The Word Association

M A Bennett

M A Bennett M.A. Bennett was born in Salford, Greater Manchester but raised in the Yorkshire Dales in the grounds of a big stately home. After attending Settle High School Bennett studied history at Durham and Oxford, two very Medieval universities. M.A. Bennett likes tech but likes reallife even better. S.T.A.G.S. was written on a laptop but in front of a log fire.
M.A. BENNETT’S debut novel S.T.A.G.S. will be published in the UK by Hotkey Books, YA imprint of Bonnier Zaffre, on 10th August 2017

Latest Book: D.O.G.S by M.A. Bennett is out NOW from Hot Key Books

M A Bennett - STAGS "When something is dead, it’s supposed to stay dead, right?"

Greer MacDonald is in her final year at S.T.A.G.S. and after the dramatic events of the previous autumn is trying to concentrate on her A levels. Stuck for a play to direct for her drama exam she gets help from an unexpected quarter. A priceless lost play, buried by time, is pushed under her door. It is Ben Jonson’sThe Isle of Dogs, a play considered so dangerous in Elizabethan times that every copy was burned…except one. As the students begin to rehearse it events become increasingly dark and strange, and they lead Greer back where she never thought she would return – Longcross Hall. There she discovers that not only is the Order of the Stag alive and well, but that a ghost from the past might be too…


Greer MacDonald is struggling to settle into the sixth form at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as STAGS. Just when she despairs of making friends Greer receives a mysterious invitation with three words embossed upon on it: huntin’ shootin’ fishin’. When Greer learns that the invitation is to spend the half term weekend at the country manor of Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular and wealthy boy at STAGS, she is as surprised as she is flattered. But when Greer joins the other chosen sixth-formers at the ancient and sprawling Longcross Hall, she realises that Henry’s parents are not at home; the only adults present are a cohort of eerily compliant servants. The teens are at the mercy of their capricious host, and, over the next three days, the three bloodsports - hunting, shooting and fishing - become increasingly dark and twisted. Greer comes to the horrifying realisation that Henry’s prey are not wild game at all, but the misfits he has brought with him from school; they are all part of some terrifying initiation. Greer and fellow outsiders Shafeen and Nel must fight to hold onto their morals; and, ultimately, their lives.

Tagline: Nine students. Three bloodsports. One deadly weekend.

Elevator pitch: A dark Hogwarts


S.T.A.G.S. has already secured book deals with USA (Delacorte/Random House) Belgium, Brazil, Catalonia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Russia and Spain A major film deal has been made with Fox 2000/Chernin Entertainment