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Portrait of  Michael Stewart Michael Stewart | 01484 471883


Michael Stewart is a multi-award winning writer, born and brought up in Salford, who moved to Yorkshire in 1995 and is now based in Bradford. He has written several full length stage plays, one of which, Karry Owky, was joint winner of the King’s Cross Award for New Writing, as well as securing work in radio and television.

He was the winner of the BBC Alfred Bradley Award in 2003 and his plays have been performed in Bradford, Leeds, Manchester, London, and extensively throughout the country. His BBC Radio 4 play Excluded was shortlisted for the Imison Award 2008. His latest BBC Radio 4 play Castaway was broadcast in February 2010.

He was writer in residence at Theatre in the Mill in Bradford, and is now senior lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Huddersfield, where he is the director of the Huddersfield Literature Festival and the editor of Grist Books. He is also the founding member of Dark and Dirty – an arts initiative funded by the Arts Council, set up to explore the hinterland of narrative art.

His fiction has been published widely in anthologies and magazines, including Route, Leaf Books, Brand Magazine and Aesthetica. His debut novel, King Crow, was published in January 2011 by Bluemoose Books and was the winner of the Guardian’s Not The Booker award. It was selected as a recommended read for World Book Night. Café Assassin was published in March 2015, also by Bluemoose Books.

Research and Scholarship

"The Flawed Story: an Exploratory and Critical Examination of the Importance of Modern Narrative. "

In teaching creative writing, it is sometimes asserted that there are a set of principles which are objective tools for constructing and evaluating satisfying narratives. 'Taste ' is subjective and has no place in this way of examining story.

But is 'taste ' always a moral response and/or an aesthetic one? And how does the atomised nature of modern social structures impinge on the narratives we construct and engage with?

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Stewart, M (2013) ‘The Blue & The Dim & The Dark Cloths’. In: The Blue & The Dim & The Dark Cloths. Galley Beggar Press. .

Stewart, M (2013) Dead Man’s Suit [Audio]

Stewart, M (2013) ‘This Is Where You Get OffIota Magazine (91).

Stewart, M (2013) Couples . : Valley Press. ISBN 9781908853226

Stewart, M (2013) ‘Mr Jolly’. In: Mr Jolly. The Reader: The Reader. . ISBN 9780956786296

Stewart, M (2013) ‘the man in the white coatRiptide , 8.


Stewart, M (2012) ‘Point of View: a conclusionLeaf Writer's Magazine (6). ISSN 2043-8850

Stewart, M (2012) A Complicated Way of Being Ignored . : Grist Books. ISBN 978-0956309921

Stewart, M (2012) Castaway [Audio]

Stewart, M (2012) ‘Point of View: second person, why are you are reading this?Leaf Writer's Magazine (5). ISSN 2043-8850

Stewart, M (2012) ‘CouplesAlbatross Magazine (1), p. 15. ISSN 2042-5406

Stewart, M (2012) ‘From Object to SubjectAlbatross Magazine (1), pp. 30-30. ISSN 2042-5406


Stewart, M (2011) ‘Clean’. In: Not Only the Dark: 160 Poems on the Theme of Survival. : Categorical Books. . ISBN 978-1904662150

Stewart, M (2011) Outside the Asylum . : Grist Books. ISBN 978-0956309914

Stewart, M (2011) The Shadow Of Your Hand [Artefact]

Stewart, M (2011) ‘Point of View: first person, the problem and power of partiality’Leaf Writer's Magazine (4). ISSN 2043-8850

Stewart, M (2011) ‘Point of View: third person, a default setting?Leaf Writer's Magazine (3). ISSN 2043-8850

Stewart, M (2011) King Crow . Hebden Bridge: Bluemoose Books. ISBN 9780956687616

Stewart, M (2011) ‘The Bald MenTears in the Fence (49). ISSN 0266-5816

Stewart, M (2011) ‘You Are Going BackTears in the Fence (48). ISSN 0266 5816


Stewart, M (2010) ‘Story Without Meaning’. In: We're Crème de la Crem. : Biscuit Publishing. . ISBN 978-1-903914-44-1

