A graduate of the University of Manchester and the Manchester Writing School, Manchester Metropolitan University, Sophie Parkes 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.
Her historical novel, Out of Human Sight, was shortlisted for the NorthBound Book Award at the 2021 Northern Writers' Awards and was published by Northodox Press in 2023.
In 2017, Sophie won the Arvon Award at the Northern Writers’ Awards for her collection of short stories influenced by English folk song. You can read some of her published short stories 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 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 is published by Pitch, 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.
Sophie is an Associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, teaching on both BA and MA Creative Writing programmes. She is also 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 for The Tameside WordShop, a year-long programme of creative writing workshops for Tameside writers. You can watch the film about the initiative here.
You can read (or watch!) some of Sophie's stories here:
Rituals & Declarations: 'Procession'
Dear Damsels: 'May Day'
M6 Theatre (performance): 'Bird Behaviour'
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'
- Wed, 22 Nov22 Nov, 18:30 – 20:30Manchester, University Green, 146 Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9GP, UKSophie has the pleasure of hosting a bookish evening with the Brontës
- Sat, 04 Nov04 Nov, 09:00 – 17:15Manchester, All Saints Building, All Saints, Manchester M15 6BH, UKSophie will be running a place writing-themed workshop as part of this full day of panels and advice from Comma Press and Manchester Metropolitan University.
- Sat, 23 Sept23 Sept, 11:00 – 13:00Oldham, Greaves St, Oldham OL1 1AL, UKA writing workshop to get your historical fiction underway
- Sat, 22 Apr22 Apr, 16:00 – 17:00Centre for Folklore, Myth and Magic, 65 Halifax Rd, Todmorden OL14 5BB, UKIn this talk, writer, Sophie Parkes, presents how she came to learn about the Bills o'Jack's legend upon moving to Saddleworth, and how she worked with the folklore of this crime to develop her novel, Out of Human Sight.
- Wed, 05 Apr05 Apr, 18:45 – 06 Apr, 20:00Uppermill, St. Chad’s House, Uppermill, Oldham OL3 6AZ, UKTo celebrate the publication of Out of Human Sight, writer Sophie Parkes will be joined by musicians Laura Smyth and Ted Kemp. With readings, music and refreshments, learn more about the historical case and how Sophie worked with the folklore of the crime to develop her novel.
- Wed, 22 Feb22 Feb, 19:00 – 23 Feb, 21:00Audenshaw, 92 Manchester Rd, Greater, Audenshaw, Manchester M34 5GB, UKOut of Human Sight comes to the Audenshaw and Droylsden Book Group, with reading and discussion.
- Wed, 15 Feb15 Feb, 18:00Sheffield Hallam University, Howard St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 1WB, UKJoin us for the Sheffield launch of Out of Human Sight, the debut novel from SHU PhD student, Sophie Parkes-Nield, and her publishers, Northodox Press.
- Multiple DatesTue, 30 Aug30 Aug 2022, 11:00 – 12:00Stalybridge, 1A Trinity St, Stalybridge SK15 2BN, UKFun creative writing activities, word games and more. Aimed at children aged 7 - 12.
- Thu, 09 Sept09 Sept 2021, 10:00 – 14 Oct 2021, 11:30Ashton-under-Lyne, 225 Old St, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 7SR, UKA six-session short course to encourage you to pick up a pen and consider creative writing as a therapeutic and creative practice.
- Wed, 25 Aug25 Aug 2021, 11:00 – 12:00Ashton-under-Lyne, 225 Old St, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 7SR, UKForget punctuation, grammar and rules you learnt at school... creative writing is a great way to relax, learn about yourself and other people, and, importantly, have fun!
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.