From 1962-66 he taught French at Ebbw Vale in Monmouthshire. In Merthyr Tydfil he established the Triskel Press and in 1965 he began the periodical, Poetry Wales. He learnt Welsh as an adult, and became a member of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Cymraeg and of Plaid Cymru.
From 1967-90, Stephens was literature director of the Welsh Arts Council. Before retiring he was professor of Welsh Writing in English at the University of Glamorgan. He was a visiting professor in the English department of Brigham Young University (USA).
He wrote many articles about literature in Wales for the newspaper, the Western Mail, and obituaries of eminent Welsh people for The Independent newspaper. He took a particular interest in the life and work of Rhys Davies, the novelist and short story writer, and served as secretary of the Rhys Davies Trust, which promoted the writing of short fiction in Wales.
A few months before his death, he was awarded an honorary fellowship at his former university, Aberystwyth, whence he graduated in 1961.
Stephens is credited as the first person to create the Cofiwch Dryweryn graffiti at the site of the former Welsh village, Capel Celyn, which has come to be regarded as an unofficial "national landmark".
- Linguistic Minorities in Western Europe (1976. J. D. Lewis)
- Green Horse (1978)
- [ed.] The Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales (1986. Oxford University Press)
- The New Companion to the Literature of Wales (1998. University of Wales Press)
- Illuminations: An Anthology of Welsh Short Prose (1998. Welsh Academic Press)
- A Most Peculiar People: Quotations About Wales and the Welsh (1992. University of Wales Press)
- Little Book of Welsh Quotations (1997. Appletree Press)
- A Pocket Guide Series: Wales in Quotation (1999. University of Wales Press)
- Welsh Names for Your Children: The Complete Guide (2000. Y Lolfa)
- The Literary Pilgrim in Wales: A Guide to the Places Associated with Writers in Wales (2000. Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)
- A Semester in Zion: A Journal with Memoirs (2003. Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)
- Yeah, Dai Dando (2008. Cinnamon) 
- A Bard for Highgrove: a Likely Story (2010, Cambria Books)
- Luis Núñez Astrain, The Basques : their struggle for independence (1997. Welsh Academic Press)
- Adams, Sam (5 July 2018). "Meic Stephens obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
- "Prolific Welsh journalist and scholar Meic Stephens dies". BBC Wales. 3 July 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
- "Tributes to writer Meic Stephens".
- "National Library of Wales".
- Phil Morris (4 July 2018). "Remembering Meic Stephens". Wales Arts Review.
- "The author Meic Stephens honoured as Fellow". University of Aberystwyth. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- "Like Father, Like Son: Meic and Huw Stephens". Patric Morgan. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- Morgon, Sion (24 February 2014). "Vandals deface famous Cofiwch Dryweryn memorial". Wales Online. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
- "'National landmark' Cofiwch Dryweryn is defaced". BBC. 29 April 2010.
- "Treforest Man's new book".