About and contact…

Mark Stay is a novelist and screenwriter. His Witches of Woodville series is published by Simon & Schuster, and his new film Unwelcome premiered at the Sitges Festival recently, and was released by Warner Bros. in 2023.

Mark Stay got a part-time Christmas job at Waterstone’s in the nineties (back when it still had an apostrophe) and somehow ended up working in publishing for over 25 years. He would write in his spare time and (he can admit this now) on company time, and sometimes those writings would get turned into books and films.
Mark is also co-presenter of the Bestseller Experiment podcast, which has inspired writers all over the world to finish and publish their books. Born in London, he lives in Kent with Youtube gardener Claire Burgess and a declining assortment of retired chickens.

Here’s what I’ve written so far…

Mark’s latest series is The Witches of Woodville. The first three books are out now from Simon & Schuster: The Crow Folk, Babes in the Wood, and The Ghost of Ivy Barn. Books four and five will be out in 2023 and 2024 with hopefully more after that.

His latest film is a horror movie called Unwelcome, released by Warner Bros. in 2023. The Guardian said, “This is Straw Dogs by way of Fraggle Rock, essentially; but the script by Wright and Mark Stay weaves in enough anxieties, both contemporary and primal, to sustain suspense even amid the silliness. It adds up to an enjoyably unpretentious Irish-ish folk horror. And not a shamrock in sight.” Ellen E Jones, The Guardian

Mark has a TV series in development with Moonriver Productions that is so top secret that even mentioning the title would be a dead giveaway.

His fantasy novel The End of Magic is available now and some amazing people have said some very nice things about it…

Mark co-wrote ROBOT OVERLORDS with director Jon Wright for Piers Tempest’s Tempo Productions. This was selected for the 58th BFI London Film Festival, and is available now on DVD/VOD/Blu-Ray.

He also wrote the novelisation of ROBOT OVERLORDS, which is published by Gollancz and is available now.


I could have been normal, I wanted to be a fire fighter, but it all changed when dad took me to see STAR WARS when I was five. When the Star Destroyer came rumbling over the screen I knew I wanted to be that… whatever that is! That thing up there, I want to be there please… and I’ve been trying ever since. It basically ruined my life.

I had no idea how to get into films or writing. Mum and Dad were school caretakers and my only connection to the film industry was my uncle who ran a stall in the East Street market in Walworth claimed he knew someone who was a Stormtrooper in Star Wars (I later discovered he was right: it was the actor Nosher Powell). But I had good teachers, encouraging parents, and figured that if Michael Caine could act (my family is from the same bit of London) then so could I.

I got into drama school, but didn’t get the grant, so I ran my own theatre company for a while. Then I found myself with a venue booked and no play, so I wrote my first play UNUSUALLY TALL BOY based on all the horrific camping holidays I’d been on as a kid, and it did better than any play we’d staged before; great audiences and reviews and we even made a few quid.

After this a friend of mine took me to one side and explained that anyone can be an actor (not entirely true, I know) but that the industry was desperate for good writers. I’d always loved writing, but had been put off in my teens by an English teacher who asked me ‘Why do you keep writing this American rubbish?’ This was after I turned in a creative writing homework assignment about attack helicopters freeing a criminal from a prison (I know – awesome, right?!). I had also been put off by the school’s writing group, which was entirely populated by navel-gazing Adrian Mole types whose collective works had no explosions whatsoever.


Not one.

I love writing. Scripts, stories, novels, angry emails to my MP. Plus, I’m now too old to be a fire fighter, so I guess I’m stuck with it.

I somehow snuck into bookselling with Waterstones (at a time when you needed a degree… I never went to Uni), became a sales rep for Headline, then became the Online Key Accounts Manager at the Orion Publishing Group for over fifteen years, and worked on projects with bestselling authors such as Michael Palin, Joe Hill and Joe Abercrombie. I also worked closely with the prestigious Gollancz Science Fiction and Fantasy publishing team.

I’m also co-presenter of The Bestseller Experiment podcast, where me and Mark Desvaux challenged ourselves to write, edit, publish and market a bestselling eBook in just a year… and then actually did it! Click here for more.

Get In Touch

For screenwriting queries, contact Matt Dench at Dench Arnold.

For novels, Mark is represented by Ed Wilson at Johnson & Alcock.

Twitter: @markstay



And if you want to get in touch, drop me a line here:




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