Stewart, M (2010) ‘Point of View: the perils and pitfallsLeaf Writer's Magazine (2). ISSN 2043-8850


Stewart, M (2009) ‘MonkeysBrand Magazine (4). ISSN 1754-0593

Stewart, M (2009) The Grist Anthology of New Writing . : Grist Books. ISBN 978-0956309907

Stewart, M (2009) ‘The phone callAesthetica Creative Works Annual 2009 . ISSN 1758-9932


Stewart, M (2008) Everyone Remembers Where They Were . : Wellhouse Publications. ISBN 0954782259

Stewart, M (2008) A Homecoming . : Wellhouse Publications. ISBN 0954782259

Stewart, M (2008) A Small Boy . : Wellhouse Publications. ISBN 0954782259

Gill, D. and Stewart, M. (2008) The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialising, Fadism and Commonism . : PDG Books . ISBN 9781905519040

Stewart, M (2008) ‘He Was Going Out’. In: The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialising, Fadism and Commonism. Leeds: PDG Books. . ISBN 9781905519040


Stewart, M (2007) ‘This Enchanted IsleAesthetica Magazine (15). ISSN 1743-2715

Stewart, M (2007) ‘Third Person’. In: The Light That Remains and Other Stories. : Leaf Books. . ISBN 9781905599349

Stewart, M (2007) The Cleaners. n/a (Submitted).

Stewart, M (2007) Excluded [Audio]

Stewart, M (2007) ‘A Better DevilBrand literary magazine (1). ISSN 1754-0593


Stewart, M (2006) ‘A Turner for our TimeAesthetica Magazine (12). ISSN 1743-2715


Stewart, M (2004) ‘A Dog in a Bag’. In: Naked City. : Route Online. . ISBN 978-1901927238


Stewart, M (2002) Bambiha. n/a (Submitted).


Stewart, M (2001) Karry Owky. n/a (Submitted).


Stewart, M (2000) ‘BathHQ Poetry Magazine (23/24). ISSN 0960 3638

Stewart, M (2000) ‘SharkHQ Poetry Magazine (23/24). ISSN 0960 3638

Stewart, M (2000) ‘The Unnamable Mirror: The Reflective Identity in Beckett's Prose’. In: Poetry and Other Prose. : Rodopi. . ISBN 978-90-420-0700-0



Cafe Assassin (Bluemoose: Halifax, 2015)

Paperback 9781910422052


“A needle-sharp portrait of a man bent on revenge... you can smell the Northern streets in this second novel. It oozes authenticity and atmosphere.” The Daily Mail


“Think of Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads with drugs, murder, sex and yearning... a cleverly assembled, beautifully written story.” Telegraph and Argus


“A dark tale of intense friendship, betrayal and jealousy... like an old spaghetti Western.” Black Hearted Love


Cafe Assassin artfully explores love, friendship, guilt, innocence and revenge, and the constant pull the past exerts on the present.” Loud and Quiet magazine


King Crow (Bluemoose: Halifax, 2011)

KING CROW Paperback    9780956687609    

KING CROW Hardback      9780956687616    

Selected as a recommended read for WORLD BOOK NIGHT 2012 (23 April). The only debut novel to be selected. Other recommended authors include: Jorge Luis Borges, Graham Greene, Sarah Waters, Wilkie Collins, GK Chesterton and Jeanette Winterson.

One of six novels selected for the Read Regional Campaign 2012/13.

Winner of The Guardian’s Not-the-Booker prize September 2011

“KING CROW is a gripping and moving story told in a unique, yet authentic Northern voice. It is a brilliant first novel and the best debut I have read in a long time. I am excited and intrigued about what Michael Stewart will write next." 

David Peace, author of The Damned Utd

“On a nightmare train journey home, luckily I had a book with me. It was called King Crow. It saved my sanity. I think I would have been riveted by this even if I hated birds. Lovely stuff. Very very good. Thank you.”

David Nobbs, author of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin

“Michael Stewart is a fascinating new voice, and King Crow is a fine debut novel. Part action thriller, part psychological drama, part birding manual, I’ve come across nothing quite like it. It’s a fascinating example of modern fiction at its innovative best.”

