Contact Jo

If you have a question for me, leave it in the comment section below and I’ll reply!

If you want to invite me to visit your school/festival/book group etc, please email me on

I do encourage schools to book me through the excellent service Authors Aloud, which takes all the headache out of organising events! You can find my info and booking page here:


187 thoughts on “Contact Jo

  1. Dear Jo,

    Please allow me to introduce myself as the school librarian at European School RheinMain.
    Every year I plan author visits and readings for the upcoming academic year for both – Primary and Secondary School, German and English Section.

    I am currently planning for 2017/2018 and would like to ask about the chances as well as terms and conditions for one or two readings ( Or more, in case colleagues from other schools would join).

    It usually is within our means to offer 250 (if more than one reading) – 350 EUR + travel + hotel.

    Reports about past readings at our school are to be found at

    We would be very happy to welcome you at our school and assure you of our sincere hospitality.

    Kind/Best regards
    Renate Kirmse

    Europäische Schule RheinMain
    Theodor-Heuss-Str. 65
    61118 Bad Vilbel
    Tel.: +49 61 01-5 05 66 – 25

  2. Hello Jo, Will You be doing any more book signings In Portsmouth ? My Daughter missed today when you visited her school. Kind regards Ruth.

    1. Hi Ruth – oh no! I’m so sorry, what bad luck. I’m not going to be in Portsmouth again any time soon. However, if you email me and tell me your address and the name of your daughter, I can pop a signed sticker in the post that she can stick into her book 🙂 Jo x

  3. Hi it’s Lauren (from St Thomas’ FBA- do you remember me?) As I am in year six now, I’m not in FBA anymore (which is disappointing) but still love reading and writing. I’ve read the Electrigirls loads of times and want to read more of your books- what would you recommend for 10 year olds?
    From Lauren 😀

    1. Here’s the start of a story I’ve written:

      Flames burnt, surrounding the entire ancient house. I tried to leave my bedroom, but I had no hope. My family was safe but, any moment, I was to be swallowed by deadly fire. I called for Maia. I screamed for Maia. No-one called back. “MAIA!” I shouted, “MAAAIA!!!”

      I sat up and sighed. It was all a bad dream. I hated nightmares. They were horrible and made me believe that they were real, however stupid they were.

      I slipped on my pink, fluffy slippers and my purple, spotty nightgown then tip-toed past Mum’s room to find Maia’s. I slowly pushed forward the door, letting light cover the small room. The bed was empty. “Maia!” I called as I slipped downstairs, “Are you down here?” I checked the kitchen and living room until I realised that Maia’s shoes weren’t at the back door.

      I kicked off my slippers and changed into my shoes, not caring that I had no socks on. I raced through our huge garden, past many trees and flowers. I had climbed to the top of the highest trees in my garden and there were many. Soon, I saw Maia sat on a twisted tree. I loved the spiral trees that hid at the end of our ancient garden, circling around a small fountain. All was silent apart from the tinkling of the fountain and the creak as I perched beside my sister. I lay my head on her shoulder, colliding my hazel hair to her beautifully long, wavy black curls. We both stared up at the beautiful full moon which gazed down at us, surrounded by an army of shimmering stars and an indigo blue sky fronted by the silhouettes of the curvy branched trees. An owl hooted from somewhere over the hills. How I’d like to be an owl, getting to view this beauty as I flew across the sky every night. We miss so much. My big sister placed her cold, pale hand on mine. “You best go to bed, Lilly. Have you seen the time?” she hissed. “You’re awake.” I reminded her. My twelve-year-old sister took her phone out of her nightie pocket and took a photo of the moon. “That’s my wallpaper. C’mon Lilly, lets go.”
      We held hands and ran to the back door. Despite being four years apart, me and my sis have so much in common.


    2. Hello Lauren, so sorry for late reply! Well, you’re exactly the right age for my books A LIBRARY OF LEMONS and A STORM OF STRAWBERRIES, though they’re very different from Electrigirl! I’m so glad you’re still reading and writing lots – keep it up! Jo x

      1. Thanks! I’ve had a look at them and think I should get a library of lemons (once I’ve got enough money). 🙂 😀
        ❤ Lauren

  4. Thanks for recommending a library of lemons to me 🙂 my Dad ordered it and it came on Friday. I’m on chapter 12 and I’m really enjoying it! I might read a storm of strawberries next! ❤ Lauren

    1. Hello! Um…well, it isn’t in any specific place! Or in any specific time! It could be ten years ago in London or last week in Amsterdam… Sorry, that’s probably not much help, is it! Best wishes, Jo

  5. hi im doing a school prodject on you because it is our homework to do a prodject and i cant find youre age on any website could you help

  6. Hello from the IRIS Readers Society of St Johns International School, Waterloo, Belgium.

    The IRIS readers society is a group of middle schoolers who have read a preselected group of books (12 in total) and then voted on their favourite book. They wanted to contact you and let you know that the Library of Lemons won. Thank you.

