“The natural heir to Arnold Bennett” (Kit De Waal)


A love story in the slow lane about loss and getting lost—two childhood sweethearts take a trip via pints, ponds and pitstops to find their future on a road less travelled from Stoke-on-Trent to Wales.

Pondweed Cover
Lisa Blower

Writer, Academic & Tutor

Winner of The Guardian’s National Short Story Prize and the 2020 Arnold Bennett prize, Lisa Blower is a highly acclaimed novelist, short story fanatic, and advocate for the regional voice. A voracious reader who was given an adult library card from Hanley City library aged six, she’s been hailed by Kit De Waal as the – “natural heir to Arnold Bennett” – and often pays homage to The Potteries where she grew up.

Her work has appeared on BBC Radio 4, in the New Welsh Review, The Simple Things, Comma press, Oh Magazine, The Big Issue amongst others, and she was a contributor to the anthologies ‘Common People‘ (Unbound, 2019) and ‘Spake’ (Nine Arches Press, 2019) which celebrate the regional voice and being working-class.

She was the first writer in residence at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery where she completed ‘Green Blind’ – a reimagining of Mary Webb’s ‘Gone to Earth’ – and is currently working on her third novel, ‘The Mongrels’.

Lisa holds a PhD from Bangor University in Creative & Critical Writing where she taught for 9 years. She lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Keele.


Published Work​

Lisa is the author of two novels, ‘Sitting Ducks’ (Fair Acre Press, 2016) – shortlisted for the Arnold Bennett Prize, the Rubery Award, and longlisted for the Guardian’s Not the Booker – and ‘Pondweed’ (Myriad Editions, 2020) – a love story in the slow lane with many pond-stops on the way.

Her critically acclaimed short story collection, ‘It’s Gone Dark over Bill’s Mother’s’ (Myriad Editions, 2019) won The Arnold Bennett Prize (2020), and was longlisted for The Edge Hill Short Story Prize (2020). The collection features the prize-winning ‘Broken Crockery’ (The Guardian’s National Short Story competition, 2009), ‘Barmouth’ (shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award, 2013), ‘The Land of Make Believe’ (Highly Commended, The Bridport Prize, 2015), and ‘Abdul’ (longlisted The Sunday Times Short Story Award, 2018).

Covers of Pondweed, It’s Gone Dark over Bill’s Mother’s and Sitting Ducks by Lisa Blower


The Guardian Logo
National Short Story Competition 2009​

Win for ‘Broken Crockery’

BBC Logo
National Short Story Award 2013​

Shortlisted for ‘Barmouth’

Praise For Lisa’s Work​

Follow @lisablowerwrite​

Follow me on Instagram

Join my mailing list

Bill's Mother and Pondweed Book Covers