Jo has managed events in the book-world for more than 20 years, dealing with everyone from Bill Clinton to Steve Backshall, via Michael Palin, Victoria Hislop and Sir David Attenborough; from Sebastian Faulks to Sue Perkins, via Mark Billingham, Kate Mosse and Jacqueline Wilson. Working with the biggest names in literature and entertainment, Jo's wealth of experience ensures events that are carefully planned, smoothly run, and enjoyable for all.


Michael Palin
Victoria Hislop
Simon Armitage
Jacqueline Wilson

jojames: events & festivals

Steve Backshall
Mark Billingham
David Attenborough
Sue Perkins


"Jo James is one of the ablest people I've ever dealt with. She is well-organised and unflappable, good with people but not tolerant of fools. She has organised very large book events for me both here and abroad and I have never found any cause for complaint. She is consistent and utterly reliable."

Michael Palin, Author & Broadcaster

“If I am taking part in any event in which Jo James is involved, I know I can relax. I know that things will run like clockwork. I know that author and customer alike will be wonderfully catered for and that only an act of God could spoil anyone’s fun. Actually, even then I think Jo could handle it...”

Mark Billingham, Author

“Jo is an extraordinary and energetic organiser – but more importantly she makes everyone feel unbelievably welcome – I always feel like I'm the only author in the room. It's such a special combination of talents. All the festivals where she is at the helm, feel like safe and calm ships.”

Victoria Hislop, Author

Jo James offers a comprehensive service covering all aspects of author events, whether you are a publisher, bookseller or author.

Jo is in a perfect position to put together and manage author tours, given her experience of handling events nationwide during the past 20 years and her extensive network of contacts in both chain bookshops and independents, publishers and the wider trade.

The offer can include any or all of the following:

  • Devising a geographical tour within restrictions of time and budget
  • Recommending and booking accommodation and transportation
  • Researching and implementing marketing and PR opportunities within limitations of budget
  • Liaison with bookshops and venues
  • Accompanying authors on the tour or to individual events
  • Setting up and running one-off events.



Jo James offers a completely flexible approach to Festivals in terms of activity undertaken and time involved.

Jo has a wealth of experience to draw on in virtually any area with practical knowledge gained from 20 years of running and managing events, author care, team management and project planning. She is able to offer a time commitment that can vary and build according to a Festival’s needs.

Key Festival skills:

  • Events management – 20 years of experience, running events from the smallest to the largest
  • Author care – working with authors
    and their teams
  • Programming – whether it’s a number of events embracing a single theme, or a one-off event that’s a bit more unusual
  • Team building and leadership – management and development
  • Project management – planning, scheduling and implementation, ensuring projects stay on track
  • Calm, logical and practical – a problem solver, with an ability to keep teams focused on priorities.

“If I were an author, I would want Jo looking after me; that’s why she has been involved in author care at Emirates Airline festival of Literature since 2011. She brings happiness, peace and first-rate organisational skills into the Green Room, creating an atmosphere where everyone can flourish and relax. Her true worth lies in her ability to treat all equally and make everyone feel valued and important.”

Yvette Judge
Assistant Director,
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

"Stanfords engaged Jo James to manage the first ever Stanfords Travel Writers Festival held at The Destinations Show at Olympia in 2015. She is an absolute delight to work with, bringing professionalism, calm, organisation and, most importantly, humour to what could be a stressful time for all involved. Jo didn’t just “come to the table” – she bought bundles of enthusiasm and ideas to it too. I couldn’t recommend Jo’s services highly enough."

Tony Maher
Managing Director,
Edward Stanford Ltd

“Jo is a great asset to the Literature Festival, regularly contributing to the team as a freelance programmer, where she shows great skill in programming everything from panel discussions to complex celebration events featuring food, music and comedy. She is a clear communicator, never missing a deadline, and she takes a flexible approach to contracted work, being happy to roll her sleeves up and tackle a new task should the need arise. Jo also hosts our Writers' Room every year, where her calm, friendly and amazingly efficient stewardship of this vital space is greatly appreciated by the hundreds of writers who pass through every October, and by the in house team who can't imagine Cheltenham without Jo.”

Nicola Tuxworth
Head of Programming, The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival




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events & festivals