About Lisa​

Lisa Blower is a highly acclaimed novelist, short story fanatic, and advocate for the regional voice. 

Lisa Blower was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1974. She is a graduate of Sheffield Hallam University (BA hons), the University of Manchester (MA) and holds a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Bangor (2011).

Lisa has not always been a writer. She worked in commercial radio as a Marketing and Events manager from 1996-2006, launching three new regional radio licences and winning 2 Sony Awards and a National Cream Award for Marketing Excellence (2000). But then she won The Guardian’s National Short Story Competition in 2009 with ‘Broken Crockery – the story of a young girl who deals with the death of her beloved ‘Nan’ by thinking she’s in hospital with Margaret Thatcher – and then found herself on the shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award with ‘Barmouth‘ in 2013 – a story that uses the annual family holiday to her Auntie’s caravan in Wales as a vehicle to tell a life story that spans four decades.

So she just kept writing. About her childhood in Stoke-on-Trent. About the death of the Potteries. About the working-classes. About the lids that don’t fit and the spouts that don’t pour. And then a novel, Sitting Ducks (Fair Acre Press, 2016): a family saga set over 4 days around the 2010 General election.

Since then, Lisa’s stories have made The Sunday Times Short Story Award longlist and have been Highly Commended in The Bridport Prize. She has written for Radio 4’s State of the Nation series, appeared on Open Book and even made Pick of the Week. Her debut short story collection ‘It’s Gone Dark over Bill’s Mother’s’ was 9 years in the making and features stories commissioned by Comma Press, Radio 4, and The New Welsh Review.

She was also a  contributor to the widely praised ‘Common People’ (Unbound, 2019) with her memoir on growing up working-class in ‘A Pear in a Tin of Peaches.’

In 2016, Lisa was appointed the first Writer in Residence at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. where she wrote ‘Green Blind’, a contemporary re-imagining of Mary Webb’s ‘Gone to Earth’ that tackles the politics of fracking and landownership in rural Shropshire.

In 2020, Myriad Editions published Lisa’s second novel ‘Pondweed’ -a love story in later life that drew inspiration from those many road trips from Stoke-on-Trent to Wales as two childhood sweethearts reunite to embark on a journey of a lifetime.

Flyer for 'writer in residence'
Pondweed flyer

Lisa’s Creative Non Fiction and academic work is focused upon her interest in working-class fictions, the short form, regional voices and autogeographical selves. She hosted the first working-class fictions creative writing module at a UK university, and regularly contributes to panels, events and articles championing regional and working-class voices in literature such as the Common People anthology, and readdressing class ceilings in publishing.

She has been published in Convergence, long-listed for the 2017 Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize, and is a member of the Centre for Studies of Home, the European Network for Short Fiction Research and the Working-Class Studies Association.

She was also festival director and curator of the 2015 Wenlock Poetry Festivaloften looks after the amazing performers at Latitude’s SpeakEasy, and is a trustee for Writing West Midlandsalongside being a member of their Room 204 Writer Development Programme. She is an Arvon tutor, and mentor for the Word Factory Apprenticeship Scheme and New Writing South.

AWARDS​

The Guardian Logo
National Short Story Competition 2009​

Win for ‘Broken Crockery’

BBC Logo
National Short Story Award 2013​

Shortlisted for ‘Barmouth’

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Bill's Mother and Pondweed Book Covers