WORLD BOOK DAY: Lincolnshire has the write stuff

Lincolnshire author Margaret Dickinson signing copies of her book 'The Clippie Girls'.
Lincolnshire author Margaret Dickinson signing copies of her book 'The Clippie Girls'.

World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading – and this year’s event (held today) is no different.

Now in its 19th year, World Book Day was launched to bring children of all ages together to appreciate reading.

Whether you’re a bookworm or not, it may surprise you to know Lincolnshire is the birthplace and home to some high-profile as well as up-and-coming writers.

If you’re feeling inspired to pick up a good book, why not enjoy some home grown talent? Here are a few famous writers who have Lincolnshire roots to get you started:

Colin Dexter: The crime writer born and educated in Stamford is best known for his Inspector Morse novels, which were written between 1975 and 1999. His books, which are notable for his use of false leads and other red herrings, were adapted for a television series starring John Thaw from 1987 to 2000.

In the manner of Alfred Hitchcock, Dexter who was born in 1930, also makes a cameo appearance in almost all of the Morse episodes, and in some of the spin-off shows Lewis and Endeavour.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Was born in Somersby, in 1809. He was Poet Laureate during much of Queen Victoria’s reign and remains one of the most popular British poets.

Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as Break, Break, Break, The Charge of the Light Brigade, Tears, Idle Tears and Crossing the Bar. Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, such as Ulysses. A number of phrases from his work have become commonplaces of the English language, including ‘Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all’ and ‘Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die’.

• Margaret Dickinson: Born in Gainsborough, Margaret moved to the coast at the age of seven, when her love for the Lincolnshire landscape began. Her ambition to be a writer started early and her first novel was published when she was 25. This was followed by twenty-seven further titles including Sons & Daughters, Suffragette Girl and last year’s best-selling Welcome Home.

• Gavin Extence: Won the Waterstones 11 literary prize for his first book – The Universe Versus Alex Woods in 2013. Gavin was born in Swineshead in 1982 and has a PhD in film studies. His second book The Mirror World of Melody Black, which follows a young girl’s descent into mental illness, was released last year.

• Becky Wicks: Former Spalding resident Becky currently splits her time between the UK and America. Since graduating from Lincoln University with a degree in media production she’s lived and worked as a travel writer and copywriter in London, New York, Dubai, Sydney and Bali. She’s published three travel memoirs including Burqalicious – The Dubai Diaries and more recently she’s turned her hand to fiction with her Starstruck Series looking behind the scenes of fame and celebrity.

• Rae Earl: Stamford-born Rae Earl wrote My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary – based on a collection of the diaries she wrote as a teenager in the late 1980’s, which describe the tribulations of being a mad, overweight girl living in a council house with her mum and her mum’s Moroccan boyfriend. A BAFTA nominated E4 show followed based on the book. In 2013 Rae published her first fiction book OMG! Is This Actually My Life? She now lives in Hobart, Tasmania.

• Benjamin Zephaniah: Born in Birmingham, the Rasta poet and playwright has lived in Lincolnshire for several years. He is a previous winner of the BBC Young Playwright’s award and was listed at 48 in The Times’ list of 50 greatest post war writers. As well as poetry he has written many novels, children’s books and several albums.