Flash fiction in Amethyst Review – The Existence of Things Inside Wall Spaces

My flash fiction piece, ‘The Existence of Things Inside Wall Spaces’ is published in Amethyst Review this month. Amethyst Review is a new magazine out this year publishing original poetry and fiction, so for any writers following my blog, you can check out their submission guidelines to submit.

The Existence of Things Inside Wall Spaces is a strange piece, one straight out of a dreamscape. At 483 words, it’s a quick read that you could manage over your coffee. Feel free to have a quick peruse – and of course, any comments are welcome.

Happy Saturday!



International Women’s Day Poetry event

Yesterday, to celebrate International Women’s Day, I read a few poems from my collections, A Model Archaeologist, Chemotherapy for the Soul, Toebirds & Woodlice and Metamorphosis of Woman/Realms of Man at the International Women’s Day Poetry event in Belfast. The event saw 12 poets (myself included) reading work at the Intercontinental pub.

This was my first reading in almost 2 years, since life events came in between: relocating from London to Belfast, a broken foot, pregnancy and new parenthood. I must admit, it felt good to shake off the open mic cobwebs and get back into Spoken Word events after so long.

There was a good mix of poetry on the night: poems in English and Spanish, thought-provoking poems about sexism, stereotypes and equality, and heavier topics such as surviving rape and coping after stillbirth. It was good to see an equal turnout of male, female and non-binary poets, as had been advertised, not to mention diversity in verse: French and Spanish speaking poets as well as local.

As for me, I chose to read a selection of serious and zany poems from my work, keeping the focus on the topic of women, to mark the occasion. It’s always hard to know exactly what an audience want, but I was happy to hear laughs at the right moments, which is a good enough gauge of reception for me.

The event was organised by The Thing With Feathers in case any other local poets want to see other future events.

World Book Day 2018

To celebrate World Book Day today (on a cold, snowy March day here in Belfast…brr!) I’m happy to share with you some books from Joseph Robert and I that have been published over the years. They’re available from our online bookstore and Amazon.

From left to right:

1. Zombie Reflux (Meandi Books, 2014) is a satirical novella.

Eric was an ordinary man. He wanted to have an ordinary life. But extraordinary events transformed his quiet life…into an afterlife!

Available from Kindle (UK)/ Kindle (USA), Amazon (UK)/ Amazon (USA), Lulu, as a PDF ebook or a FREE Google Ebook

You can also watch my sample video reading of chapter 1.


2. Toebirds & Woodlice (2013) is a poetry chapbook.

An eclectic mix of 39 poems by Leilanie Stewart for those of you who spend at least 60% of the day in your heads.

Available from Big Cartel

Read the review at Sabotage

Read a sample


3. A Model Archaeologist (Eyewear Publishing, 2015) is a poetry chapbook.

Leilanie Stewart’s debut poetry pamphlet from London based Eyewear Publishing is a collection of poetry explores the juxtaposition of working two opposite jobs: by day, a professional Field Archaeologist and by night a photographic and promotions model. The poems explore the associated stereotypes of both professions.

ISBN: 9781908998682

Available from Eyewear Publishing’s Bookstore or online store, Meandi Books


4. Realms of Man / Metamorphosis of Woman (2013) is a reversible poetry collection.

A collaboration of 33 poems by poet couple Joseph Robert and Leilanie Stewart from the deepest recesses of the imagination.

Available from Big Cartel

Read the review at Sabotage

Read a sample


5. Chemotherapy for the Soul (Fowlpox Press, 2017) is a poetry chapbook.

Leilanie Stewart’s second collection from Canadian publisher, Fowlpox Press, shines the spotlight on mental health and depression with a focus on family dysfunction and relationship breakdown.

ISBN: 9781927593547

Available as a paperback or hardback
or as a PDF flipbook

Happy Valentine’s Day 2018

If ever there was an excuse to pamper oneself and pig out on chocolate, guilt free, Valentine’s Day is it. Maybe that’s why it’s one of my favourite special days of the year.

Here are a few poems from Joseph Robert and I that are either romantic, or sentimental, or both. Hope you can enjoy them whether you’re looking for love, loved up, or simply loving being single.


Happy Valentine’s Day to all!


1. A poem for those looking for love:



By Leilanie Stewart

First published in Jellyfish Whispers (2013).


There is a lone                                 stack

standing out at sea,                         a sad

promontory that’s                             jutting

beyond the riptides.                         I often

watch it and wonder                         why

there’s only one,                              because,

surely if it was formed                     by erosion

there’d be more along                     the coast

This is a desolate beach                 to walk along

and when I go there by                   myself, I try to

imagine that under the       surface of the water

the cliff and the stack are touching, holding

onto one another through the swells, and

though the peaks and troughs will do their

damage, what is under the surface will

never be erased, and never be separated.


2. A poem for those who are loved up:



By Joseph Robert

First published in Black Mirror Magazine (2014)


Playmate, soul mate, helpmate, workmate, housemate,

Fuck mate, and fellow coconspirator,

You’ve checkmated my heart,

Each morning and night, year upon year,

That’s it,

We’ve both won,

And have our season tickets for front row seats,

To the all-nighter matinee,

That is the raucous comedy of life,

Snuggle up close,

For I’ve never heard anything half as wondrous,

As your knowing laugh,

Let’s celebrate, together, again and to the end,

Let’s enjoy the show!


3. A sentimental poem for all:


This is the soppiest I can get

By Leilanie Stewart

First published in Nostrovia Magazine (2013).


The world was full

Of upside down teardrops

You turned them around

And made them into hearts

You stuck them on

A sheet of cloth

I wore them proudly

It’s the toughest fabric I know

Because you wove

A part of yourself into it

Just for me.

