I am a novelist, short fiction writer, poet, magazine editor and literary blogger. ✒️📚 I’m one half of a literary couple with my writer-poet hubby, Joseph Robert. We also have a lively literary tot keeping us busy; a voracious reader of dinosaur board books. 👨👩👦
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When I started writing:
I started writing poetry and short stories when I was a child growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. My first poem was published in the Write and Shine Regional Anthology 1995 when I was 14.
During my undergraduate days, I studied Archaeology and Palaeoecology. After graduating I worked as a professional Field Archaeologist in 2002 and 2003. My choice of career inspired my work and I have incorporated elements of it into my writing since; my debut novel, Gods of Avalon Road, (Blossom Spring Publishing, 2019) is an urban fantasy that takes place in modern day London with historical flashbacks to Iron Age Britain. In addition, my debut poetry pamphlet collection, A Model Archaeologist (Eyewear Publishing, 2015) is a series of lyrical anecdotes reflecting on my Archaeology career and I have also published a satirical novella, Zombie Reflux (Meandi Books, 2014) with archaeological themes and elements of horror.
In 2003, after working for over a year as an Archaeologist in Northern Ireland, I moved to Japan to teach English for 4 years. This career change kick-started my writing which was in a 2 year hiatus. I found that by teaching English grammar to students and by learning to speak Japanese at the same time, I was able to look at language more objectively, which helped my creativity. I also began publishing travel writing pieces in Nova City magazine, during 2004 and again in 2006. As of 2017, I’ve been working on a novel draft inspired by my experience in Japan.
After I moved back to the UK in 2007, I lived in Cambridge. Around 2009, I began publishing my stories and poetry in print and online journals and anthologies in the UK and US. I have also performed my poetry on shows such as 209 Radio Cambridgeshire and at spoken word events in Cambridge. I continued promoting my work by moving to London in 2010 and getting involved in the poetry scene, through the Poetry Society and promotional events organised by my publisher, Eyewear Books.
Creative writing mentoring:
In addition to writing and promoting my own work, I ran creative writing workshops for gifted and talented young people between the ages of 12 and 19 in secondary schools in South and West London (2011 to 2016). After 6 years in London, I moved back home for a quieter literary life.
Running Bindweed Magazine:
Joseph Robert and I currently live in Belfast where we jointly run Bindweed Magazine.
My second poetry collection was published by Canada-based, Fowlpox Press, in January 2017.
My debut novel, Gods of Avalon Road, is available from Blossom Spring Publishing (October 2019).
News/ media coverage:
Leilanie Stewart interviewed for Bindweed Magazine on Six Questions For (July 2016)
Leilanie Stewart Author interview by David Ellis on Too Full to Write (July 2017)
Leilanie Stewart and Joseph Robert interviewed for Bindweed Magazine on Lagan Online
Leilanie’s author profile information:
Write Out Loud author profile