Poems published in Four X Four Magazine

Today, four of my poems are published in FourXFour Issue 19 from Poetry Northern Ireland, alongside poems from Mel McMahon, Clodagh Brennan Harvey and Nathan Thanki. The magazine publishes 4 poems by 4 poets in each issue, and work is solicited by publisher Colin Dardis – the journal isn’t generally open to submissions. 

Many thanks to Colin Dardis for the opportunity to be published alongside such great poets! 

Exciting news – writing life balance

Joseph Robert and I have been busy in the interim while I’ve been away from our author blog (even though this site is labelled as Leilanie Stewart, it’s our joint promotion platform – the other one being our Facebook author account at: http://fb.me/LeilanieStewartandJosephRobertAuthors ). On the writing side of our exciting news, we’ve been busy with a few more magazine publications lined up to appear in the next month, one of which is a joint anthology appearance – our first since our poetry was published together in Mudjob Magazine (links are here for those: Leilanie Stewart and Joseph Robert) back in 2013. Keep reading future posts for updates. On the life side of our exciting news, we’ve been busy on another joint project – more of which you’ll be hearing about soon in upcoming posts. For now, to use an English idiom, I’m keeping mum about things…

Reader reviews – Chemotherapy for the Soul

Review by Spiros Zafiris:

Chemotherapy For The Soul {38 pgs.} by Leilanie Stewart is easy to read, refreshing in its lyricism and not a mazelike production of pseudo-scholarly endeavor. One interesting subject, covered in several poems, is the experiences with a gaslighter and how hope and positivity frees the narrator from such cruelty.


Chemotherapy for the Soul - page 36

Chemotherapy for the Soul – page 36


Review by Robert Fabre:

Leilanie Stewart’s new poetry collection, Chemotherapy for the Soul, explores the connections between physical and emotional pain, and takes one on a journey into the depths of the psyche and out into the wider world.  It is a spiritual exploration, between the individual persona and his/her soulmates.



Chemotherapy for the Soul available:




Free Ebook


Second poetry collection arrived in the post!

So my newly published (January 2017!) poetry collection, Chemotherapy for the Soul, arrived in the post today from Canadian Publisher, Fowlpox Press. What a lovely surprise waiting for me when I got home from my day job!


I love the glossy black cover; it fits with the tone of the collection, which deals with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. The full colour illustrations fit the theme too – check out ‘Chemotherapeutic waste’ picture below:


I actually wrote these poems in 2012, and submitted them to publishers in 2013. After holding onto them for 3 years, Fowlpox gave me an acceptance in September 2016. Just goes to show that even in the slow world of publishing, patience sometimes pays off!

Moving House…another brief hiatus from writing!

Boys a dear! If ever there was a way for life to get in the way of writing plans, moving house would have to be top of the list. This past week, Joseph Robert and I have been heaving heavy loads, scrubbing, reporting repairs and unpacking. This has inevitability put both of our writing commitments on the back burner – for at least a week or so.

A new writers' pad in the making.

A new writers’ pad in the making.


Among many things, I can’t wait to get our library out of storage, where our beloved books have been residing in cardboard boxes for the past half a year while my hubby and I relocated from London and got ourselves organised in Belfast. Hopefully, now that we’re settled, we’ll be getting back into open mic poetry events, reading through our backlog of submissions sent for Bindweed Magazine Issue 5 and promoting our own work – keep reading for more updates on my latest poetry collection, Chemotherapy for the Soul coming soon!

Second poetry chapbook published! Chemotherapy for the Soul available from Fowlpox Press 


I am delighted to announce the publication of my second poetry collection, Chemotherapy for the Soul, now available from Canadian publisher, Fowlpox Press. What a wonderful way to start 2017!

This collection is different from my first chapbook, A Model Archaeologist, which was often humorous in tone. Chemotherapy for the Soul deals with darker themes including mental illness, dysfunctional family relationships and depression.

Thanks to my publisher, Virgil Kay, for this fantastic opportunity to be published again and to my lovely husband, Joseph Robert, for proofing the poems before they went to print.

You can get yourself a copy as follows:

As a free PDF flipbook

paperback or hardback book from Peecho (€3.90 soft cover/ €10.70 hard cover).

Thanks, dear readers!

