Sitting Ducks up for People’s Book Prize

Sitting Ducks has been nominated for The People’s Book Prize 2016.

This national competition is aimed at finding, supporting & promoting new and undiscovered works. With a deadline for support being 31 August 2016, the novel is already receiving great comments on their website:

Wonderful, funny, sad and sinewy novel about a family trying to hold on to their home and their dignity in Britain today.
Great characterisation. Lucid and convincing style. Empathic.
Simply the best book I’ve read this year.
Feisty, funny, three dimensional This is a page turner, completely real, yet playful I wouldn’t have thought I would be engaged with the subject matter but it is such a good read I couldn’t put it down (and we had visitors…)!!


To find out how to vote and pledge a little support for Sitting Ducks, please go to:

Thank you x

Latitude Festival 2016

Lisa is thrilled to be reading at this year’s Latitude Festival.

Reading from ‘Sitting Ducks’ with Q&A on Saturday July 16th in the Shed of Stories, Lisa joins a whole host of celebrated writers, literary heavyweights, top wordsmiths and up-and-coming talents who wield wit and wisdom in a multitude of genres.

Lisa to host workshop at Hanley Library

Hanley Library

Lisa will be hosting a creative writing workshop on Saturday June 4th at Hanley Library, a place that meant an awful lot to her as a little girl growing up in Baddeley Green. The workshop will be followed by a reading + Q&A from her debut novel Sitting Ducks.

Focusing on the subject of ‘Literature and Place’, the workshop is designed to get writers really thinking about why they choose the settings they do.

“Certain places, be it a city, a village, a room, or even a chair in a particular café; they can suddenly take on a whole new meaning when you really start to think about why you want to write about it,” she says. “I’ve drawn upon my childhood in the Potteries for much of my fiction over the past six years and yet I only truly lived there for just over a decade. I ask myself a lot why the city has had so much impact upon me, but it does. It just keeps on feeding me stories and that is so inspirational to a writer.”

As well as offering ideas on how to create an engaging sense of place in fiction, Lisa will be reading from her debut novel ‘Sitting Ducks’ which is set in the fictional Bennett Road but in the heart of a factual Stoke on Trent. She is thrilled to be able to do this in the library she frequented as a girl and speaks of being given an adult library card owing to the amount of books she used to take out. “I used to literally pour over the books before I made my choices,” she says. “And then having that stamp at the front to know when you had to read them by… I’d be there a week early every time!”

To book a place on Lisa’s workshop, call 01782 238455 or email

Lisa to support award winning Luke Wright

Lisa has confirmed that her first public outing with Sitting Ducks will be in support of the performance poet Luke Wright on his Shrewsbury leg of the award-winning tour of ‘What I Learned from Johnny Bevan’.


Presented by The Chairhouse at the Wightman Theatre Shrewsbury on Saturday May 14th 2016, this is a first  for the two working class writers who both tackle the death of New Labour through stories of friendship, family, the housing crisis and one very bad idea for a festival. Luke’s hour long performance has been wowing the theatre world since it made it’s UK premiere at Wenlock Poetry Festival in 2015 and then went on to win the Edinburgh Fringe First Award for new writing and The Stage Award for acting excellence. He is also on the road supporting the indomitable Dr John Cooper Clarke in May.

Lisa, an award-winning short story writer, is already receiving critical praise for her debut novel. With support from writer and BBC Broadcaster Stuart Maconie and literary sensation Niall Griffiths, this will be Lisa’s first public reading of Sitting Ducks.

Tickets are priced at £14 and are  now on sale from or from the following Shrewsbury outlets:

Left for Dead Records, Wyle Cop

Beatnik, Coleham

Birds Nest, Market Hall

Chairhouse logo

Writer’s Networking Session with Lisa Blower and David Calcutt


Writer’s Networking Session

Saturday 26th March 2016


Join Writing West Midlands and two guest writers for a free morning of discussion and networking for emerging and established writers at the Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. This is a great opportunity for writers to meet one another, share ideas and enthusiasms, and hear from industry professionals.

Lisa Blower is an award winning short story writer whose debut novel, Sitting Ducks, is out now with Fair Acre Press. She is also the museum’s first writer in residence embarking upon her second novel. David Calcutt is a poet, playwright and writer of fiction for children and young people. His one man play, The Life and Times of the Tat Man, is currently on tour, and he has recently finished a new commissioned play for Regional Voice Theatre, The Ballad of Rough Moey and the Darlaston Dog Fight.

Free event but booking required. For more information please click here

A novel approach to a residency

Phil Gillam: Shrewsbury novelist’s novel approach

Thanks to the many cookery programmes on television these days, we’re all well used to chefs and bakers explaining to us in great detail how they concoct their most delicious dishes. But imagine a novelist taking this approach: showing us all their notes and scribbles and ideas and scraps of paper before embarking on the process of writing a book.

Imagine also being able to drop in on this author from time to time and see the progress being made; being able to observe the writer abandon some notions while embracing others, developing characters, crafting plot-lines. Well, you won’t need to imagine this. You’ll be able to witness it. How come?

