EAST Lancashire-raised author Jeanette Winterson has said she hopes young girls watching her receive a CBE will feel inspired.

Winterson, who became famous with her first book Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit based on her experiences growing up in Accrington, received the honour at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.

The 59-year-old former Accrington and Rossendale College student said: "I think it's more of a gender thing at the moment, after the #MeToo movement, it's a great time for women.

"We've been written out of history and so overlooked and ignored for so long, so I think everyone who can stand up and be a model to other women and say, 'Look, this is for you as well as the guys', to me that's what really matters.

"I want young girls to feel just as empowered and just as powerful and that they can do whatever they want to do and that they will be recognised for it.

"For me, that's what it's about, and that's a great thing."

The novelist collected the honour for her services to literature from the Duke of Cambridge, after she was named in the Queen's Birthday Honours list this year.

Winterson said women being honoured alongside men sends a "powerful message" to young people.

She said: "If you were a Martian and looked on TV or whatever, you would think that 70% of this planet was male and it's not.

"For young people to see that there's equality in opportunity, that's the message I want to send."

Winterson also said she is in the middle of finishing a new book, which she said is "consuming (her) whole identity".

She said: "I woke up yesterday and thought, 'I'm going to the palace tomorrow, I'm not ready!'

"It's wonderful to be here for this great thing and I think no matter what your politics are, whether you're a republican or monarchist, whether it's right or left, you feel a sense of achievement and being connected to something."

Asked about her new work, the award-winning novelist said her next book is about artificial intelligence and gender.

She said: "Shortly we'll be sharing our world with non-biological lifeforms and, interestingly, what's that going to do to gender?

"How can you have binaries when we've created lifeforms which don't have binaries?

"We're coming to a very exciting moment and a lot of the forms will fall away and if you're a writer, which by definition means you're a dreamer, to see that you're on the cusp of a big change in society is very exciting."