Melvin Burgess, author of Junk

“Searingly honest and beautifully written... Michael Stewart is a natural poet.”

Ian McMillan


Short Fiction

Mr Jolly (first full length collection, published by Valley Press, November 2015)

‘Story Without Meaning’ (published in ebook format by Galley Beggar Press)

‘The Blue and the Dim and the Dark Cloths’ (published in ebook format by Galley Beggar Press)

‘Mr Jolly’ (commissioned by The Reader Magazine, 50th Celebration Issue) ISBN 9780956786296

‘The Man In The White Coat’ (Riptide Journal volume 8) ISBN 9780955832666

‘This Is Where You Get Off’ (commissioned by Iota magazine, issue 91) ISSN to be confirmed

‘Story Without Meaning’ (Biscuit Short Story Prize 2010), Biscuit Anthology ISBN 1903914441

‘Monkeys’, Brand literary Magazine issue 4 ISSN 1754 0593

‘The Phone Call’, The Aesthetica Creative Works Annual 2009 ISSN 1758 9932

‘You Are Going Back’, Tears in the Fence issue 48 ISSN 0266 5816

‘Third Person’, The Light That Remains and other stories (Leaf Books) ISBN 9781905599349

‘The Bald Men’, Tears in the Fence issue 49 ISSN 0266 5816

‘A Better Devil’, Brand literary Magazine issue 1 ISSN 1754 0593

‘A Dog in a Bag’, Naked City (Route Books) ISBN 978-1901927238

‘He Was Going Out’, The Intelligent Woman’s Guide (PDG Books) ISBN 9781905519040



‘A Turner for our Time’, Aesthetica Magazine issue 12 ISSN 1743 2715

‘This Enchanted Isle’, Aesthetica Magazine issue 15 ISSN 1743 2715

‘The Unnamable Mirror’, Samuel Beckett Today ISBN 9042007001

‘Point of View: the perils and pitfalls’, Leaf Writers’ Magazine issue 2 ISSN 2043 8850

‘Point of View: third person, a default setting?’, Leaf Writers’ Magazine issue 3 ISSN 2043 8850

‘Point of View: first person, the problem and power of partiality’, Leaf Writers’ Magazine issue 4 ISSN 2043 8850

‘Point of View: second person, why are you are reading this?’,  Leaf Writers’ Magazine issue 5 ISSN 2043 8850

‘Point of View: a conclusion’,  Leaf Writers’ Magazine issue 6 ISSN 2043 8850



Full length collections

Couples (Valley Press) ISBN 9781908853226

“Bleak (but wonderful)... familiar, and of course funny.”

Alan Bennett

“Dark, funny and twisted, but surprisingly tender.”

AL Kennedy

“Ingenious... inanimate things are animated and shine with possibility... Couples does what very good writing can: it makes you look around you, see things differently.”

Ian McMillan


Single publications

‘Shark’ HQ Poetry Magazine issue 23&24 ISSN 0960 3638

‘Bath’ HQ Poetry Magazine issue 23&24 ISSN 0960 3638

‘A Small Boy’ Swarm (Wellhouse Publications) ISBN 0954782259

‘A Homecoming’ Swarm (Wellhouse Publications) ISBN 0954782259

‘Everyone Remembers Where They Were’ Swarm (Wellhouse Publications) ISBN 0954782259

‘Couples’ Albatross Magazine issue 1 ISSN 2042-5406

‘From Object to Subject’ Albatross Magazine issue 1 ISSN 2042-5406

‘Clean’ Not Only The Dark (Categorical Books) ISBN 9781904662150

 ‘The Meaning of Life’ Orbis Magazine issue 154 ISSN 0300-4425

As editor

The Intelligent Woman’s Guide, PDG Books ISBN 9781905519040

The Grist Anthology of New Writing, Grist Books ISBN 9780956309907

Outside the Asylum, Grist Books ISBN 9780956309914

A Complicated Way of Being Ignored, Grist Books ISBN 9780956309921

Research Degree Supervision

Writing stage plays
Writing radio plays
Writing fiction
The relationship between social structures and narrative
Last updated Monday 12 October 2015
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