free writing workshops for Tameside writers. Take a look at the website to find out how to book your place.

Mossley Writers on Facebook

 
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Contact

sophie@sophieparkes.co.uk

All photography courtesy of the inimitable

Graeme Cooper: http://www.graemecooper.co.uk