Stephen Matthews was born and brought up in Chichester, the county town of West Sussex in the United Kingdom. After graduating with a BA from Cambridge University, he became a primary school teacher. He migrated to Australia in 1979 and after finally escaping from teaching, he had a successful bookselling career.
Stephen contributed book reviews, author profiles and articles to The Canberra Times and Australian Book Review for many years. He wrote manuscript reports for several large publishers and was a judge for several literary awards and competitions.
Stephen compiled ‘How Did the Fire Know We Lived Here?’, a best-selling collection of stories about the January 2003 Canberra bushfires which raised over $73,000 for the Bushfire Recovery Appeal. He also edited Eye of the Soul, a collection of interviews with writers for children and young adults.
In October 1997, Stephen won a Canberra Critics Circle Award for Literature for his ‘tireless contribution to the writing community’. In 2003, he received a Centenary Medal for his ‘contribution to the writing community and ongoing support for local authors’. In 2021, he received an Order of Australia Medal for ‘service to publishing’.