Goodbye 2016, Happy New 2017

If ever there was cause to celebrate the end of a – personally and globally – bad year, tonight would be the night! Now is a time for looking forward, but as with anything, if you don’t recognise bad with good there is no moving on. So here goes:


❌ My day job in London didn’t work out. I worked in an environment that I thought would have been supportive to writing, but wasn’t. I have since learned to keep my day job and writing career separate. Promoting my work is a job now reserved only for literary events away from the 9 to 5.

✔ Joseph Robert and I moved to a smaller, quieter place (Belfast) away from big city life in London, where we can focus on writing and our work/life balance. We have been enjoying a slower way of life, long walks in the countryside for creative stimulation and great, locally produced Northern Irish food. You can’t beat that.

✔ The lower cost of living in Northern Ireland means money goes much further. In the new year, we will be moving to a proper writer’s pad with loads of room to accommodate our huge collection of treasured books. However- Continue reading

Leah as the Artist’s Muse – new fiction in Scarlet Leaf Review 

This month, I have a new short story published in Scarlet Leaf Review. This one is around 3659 words. You can read it alongside the other stories and poetry in the December 2016 issue published today.

Author photo from Scarlet Leaf Review

Author photo from Scarlet Leaf Review


The question that people most often ask, when they find out I am a writer, is where I get the inspiration for my work. As any author will tell you, fiction has a basis in fact. I take ideas from everyday situations or slice-of-life stories that I hear from other people. This one is based more on the former. Is the protagonist, George, simply being sweet, or is he a sinister stalker?

Hope you enjoy it!

Words Ireland writers’ event Belfast

Words Ireland event Belfast.jpegJoseph Robert and I were at the Words Ireland writers’ event at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast this afternoon to hear Moyra DonaldsonSheena Wilkinson and Ian Sansom giving advice on their experience as professional authors. There was a turnout of at least 50-60 writers attending at various stages of their careers; a show of hands revealed that the majority (myself included) had published a book with an ISBN, many had been published in magazines with an ISSN (both Joseph Robert and I included), some had tutored creative writing in workshops (myself included), a few had received grants or funding for their work and only 3 were completely non-published and attending for advice on a starting point to their careers.

Since my writer-poet hubby and I have only been in Northern Ireland for 4 months, it was good for us to get involved and see what resources, funding and support is available to writers, particular for authors from a non academic background. The advice was both useful and insightful: of the professional authors on the panel, 2 explained that only 10% of their income comes from writing books. The rest comes from doing events in schools, at libraries, literary festivals and tutoring creative writing courses. One of the 2 was a completely self-taught poet. The other had a Masters in Creative Writing, but had actually written and edited her first book before doing the course. In addition, advice on professional development as a writer was given, including joining the Society of Authors and financial advice, such as getting an accountant.

Funding is not something I had thought about pursuing until the idea was discussed today; as my writing ranges from the absurd to the subversive and very rarely flirts with the mainstream, I’m not convinced it may be the best route for me. However, since my goal as a writer is to bring my work to an ever growing audience, this may be an avenue that I decide to pursue at a later date. For now, I have a lot of food for thought to digest.

Food for thought: literary bites to digest

Food for thought: literary bites to digest

The White Kaleidoscope – Fiction in Carillon Magazine

The White Kaleidoscope 

Leilanie Stewart © 2016


I was fifteen years old when I was first struck with the desire to eat church candles. The notion swept over me as I slaved away at the till in the department store where I worked every Saturday for a paltry £1.50 an hour.

When I say church candles, I’m talking about a very specific breed. The big, thick, creamy, delicious kind that look like squat marzipan tree trunks. I’m not pregnant, nor deranged (at least the last time I psychoanalysed myself). I’ve always craved unusual objects. In fact, now that I think of it, my adventuresome palate has landed me in trouble once or twice in the past. Once, being when I masticated the yummy looking psychedelic balls of wool in the dusty classroom cupboard in my nursery school. Twice, being when I chewed my mum’s favourite pair of red leather stilettos. In hindsight, it’s a bit strange that my pleasant, straight-laced obey-all-the-rules mother had such incriminating shoes hidden in a brown paper bag in the cupboard in the first place.

But we’re straying from the issue. And I do have a point, believe me. Continue reading