Well, Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery will be welcoming Lisa Blower as its first Writer in Residence this spring. From March 14 until June 12, Lisa will be drawing inspiration from the Mary Webb Society’s exhibition, ‘Treasures: The Literature and Landscape of Mary Webb’s Shropshire,’ to create a contemporary reimagining of Mary Webb’s Gone To Earth. And Lisa will be writing live on The Gallery at the museum every Tuesday and Thursday, 10am-3pm, without the aid of a safety net!

“It’s a little terrifying,” Lisa confessed to me the other day over a mid-morning latte in a favourite coffee shop. “I’ve never done anything like this before. People will be able to come along and see something of the writing process as it happens. “This is a complete departure for me in every sense,” says Shrewsbury-based Lisa of the task ahead of her. “I’ve been knee-deep in working-class fiction for the best part of six years, so it will be a real challenge to reimagine a classic work and bring it up-to-date for a modern readership, let alone be writing in the spotlight. It’s funny. People always class me as a working class author and you read Gone To Earth and it really is about class.”

Lisa, who won the Guardian National Short Story Competition in 2009, was shortlisted for the BBC Short Story Award in 2013 and was Guest Curator for the 2015 Wenlock Poetry Festival. She will start her residency at Shrewsbury Museum with an empty desk and bare walls. Visitors will be able to observe the novel writing process from the beginning to the reveal of her first chapter on June 12.

Over 12 weeks, she will publicly share her research, methods and practice, as well as hosting a six-week novel writing course, launching the museum’s monthly book club, and be twice “In Conversation” with Mary Webb Society President and Mary Webb’s biographer, Dr Gladys Mary Coles, who will share her internationally-regarded expertise on Mary Webb and her novels.

Lisa told me: “The idea is that I tell Gladys Mary how I read Gone To Earth and how I interpreted it and Gladys Mary will tell me how she read it and interpreted it. I would imagine our views might be quite different. I see it as a feminist text.”

To find out more about Lisa’s six-week-long novel writing course (the cost is £79) – email

Meanwhile, Lisa is planning an entirely separate event on May 14 at The Wightman theatre – just off The Square and next door to Carluccio’s restaurant. “I will be giving a 20-minute reading and the brilliant performance poet Luke Wright will then present his work so it should be a really good night.”

From Shrewsbury Chronicle, February 10 2016

Sitting Ducks official launch at Hot Air 2016


Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival

Hot Air 2016, Stoke Literary Festival will host the official launch of Lisa’s potteries-based novel, Sitting Ducks.

The Stoke-born author will be in conversation with Dr Catherine Burgass, a Lecturer in English and Honorary Research Fellow at Staffordshire University, on Saturday June 11th at 3pm. Catherine, a regional literature specialist in Stoke’s literary culture, past and present, is particularly excited to be working this year with Lisa; an author who is breathing new life into Stoke’s distinctive literary tradition.

Lisa is equally thrilled to have the opportunity of discussing her novel in the city where she grew up and which continues to inspire much of her work. From the award winning Broken Crockery to the BBC shortlisted Barmouth and acclaimed monologue Pot Luck written for Radio 4’s State of the Nation series, Stoke on Trent has been an important setting for Lisa. “Liverpool. Manchester. Birmingham. The cities of the North east and Nottingham: all have been given a voice by writers over the years,” she says. “Even though I spent only ten of my earliest years living in The Potteries, the impact it has had upon me, particularly its people, has come to be the first point of call for every story I want to tell.”

To hear more about Lisa’s work and how and why Sitting Ducks was written, click here for tickets to this event.

Lisa to host 6 week Novel Writing Course

Mary Webb picture


As part of Lisa’s residency at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, registration is now open to enrol on her exclusive 6 week Novel Writing Course.

Lisa will be running 2 sessions from Monday April 11th to Monday May 23rd 2016 (with a break for May day Bank Holiday on May 2nd):

  1. 12pm-2pm
  2. 6pm-8pm

The course is open to all writers of all stages though focus is upon composing a longer work of prose. Lisa will take you through the narrative processes of novel writing, from cementing concept and context, to managing multiple characters with multiple storylines, to helping with structural decisions and narrative voice, to advice on how to overcome the so-called tricky middle bit.

So if you have started a novel, got an idea for a novel, have always wanted to write a novel, or simply to brush up on your creative writing skills, why not enrol now and write alongside Lisa as she shares her technical approach and narrative strategies.

Sessions will take place at Shrewsbury Museum amidst the exhibition Lisa is using to inspire her second novel, a contemporary reimagining of Mary Webb’s Gone to Earth.

The course fee is £79 which includes feedback from Lisa on up to 3000 words of your novel.

To register your interest, please email


Literary Salon at Sedgley Library

“Wonderful, lots of good suggestions and ideas for reading.”
“So interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts about books they’ve read.”
“A frank exchange of divergent views and a good introduction to unknown works.”
“An excellent opportunity to discuss books and literature. Good to see the library used by the community.”
“Interesting and engaging author. Great group of people enthusiastic discussion, loved the questions ideas and the tags for suggestions.”

Lisa will be hosting a third of her popular Literary Salons at Sedgley Library on Monday February 29th 2016 at 2pm.

Why not join Lisa to talk about the books you love to read and love to hate? In keeping with Valentines, Lisa is also requesting that you bring along a book given to you by a loved one, or a book you gave to a loved one.

The event is free and includes refreshments, so why not join us for an informal afternoon of literary nattering?

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