Joseph Robert’s poem published in the Poet’s Haven

2018 kicks off with a publication by my poet hubby Joseph Robert: his poem, Militant Globetrotters, is published in the Poet’s Haven this month. This one is a political poem that I think pretty much summarises post-referendum Britain. With the deadline for article 50 only a year away, maybe this poem is also a dystopian look at Brexit-Britain and sovereignty under the Tories. Before I go off on a completely political tangent, I’ll finish by saying let’s not forget the man who caused the whole fiasco in the first place and ask ourselves, what the hell is Life Inside David Cameron’s Head really like?


Of course, this is one interpretation (as Brexit is at the forefront of my mind these days): the poem can be applied to any number of scenarios, whether in Britain, the Middle East or elsewhere worldwide.

Anyway, rant over. Hope the poem and prose in the above links are good food for thought on this cold January day.

Circle of Friends – a poem from collection ‘Chemotherapy for the Soul’

This poem was first published in Tips for Writers Magazine (2013) and republished in my poetry collection, Chemotherapy for the Soul, launched by Canadian publisher Fowlpox Press (2017). It appears on page 1 in the collection.


Circle of Friends

Leilanie Stewart © 2017

We drifted in and out of bars back then

But when I drifted across the ocean

And came back, things were different

The talk was still the same,

Though the laughter had changed-

I had changed

And all of you had grown stagnant,

Bitter in your old age, simply because

You’d had a lifetime filled with

I’ll do this, and

What if that-

None of which amounted to anything

What a shame

What a waste

A circle of friends

Whose hopes and dreams and morals

Had no way of escaping a circle

That never had a beginning

Or an end in the first place.

Reflecting on 2017 and Happy New 2018!

Now that we’re at the end of it, I can safely say that 2017 was a better year than 2016. Joseph Robert and I achieved a lot in terms of our writing goals; to put this in perspective, it was no mean feat, especially with a newborn and no less than 2 house moves, one during pregnancy and the other with a 6 week old baby. Whew! Even writing that leaves me exhausted! Let’s have a look at what we got done:

1. January 2017 kicked off with the launch of my new poetry collection from Canadian publisher, Fowlpox Press. Chemotherapy for the Soul can be bought as a paperback from my publisher, or read online as a PDF Ebook. We also moved house and had a brief writing hiatus to get ourselves sorted out.

2. In March, a selection of my poems were published in Lagan Online’s journal, Four x Four Issue 19 (page 12).

3. Joseph Robert and I launched Bindweed Magazine Issue 4 in April 2017.

4. In May 2017, Joseph Robert and I were jointly published in Inane Pure Slush Volume 14, from Pure Slush books. The anthology can be bought as a paperback or you can read our individual stories on Google Books for free: This Really Happened by Joseph Robert and Fear of the Mould by Leilanie Stewart.

5. In June 2017, aside from wrapping up my day job to start maternity leave, we published Joseph Robert’s story, The Libertarian’s Prison on my blog.

6. July 2017 was a big month for literary goings on. My author interview appeared on website Too Full to Write, while Joseph Robert and I did a joint interview as Bindweed Magazine’s editors, published in Lagan Online’s Around Ireland feature. We also published Bindweed Magazine Issue 5. Meanwhile, my novelette, Til Death do us Boneapart was published in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine Summer 2017. This was a milestone, as not only was it my longest work to be published as a stand-alone in an anthology, but the theme is similar to my recently finished novel, which was completed in~

7. August 2017. After 5 drafts, my debut fantasy novel was finally finished and ready for a proof draft!

8. A literary hiatus in September as life events took over writing and Joseph Robert and I enjoyed family time.

9. In October, Joseph Robert’s story, A Life in Books, was published in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine Fall 2017. We also moved house, to a bigger place for our newborn.

10. My fantasy novel went out on submission in November.

11. We celebrated our literary round-up for December 2017 with Joseph Robert’s story, The War, published in Scarlet Leaf Review. We also completed our quarterly Magazine editing run by publishing Bindweed Magazine Issue 6.

And that’s our year in summary. Here’s hoping for more exciting literary ventures in 2018.

Happy New Year!

Joseph Robert’s fiction in Scarlet Leaf Review 

Another of Joseph Robert’s short stories, The War, has been published in Scarlet Leaf Review. You can buy a print or digital copy from the link here for the October issue.


This one, a gruesome tale of corporate violence, appears in the Halloween issue. But, even though we’re closer to Yuletide now than Samhain, it’s a good gory read for any time of year!

Perception as Truth – Poetry in Neon Highway magazine


What if the sky was made of Papier-mâché
and the land a giant bathtub
with its stopper in New Zealand?

And what if the lines of latitude
were rings of wire suspending the paper dome
above the earth?

What if it’s all illusion and we’re simply make believe
and our eyes are telling us
what they perceive to be the truth?

What does it really matter?Why do we even care?

Leilanie Stewart © 2017

First published in Neon Highway Issue 19.

Fantasy novel finished and out for submission

This week marks a major milestone in my writing career: after 5 drafts and a concept that was born 4 years ago, my fantasy novel is finally out on submission. Considering that over the past 4 months, we (Joseph Robert and I) have had a newborn and a house move to contend with, this has been no easy feat. 

At the moment, I’m looking for both literary agents and fantasy publishers who read unsolicited manuscripts. Whilst there remain clear benefits to self-publishing certain types of novel – crime novels or erotica spring to mind – I’m still of the opinion that traditional publishing is the best route for debut novels of other genres. Knowing how to market and promote your book can only take an unknown author striking out on their own so far. Ideally, my aim is for my work to reach the widest possible audience; for me, that involves leaving it to the pros. In any event, I’ll be updating on the progress in forthcoming posts. Here’s hoping!