    Here are some comments from the students about your book

    “The book was fun to read and I enjoyed the perspectives of those young children. The book made me appreciate my father more. Thank you” Paul grade 7

    “The book kept me on the edge of my seat with all the twists and turns, Very well written” Sebastian Grade 8

    “The book was enjoyable to read because it had a good plot twist that kept me wanting to read more” Junki grade 7

    “This about a very nice and intriguing storyline. About a father who loves lemons. It engages the reader with the story. Anna Grade 6

    If you have the time to send a reply to them that would be wonderful. They are presenting the results in their assembly next week.

    Thank you

    Mrs Ebbs
    MHS LIbrary

    1. Oh my gosh, this is so wonderful! Thank you so much for getting in touch – I’ve just sent you an email that you can share with your students 🙂 Jo x

      1. Hii! It wouldn’t let me comment normally so i’ve replied to one of your comments aha. You came to my school today! (St leonards primary) Honestly your so inspiring and i just wanted to say thank you! Also, i just found out your 42 (from what I’ve seen lol) and I was completely gobsmacked! I actually thought you were like 20 haha! Really enjoyed listening to you talking about your books today!

      2. Hi Maddie – actually, I turned 43 in January – even OLDER!! I’m delighted you enjoyed my visit, and I really hope I gave you lots of ideas for your own amazing stories 🙂 thank you for having me! Jo

  7. Just wandered here to see if you had plans for a fourth Electrigirl book? My daughter Holly has just finished the third and has this morning taken the second to reread at school. She loved them. Thanks!

    1. Hi Colin and Holly (good name!) – I hate to tell you but there are no plans for a fourth Electrigirl book…I’m so sorry! I have loved working on them, and I had lots of ideas for future books, but my publisher felt that three was enough. I have lots of other books that Holly might like, but if she’s desperate for more action-packed prose/comic-style books, my pal Steve Cole wrote a book called MAGIC INK which works in a similar sort of way. And my 10yo daughter is a huge fan of a comic book series called PHOEBE AND HER UNICORN which is very, very funny! Jo x

  8. Hi Jo! Happy New Year! We are so excited to have you visit us for a creative writing workshop! My Year 6 class are beginning to read ‘Jelly’ this term and are already full of questions about writing and your books! Hope to send you a few letters and items before your visit from the children to give you a flavour of our fantastic bunch of Year 6 children we have this year. We look forward to meeting you at Baschurch Primary School in March!
    Thank you Claire Kovach

    1. Hi Claire, how exciting! I’m really looking forward to coming to Baschurch! Have you come across the site I built especially for Jelly? You can find it at and it has LOADS of extra stuff the children might like, along with very comprehensive teaching ideas if you want them! See you in March 🙂 Jo x

  9. Hi Jo
    We are two students at Hautes Capelles primary and were all excited to see you and get some sneak peeks at your books . if you dont mind we will ask some questions . 1, what is youre favourite book you published ? 2. we have seen that you love strictly come dancing whats youre favourite dance to do and who would you love to do it with (male dancer) ? also whats youre favourite flavour cake mine is a vanilla cheese cake and hers is chocolate cake
    thank you for your time sincerely phoenix and emelia.

    1. Hi Phoenix and Emelia! I’m so excited to come to Guernsey next week! I believe I’ll be seeing you on Friday 🙂 Excellent questions; here are my answers. 1. My favourite book that I’ve published is probably Looking at the Stars (for ages 11+) because it was the first time I’d attempted something on an epic scale and it felt very personal while I was writing it (the main character Amina is very like me!). My second favourite book is Electrigirl because it was SO MUCH FUN to work on with illustrator Cathy Brett! 2. My favourite dance on Strictly is probably the tango. (My least favourite is the samba.) I would dance with KEVIN FROM GRIMSBY because he’s adorable ♥ 3. My favourite flavour cake is chocolate, always always. Though if you add in cherries as well, and maybe some fresh cream…oooh. Or fudge. But basically chocolate. Always.
      See you next week! Jo x

  10. Hi Jo
    I have just read all 3 electrigirl books. Is there going to be a 4th?

    Thank you for writing them and for visiting us at Haute Capelles. I really enjoyed reading the books. Riley

    1. Hi Riley! It’s so great to hear from you – I loved visiting your school! I’m afraid there isn’t going to be a 4th Electrigirl book, no. I would have loved to write some more, but the publisher didn’t think they would be so popular, so the series has ended. I was really sad about it! You might enjoy ‘My Brother Is A Superhero’ by David Solomons though, or ‘Invisible Inc’ by Steve Cole – or even ‘Who Let The Gods Out?’ by Maz Evans! The important thing is to keep looking for more brilliant books you’ll enjoy 🙂 Jo x

    1. Hi Jack, ooh, good questions! Titles of books are tricky. Sometimes, like A Library of Lemons or Looking at the Stars, the title comes very early on. Sometimes, like A Storm of Strawberries or Electrigirl, the title is really hard to decide on, and the book is completed before a title is agreed with the publisher. Editors are quite good at suggesting titles, so sometimes the author and editor will have a discussion, bouncing ideas around until they find a title everyone likes. My favourite sport…I’m not a very sporty person but I’ve always liked playing badminton – oh, and table tennis! I like watching a really good football match on the TV. I prefer dancing for exercise though. What’s your favourite sport? Best wishes, Jo

  11. My favourite sports rugby and I really enjoy football running and swimming, at our school we are doing posters about you right now.

