sophie white

Writing Workshops with DCU Writer-in-Residence 2023

Creative Nonfiction Workshop: ‘Body Of Work'

Body Of Work: Writing All The Stories We Contain
Non-Fiction workshop – 2hrs – open to all staff and students, no previous writing experience required.

Date: Thursday April 27th
Time: 12pm-2pm
Location: St. Patrick's campus, room F115
16 Places, includes a practical element
To Book: Google Form

In this workshop, we will attempt to regard our bodies as entities separate to ourselves in order to perceive their experiences with new perspective, compassion and empathy. The body is a site of trauma and of joy and in this workshop we want to capture the stories we contain.  

Prior to the workshop, participants are invited to submit a short piece of work (200-300 words approx of creative nonfiction) about a part of their body – ANY part, teeth, arm, toes, lung, marrow etc etc. With participant's permission, we will share and discuss some of these pieces* as a jumping off point for the first part of the workshop in which we combine discussion of participant's ambitions for their own work with the practicalities and challenges of a creative practice: planning and outlining pieces of writing, reading as research, connecting with readers and navigating the emotional toll of creating.
During the second part of the workshop, we will do a burst of in-session writing and further discuss how to develop work, taking ideas to the page and ultimately to the reader.

*Sharing your writing in the workshop is entirely optional. There is no pressure for anyone to read though it can be a great opportunity for feedback from fellow writers.


Fiction workshop: ‘We All Have A Novel In Us!’

Date: Tuesday April 25th
Time: 12pm-2pm
Location: Glasnevin campus, room Q158 (Business School) 
16 places, includes a practical element
To Book: Google Form

Open to all staff and students, no previous writing experience required.

The stories in our heads just need to be exorcised! In this fiction workshop, we will be looking at highly practical ways to help bring that novel idea to the page. The workshop will give a thorough grounding in what differentiates the various genres of fiction from commercial to literary and everything in between and will help writers identify what kind of story they want to tell.

Looking at everything from hook to plotting to building compelling, flesh and blood characters, the workshop aims to invigorate each writer's practice and outline tried and tested methods (I’m mad for a three-act structure!) for creating the kind of immersive, addictive fiction we all love to read. We will discuss outlining and creating a roadmap for a book, the nitty gritty of getting the first draft done and the ESSENTIAL editing process. Not to mention how to keep the faith in your work – truly one of the most crucial elements of writing a novel.

The workshop will be interactive with an in-class burst of writing allowing us to hear each other's work and offer feedback. 

Workshop: The Business of Writing

Date: Tuesday, May 2nd
Time: 12pm-2pm
Location: Glasnevin campus, room Q158 (Business School)
25 places
To Book: Google Form

At the end of the day, we all gotta eat…

Open to all staff and students – will be of most interest to those who want to pursue writing professionally.

This workshop will offer concrete steps for navigating the path to getting published. From finding the right agent to placing work in literary journals to signing a book deal, I’ve done everything the long hard way – so you don’t have to!

The workshop will explore how to pitch both fiction and nonfiction and discuss how to have a fulfilling creative practice while juggling financial and practical needs. The workshop will cover making applications for public funding as well as how to find and use the free resources available to us such as social media and subscription platforms like Substack and Patreon – all wonderful tools for creating an audience for our writing.

As I work across disciplines and genres (commercial fiction, creative nonfiction, literary fiction, podcasting, journalism and television), I am versed in many sides of the writing industry and the mechanics of a career in professional writing. This workshop will cover everything from submitting your novel and creating nonfiction proposals to writing a TV pitch (treatment) and executing a pilot script. It will also cover ideas on how to supplement your income with journalism, essay-writing and work in the publishing industry.  


For any further queries contact Sophie on:

Hi all!

Happy New Year! My name is Sophie White and I am delighted to be joining DCU as this year’s Writer-in-Residence. I hope over the next 12 months that I can play a fun/useful part in the creative life of the university.

A little about me – I graduated from NCAD with a degree in Sculpture in 2007 and then promptly never made any sculptures again! I worked as a chef for most of my 20s before coming to terms with the fact that I wanted to be a writer. It was a circuitous route, but one that I’m grateful for, as my degree in Fine Art gave me a good grounding in what a creative life might look like while my time in busy kitchens smacked any preciousness right out of me – invaluable when it’s time to edit novels (any “feedback” that isn’t screamed at me during a busy service feels very pleasant by
comparison). I have published two works of creative non-fiction and four novels (three commercial fiction and one literary horror). My fifth novel is due out in May of this year (all going well, and assuming that I haven’t faked my own death
to get out of a deadline). I am currently working on TV adaptations of my first two books and I co-host two podcasts, The Creep Dive and Mother of Pod. I also write a weekly column for the Sunday Independent LIFE magazine. I am an enthusiastic nay obsessive knitter and a deeply mediocre roller skater. As I work across different media, I am keen to host a wide variety of workshops. Keep an eye on DCU socials for workshops on fiction writing, writing creative non fiction, starting a podcast, pitching and writing for TV and also the business of writing – everything from getting an agent to getting published. I am keen to immerse myself in all aspects of the university, both within the English department and beyond. If you are a member of any club, society or other department and have thoughts around collaborating, please do let me know.

Warm regards, Sophie


Sophie White

Sophie White is a novelist, essayist and podcaster. Her first four books, Recipes for a Nervous Breakdown (Gill, 2016), Filter This (Hachette, 2019), Unfiltered (Hachette, 2020) and The Snag List (Hachette, 2022), have been bestsellers and award nominees. Her fifth book, the bestselling memoir Corpsing (Tramp Press, 2021), was shortlisted for an Irish Book Award and the Michel Déon Prize for non-fiction.

Sophie writes a weekly column ‘Nobody Tells You’ for the Sunday Independent Life magazine and she has been nominated for Journalist of the Year at the Irish Magazine Awards, Columnist of the Year at the Irish Newspaper Awards and for a Special Recognition Award at the Headline Mental Health Media Awards. TV adaptations of her first two novels are in development and she is co-host of the chart-topping comedy podcasts Mother of Pod and The Creep Dive. Sophie lives in Dublin with her husband and three sons.


The Residency

This position is funded jointly by the Arts Council and DCU, a long-standing partnership that provides university students with an opportunity to work with and learn from writers of distinction, and to enable writers to develop their work while in a position of relative financial stability.