Ben Atkinson

A headshot of Ben Atkinson.

Welcome

Hopefully, you’ve stopped by to find out more about me and what I do – or maybe you’ve happened upon the site quite by accident. Either way, I’ll try and give you a little introduction as best I can.

My work broadly encompasses three areas, writing and presenting, teaching and learning and digital media. In my day-to-day role, I’m the Digital Education Developer for the College of Arts at the University of Lincoln, supporting academic staff with embedding digital technologies into their teaching and learning practice. In 2018 I gained fellowship of the HEA (Higher Education Academy) and the following year I graduated with a PGCHE from Falmouth University, Cornwall. I have a strong research interest in the history and culture of the Southern United States and the genres of country music and Americana and in 2020 I’ll be starting a PhD study in the field of ethnomusicology with the University of Lincoln’s School of Fine and Performing Arts.

My passion for America began when I started presenting a country music radio programme on a small community radio station back in 2008. Ben’s Country Music Show is a two-hour programme showcasing the best of country, roots, Americana and bluegrass from the USA and UK and it’s now broadcast on a broad cross-section of stations across the UK and Ireland, each week. I’ve had a passion for radio for well over a decade and continue to write, present and produce radio documentaries, drama and music programmes. In that time I’ve worked with numerous BBC local radio stations, commercial and community radio as both a presenter and producer. As a developer in digital media, I’ve been designing websites since the early 2000s and in 2014, after graduating with a BA(Hons) in Media Production and an MA in Digital Media, I founded Tall Lime LTD, a creative digital agency based in the heart of the city of Lincoln – a place I’m proud to call home. Since then I’ve worked with SMEs and not-for-profits across the UK and internationally to produce a range of bespoke websites, mobile apps, and graphic design pieces.

In 2008 I independently published my first novel, The Kraken’s Curse, with support from my then school, King Edward VII in Melton Mowbray. A second novel followed in 2010 called Walking on Cinders – a dystopian yarn set in a much beleaguered London, sometime in the near future. I’m pleased to say that after almost ten years, I’m now working on a new novel which I hope will be finished sometime in 2019. So that’s me. If you’d like to find out any more to explore the site. I’ve tried to include as much interesting content as I can – but if there’s something missing, or you have a burning question for me, don’t hesitate to use the contact form to drop me a line.

Thanks for stopping by,

Ben's name written in italic handwriting script.

'Cold Hard Shoulder' Album

For the past six months, Ben has been working hard in his home studio to record and produce his first album. The record will be called Cold Hard Shoulder and it’s made up of country/folk songs that Ben has written over the past ten years, plus some new tracks written during the last year.

The album’s first single, I Never Liked Coffee Before You, is available to stream now on all digital platforms and on iTunes, Apple Music, and Amazon.

On 26th May 2020, the single received its radio debut on BBC Radio Lincolnshire as part of the BBC Uploads project which features creative work produced during social isolation.

Cold Hard Shoulder will be released independently on 28th August 2020. All proceeds from the album will be donated to local NHS charities in the UK as support for their work during the pandemic.

Find out more about the album here and pre-order your copy on CD, vinyl or digitally right now on Band Camp and help Ben to raise much-needed funds for local NHS charities in the UK.

Walking on Cinders 10th Birthday!

Walking on Cinders book coverIn 2020, Ben’s second novel, Walking on Cinders, turns 10 years old. This is the novel of which Ben remains most proud, bringing together as it did so many of his interests and ideas in one story. The novel is a dystopian tale set in a future London on the brink of war and it follows three soldiers from the United army and the Forces Sweetheart, Miss Marmalade, as they find themselves at the centre of the closing days of the conflict.

Walking on Cinders, marked the launch of the ‘1000 Books To Sell’ project in 2010 and Ben set himself the challenge of selling 1000 books in a year. Through this project, Ben became one of the first authors to harness the power of social media, gaining press coverage for the campaign in both the UK and USA. A series of book tours followed, with Ben visiting schools and Sixth Forms. This was particularly special, given that the novel had been published by King Edward VII Press, a label launched to publish Ben’s work by his former school, King Edward VII, in Melton Mowbray.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Walking on Cinders, Ben has been reading the whole novel live on his Twitter account each evening during the current Covid-19 lockdown being experienced in the UK. You can find all the videos on this playlist on Ben’s YouTube channel.

After almost a decade, Ben is now working on a new novel which he hopes to complete soon. You can find out more about both novels here.

Charlie and the Moon

From 2012 – 2015 Ben was the co-director of a small radio production company, Dreaming Tiger, which focused on creating exciting and innovative radio drama and documentaries. One of the projects he is most proud of writing and producing under the Dreaming Tiger brand is ‘Charlie and the Moon’. Charlie is an interactive radio drama aimed at encouraging children to listen to radio drama. Before producing the piece it was felt that radio drama was a very adult orientated medium and that something could be done to entice children into enjoying it more. Ben and his co-director decided to produce Charlie as an interactive, digital drama where children could enjoy storybook style illustrations while listening to the piece and make choices about how the story might develop. Based on each of the choices made, the story would develop in a different way, meaning children listening would end up with their own unique radio drama to download when they had finished. Ben remains immensely proud of what was achieved with Charlie and the Moon, believing it is an approach which has not been bettered in the industry in the years since. There has been a great move towards more digital content in radio, but the children’s audience is still being left behind. He would love to create more of this kind of radio drama for children, in the future. Experience Charlie and the Moon for yourself.

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Recent Blog Posts

New Video: Humble and Kind

New Video: New Year’s Day