Robert James Campbell Stead was an author of whom Manitobans may well be proud, because the twelve books he wrote and published, between the years of 1908 and 1931, fill an important niche in Manitoba's literary Hall of Fame.
Stead published 13 books on prairie life. The following list shows the titles and the years of publication.
- 1908 The Empire Builders --(Poems)
- 1911 Songs of the Prairie
- 1911 Prairie Born
- 1914 The Bail Jumper
- 1916 The Homesteaders
- 1917 Kitchener and Other Poems
- 1918 The Cow Puncher
- 1920 Dennison Grant
- 1922 Neighbors
- 1924 The Smoking Flax
- 1926 Grain
- 1931 The Copper Disc
- 1983 Dry Water
His career as a writer started in 1892, when at the age of 12 he began sending contribution to Winnipeg periodicals like the Western Homes Monthly.
His first book, "The Empire Builders and Other Poems" was published by Williams Briggs in 1908, and for the next 23 years, until 1931, he continued a steady flow of novels, short stories and books of verse, which enriched the portraiture of Canadian prairie life.
In addition to his books, Stead wrote numerous magazine articles, short stories and speeches, and contributed to "The Magnet" published by J.D. McAra, Calgary, Alberta.
"Rob" Stead believed in the advantages of life in Canada and his prolific mind, and mastery of prairie dialect, produced authentic and faithful portrayals of life on the prairies during the period from the beginning of the century till the end of World War I.
Stead's place in Canadian literature was indicated by his election as the first president of the Ottawa Branch of the Canadian Author's Association, and later, in 1923, as the national president of this distinguished organization.