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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Sophie Nicholls is a novelist and poet and Head of Department for the Humanities at Teesside University. She joined Teesside in January 2014 and set up the MA Creative Writing (Distance Learning) in 2015.

Sophie received her First Class MA Hons in English Language from the University of Edinburgh and her DPhil from the University of Sussex. Her doctoral thesis was funded by the AHRC and developed a model for using writing in education, personal and professional development and health care contexts.

Sophie's novel, The Dress, was an Amazon Top 10 bestseller in 2011-12, has sold over 170,000 copies to date and has been translated into Italian, French, Bulgarian and Polish. A new bestselling edition of The Dress was published in paperback and e-book by Twenty7 Books (Bonnier Zaffre) in July 2016. Her second novel Miss Mary's Book of Dreams (Bonnier Zaffre) was published in March 2017.


Sophie’s poems have been published widely in poetry journals and magazines and her poetry collection Refugee (2011), partly inspired by her work with the organisation Freedom from Torture, is published by Salt.

Summary of Research Interests

Creative Writing

Sophie’s research interests are in fiction, poetry, life writing, the links between creative writing and wellbeing, and creative writing pedagogies.

Digital and hybrid pedagogies, writing in groups, digital spaces

Sophie has a background in learning technologies and instructional design and is interested in exploring new ways of writing in digital spaces, hybrid pedagogies, open learning, OERs and digital wellbeing.

Research network

Along with Megan Hayes, Sophie is the founder of Creative Writing Lab, a research network for creative writing and wellbeing.

PhD and Research Opportunities

PhD supervision:

Sophie welcomes enquiries and research proposals from prospective students working in any of the following areas:

  • contemporary poetry
  • fiction and particularly the area of so-called 'women's fiction'
  • creative writing and wellbeing
  • creativity and creative process, including creative writing pedagogies

Recent completions and current PhD students - Teesside:

Megan C Hayes. Wording the Self: A Positive Psychological Approach to Creative Writing as "Becoming More."

Jessica Wortley. Writing Nature: Ways in which writing in response to nature might be beneficial to us as writers and as selves.

Victoria Bailey. Petal: A novel exploring realisations, perceptions and conceptualisations of single motherhood, exemplified over four generations of a maternal line.

External Roles and Professional Activities

External Examiner, BA Creative Writing, Birkbeck, University of London.

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

Sophie co-lead the University's Grand Challenge theme: Learning for the 21st Century during 2017-18.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Sophie Nicholls is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Behavioral Medicine Medicine & Life Sciences
Delivery of Health Care Medicine & Life Sciences
Magic Arts & Humanities
Trilogy Arts & Humanities
Research Medicine & Life Sciences
Writer Arts & Humanities
Rhythm Arts & Humanities
Health Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2009 2018

On Walking and Thinking: Two Walks Across the Page

Nicholls, S. & Trofimova, E., 15 Oct 2018, In : M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
New Zealand
Literature Review

Miss Mary's Book of Dreams

Nicholls, S., 28 Mar 2017, Twenty7 Books. 320 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearch

Miss Mary's Book of Dreams [Audio Book]

Nicholls, S., 26 Jan 2017

Research output: Other contributionResearch

The Dress [Audio book]

Nicholls, S., 23 Jan 2017

Research output: Other contributionResearch

The Dress

Nicholls, S., 28 Jul 2016

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearch