Karen Stevens

Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

Karen Stevens


Karen Stevens has a special interest in the contemporary novel, fiction for children and young adults, and the short story.  Her teaching reflects her research interests, and she has published an edited anthology of essays Writing a First Novel: Reflections on the Journey, and an edited anthology of short stories High Spirits: A Round of Drinking Stories, which won the Saboteur Award for Best Short Story Anthology 2019 and was chosen for the Summer Recess Reading List for Parliamentarians.

She has won several awards for her fiction writing, and her short fiction has been published online and in anthologies and magazines, including Panurge, The Big Issue, Fish publishing, Dirt pie Press, the Chichester Observer, Salt Publishing, Valley Press. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and a novel for children.


  • Winner of the Lancaster Short Story Competition
  • Winner of the Fish Publishing Very Short Story Competition
  • Twice shortlisted for the Adventures in Fiction scheme
  • Shortlisted for The Daily Mail Novel Writing Competition 2009, judged by Fay Weldon and Shena McKay.

Professional Teaching

Module Co-ordinator for:

  • Level 4: Creating Characters (module co-ordinator)
  • Level 4: Source & Exploration (module co-ordinator)
  • Level 5: Fiction for Children (module co-ordinator)
  • Level 5: Prose fiction: the Dynamic of Change (module co-ordinator)
  • Level 6: Creative writing Undergraduate
  • Dissertation (module co-ordinator)
  • MA: The Writing Studio (module co-ordinator)
  • MA: Launching the Manuscript
  • MA: Dissertation

She is a member of NAWE (National Association of Writers in Education) and is a regular attendee at its conferences and events. She is keen to forge strong connections between the university and the publishing industry.


A sample of Publications, Essays and Reviews:

  • 2022: ‘Among the Crows’, Fish Anthology 2022, (ed) Clem Cairns, Fish publishing
  • 2018: High Spirits: A Round of Drinking Stories, (eds.) Karen Stevens & Jonathan Taylor, Valley Press
  • 2014: Writing a First Novel: Reflections on the Journey, Palgrave Macmillan
  • 2012: ‘Where You’re Heading’, Overheard: stories to Read Aloud, Salt Publishing
  • 2012: Review: ‘New World Orders in Contemporary Children’s Literature: Utopian Transformations’, Gramarye: The journal of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy, Issue 1, Spring 2012
  • 2011: ‘Balancing Authority with Imagination’, NAWE Journal, Issue Number 53, Spring 2011
  • 2010: ‘The Visit’, Riptide: Short stories with an undercurrent, Vol 5, Dirt Pie Press
  • 2005: ‘The Visit’, The Chichester Observer Magazine
  • 2005: ‘It is Such a New Thing’, The Art of Love 2005, London.co.uk on-line gallery exhibition of visual artists, writers, poets and musicians.
  • 2004: ‘Perfect Symmetry’, Pulp Net (13 April 2004), British Arts Council funded website for established and new writers.
  • 2004: ‘The Visit’, Spoon face, and Other Stories, Fish Publishing
  • 2001: ‘Space’, Mouth Ogres, Oxmarket Press
  • 1995: ‘Fighting for It’, Water Baby, Panurge Publishing
  • 1995: ‘His Weight’, The Big Issue (July)


Karen gave a keynote lecture at Chichester Festival Theatre on Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories and read with Roddy Doyle at The Lonely Page Conference, Queen’s University Belfast 2008.

She reviewed ‘New World Orders in Contemporary Children’s Literature in Gramarye: The Journal of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy (Spring 2012).

Her edited collection Writing a First Novel: reflections on the journey was published with Palgrave MacMillan in 2013.

Other department members

David Swann
Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing
Professor Duncan Salkeld
Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature
Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

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