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University lecturer books first place in regional book awards


A University of Wolverhampton lecturer has booked first place for her short story collection in a prestigious regional book awards.

Dr Lisa Blower, Creative and Professional Writing Course Leader in the University’s School of Humanities, has won the Staffordshire based Arnold Bennett Prize for her collection of short stories - ‘It’s Gone Dark over Bill’s Mother’s’.

The Arnold Bennett Prize is an annual literary award which offers a first prize of £500 to an author who lives or works in North Staffordshire and has published a book in the relevant year, or to the author of a book which features the region.

Lisa’s collection of award-winning short stories is dominated by a theme of the working-class, stoic matriarch.

Lisa said: "It's such a huge privilege to win an award that champions Staffordshire writers and supports their work. The quality of the shortlist, alongside previous winners, shows that this prize is serious business so to win it is just wonderful. And especially because this collection was nine years in the making!"

Dr Frank Wilson, Head of the School of Humanities, said: “We’re really proud of Lisa’s achievement and it’s wonderful that one of our outstanding lecturers has been recognised in this way. 

“Lisa leads her talented new team by the finest example. Together they continue to offer our students a dynamic programme of study that stands apart from our competitors for its dual emphasis on both creative and professional pathways through this subject area, with a curriculum underpinned by their record of excellence in publications and demonstrable expertise in their fields.”

Lisa was longlisted for The Edge Hill Prize 2020 for It's Gone Dark over Bill's Mother's (published by Myriad) and won The Guardian National Short Story Award in 2009. She was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award in 2013, and longlisted for The Sunday Times Short Story Award in 2018. Her fiction has appeared in The Guardian, Comma Press anthologies, The New Welsh Review, The Luminary, Short Story Sunday, and on Radio 4.  Her debut novel Sitting Ducks (Fair Acre Press) was also shortlisted for the inaugural Arnold Bennett Prize, and long-listed for The Guardian Not the Booker 2016, The Rubery Award 2016 and The People’s Book Prize 2016. Lisa’s latest novel Pondweed was published by Myriad in July 2020.

Anyone wanting to study in the School of Humanities should register for one of our Virtual Open Events in 2021.


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