Lisa Blower is an award-winning writer and academic hailed by Kit De Waal as the 'natural heir to Arnold Bennett'. She gained MA with distinction in Novel Writing at the University of Manchester (1997) and has a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing (Bangor, 2010). Prior to academia, Lisa worked as a Marketing and Events Director for commercial radio (Kiss, Galaxy, Kerrang) winning 3 Sony Awards and a National Cream award for Marketing Excellence (1999).

Lisa is a champion of working-class literature and regional voices, often paying homage to The Potteries where she grew up. She's the author of 2 novels, 'Sitting Ducks (Fair Acre Press, 2016) - shortlisted for The Rubery Award, the Arnold Bennett Prize and The Guardian's Not the Booker - and 'Pondweed' (Myriad Editions, 2020). Her collection of short stories 'It's Gone Dark over Bill's Mother's' (Myriad Editions, 2019) won the Arnold Bennett Prize. She won the Guardian's National Short Story competition in 2009, has been shortlisted for the BBC Short Story Award, The Sunday Times Short Story Award, and the Bridport Prize for 3 consecutive years. 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 also a columnist for The New Issue during 2020. Lisa frequently works with a myriad of authors championing regional voices and working-class literature, and was a main contributor to ‘Where are all the Working-Class Writers? on BBC Radio 4. She is a current recipient of Arts Council England's DYCP grant for her personal essay project 'Class Half Full' which explores her working-class upbringing in 1980's Stoke-on-Trent.

Lisa was a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bangor University (2009-2019), Senior Lecturer and Programme Lead in Creative and Professional Writing at Wolverhampton University (2019-2023) before joining the Creative Writing team at Keele in Autumn 2023. Lisa is a Trustee for Writing West Midlands, the region's literature development agency, and tutors for Arvon and Ty Newydd on a regular basis.

Research and scholarship

Lisa's research specialisms are in Working-class writing; regional voices; women's self-narratives in context of autogeographical and psychogeographical practices; and short fiction. Her work on female autoblographical practices was published by Convergence (2011), and she is a member of the European Network for Short Fiction Research.

She is a current recipient of Arts Council England's DYCP grant for 'Class Half Full', a personal essay project exploring her working-class upbringing in Stoke-on-Trent.


Lisa teaches on the Creative Writing undergraduate and postgraduate programme.


Collaborations and grants awards

2016 Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts: Writer in Residence at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery producing ‘Green Blind’, a contemporary re-imagining of Mary Webb’s ‘Gone to Earth’ that tackles the politics of fracking and landownership in rural Shropshire.
2019-2020 Creative Consultant for Breaking Class Ceilings in publishing, with Dr Nicola Wilson, Reading University
2020-2023 Event appearances and workshops for Novel Perceptions with Professor Bas Groes (Wolverhampton University, Centre for Transcultural and Transnational Research)
2020-2022 Contributor to Being Human Festival (Hub status)
2022-2023 Arts Council England DYCP: Class Half Full - personal memoir project

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