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jojames: festivals & events


Jo has managed events in the book-world for more than 30 years, dealing with everyone from Bill Clinton to Steve Backshall, via Sir Michael Palin, Victoria Hislop and Sir David Attenborough; from Sebastian Faulks to Sue Perkins, via Mark Billingham, Kate Mosse and Dame 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.

Sir Michael Palin
Sir Michael Palin

Actor, Comedian, Writer, and Television Presenter

Victoria Hislop
Victoria Hislop


Simon Armitage
Simon Armitage

Poet, Playwright, Musician and Novelist

Dame Jacqueline Wilson
Dame Jacqueline Wilson

Novelist, known for her children's literature

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Steve Backshall
Steve Backshall

Naturalist, Explorer, Presenter and Writer

Mark Billingham
Mark Billingham

Novelist, Actor, Television Screenwriter and Comedian

Sir David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough

Broadcaster, Biologist, Natural Historian, Author

Sue Perkins
Sue Perkins

Actress, Comedian, Presenter and Writer.


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 30 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 – 30 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 or indeed programming an entire festival.

  • 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 has worked with Jo James since 2015 when she managed our first Stanfords Travel Writers Festival at the Destinations Show. Jo has managed every Stanfords Festival since and now helps us with two other shows. She is held in high esteem by the Stanfords staff, the authors she invites and the show organisers. Jo brings calm and humour to her work and motivates all those she meets to be best in class. I can highly recommend Jo and the work she does."
Vivien Godfrey, Chairman and CEO, 
Edward Stanford Group Limited

“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

Cheltenham Festivals Backdrop


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 30 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 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."
Sir 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



Cheltenham Festivals Logo
London Evening Standard Logo
Chiswick Book Festival Logo
Stanfords Logo
Cunard Logo
Queens Park Book Festival Logo
Stratford Literary Festival Logo
Beach Scene Backdrop

“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.”

Sir Michael Palin, Author & Broadcaster

contact me!

For further details on any of the services listed or to request a personalised quotation please feel free to contact me at:

Jo James Portrait
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