Ben Atkinson

A photo of Ben Atkinson sitting in a bar in Venice, Italy

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 Country Music Show 10th Anniversary

In 2018 Ben’s Country Music Show celebrated its 10th anniversary. Throughout the year Ben marked the milestone with interviews, live music and more, culminating in September with a six-week series of special shows. For these special programmes he had the chance to present with musicians and colleagues from across the last decade, including his original co-presenter on the show, Neil Castledine. The last show that was recorded was a special interview where Leicester musician John Montague took the reins and presented the programme, interviewing Ben about his ten years in broadcasting and the history of Ben’s Country Music Show. You catch up on all the shows on the website or find out about the programme here.

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 story 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 a dystopian tale set in a future London on the brink of war and it follows three soliders 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 the USA. A series of book tours followed, with Ben visiting schools and six forms around the East Midlands. 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.

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.

You can experience Charlie and the Moon for yourself by clicking this link or the image below.

Charlie and the Moon, an interactive radio drama. Click here to experience.

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