  12. Hey Jo, I was at the Hounslow Arts centre today (7.3.19) and I asked you a question about my daughter writing and you wrote down something that could help her get her stuff read etc. Unfortunately I have misplaced it and would Rey much appreciate it if you could message me on my email . Many thanks. Sharon Blanks.

    1. Hi Kangaroo. I’ve just watched one of Pewdiepie’s videos and I’m sorry but the way he talks about women disgusts me, so I won’t be subscribing to his channel. Best wishes, Jo

  13. Dear Ms. Cotterill, I came across your books when researching for an application to Didcot Girls School in Oxfordshire. Sadly, I didn’t get an interview, but having read ‘Three’s a Crowd’, I thought that it would be perfect for my Year 7 SEN nurture class, where I teach at North Oxfordshire Academy in Banbury. This is a class in which we try to help students who are far behind mainstream levels of literacy, who also struggle with behavioural issues to get up to speed enough to be able to access the mainstream curriculum. I just wanted to write to tell you how much they love the book, how engaged they are in your writing and that since we started reading it last week, their focus and joy in English is evident. Thank you! Sophie Anderson.

    1. Hi Sophie – this is wonderful to hear, thank you so much! Bad luck on missing out on the job at DGS but I know that North Ox Academy is a fab place, having visited it for the Banbury Literary Festival for several years. I’m so thrilled to hear your class is enjoying Three’s A Crowd 🙂 Barrington Stoke, the publisher, has LOADS of fantastic books for reluctant readers, including two others I’ve written for them: Takes Two, and Glee Club. In fact, I’ve got a handful of another reluctant reader I wrote for a different publisher, called Picture Him, and I’d be delighted to send you a copy. Will pop it in the post to you c/o NOA 🙂 Jo x

      1. Ooh, while I think of it, my series HOPEWELL HIGH with Bloomsbury is also perfect for your Y7 class! Do have a look – they’re all short easy reads with teen themes too.

  14. Hi Jo,
    You’ve recently visited my sons school and he was very taken with you as an author and the support you showed him during one of the small group sessions you did. Hes very interested in a book called Out that you apparently referred to and explained. It’s his birthday next week…..but I can not find the book hes referring to at all! Can you help please?
    Kind regards

  15. Dear Jo,
    I loved your book (a library of lemons).
    I think i am like Calypso because I love to read too.
    I am nine and a half years old and think I would like to
    read more of your books . Which one would you recommend next?
    I can’t wait to hear from you .
    Lois 🍋📘

  16. I like your book titles. I love jellies and lemons as well as strawberries.
    I like writing about food and desserts and snacks I enjoy that. I write poems a lot in Farsi and English. I write poems about chefs too.❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤💘💘💘💘💘💕💕💕💕💕 I Love You.

    1. Hi Kimiya! Oh wow, you write poems in two languages; that’s amazing. I don’t speak any other language apart from English. Do you mix Farsi and English in the same poem? That sounds very cool. Mmmm, desserts…isn’t food wonderful? I love watching TV cooking programmes. Thank you for your lovely message! Jo x

  17. Hi Jo, my name is Autumn and I really enjoyed reading your book “A storm of strawberries”. How did you come up with the idea?

    1. Hi Autumn, sorry for delay in replying here! (Emailing was definitely quicker, haha!) I came up with the idea for Strawberries when I was finishing work on A Library of Lemons and thinking about the sorts of things that interest me and which sorts of people weren’t often represented in books. I decided I wanted to do a book where the protagonist had a genetic disability, and Down’s syndrome seemed ideal. It actually grew out of a short story I wrote a few years before called Red Sauce and Brown Sauce, which you can find in the Girls Heart Christmas anthology, available digitally from Amazon 🙂

      1. I didn’t exactly decide to be an author! When I started writing, I was 23 and working as an actor. I took a short writing for children course, and then I started sending stories to publishers because I found I loved writing. It took me about three years to get published though! I was very lucky – I sent a picture book story to a publisher and they liked it – and bam, there was my first contract! It was amazing!

      2. Yes, I work from home. Publishing isn’t something I control. Usually, I write a whole book or part of a book and send it to several publishers (or maybe just one if it’s someone I’ve worked with before). Then they decide (fairly slowly, like over about a month) whether they want to publish it. If they do – yay! If they don’t, it’s back to square one for me, and the book is dumped…

      3. Why does it take so long to decide if they want to publish it? once you get an idea in your head and you write a story, how do you send it to a publisher?

        On Thu, Mar 26, 2020 at 12:22 PM wrote:

        > Jo Cotterill commented: “Yes, I work from home. Publishing isn’t something > I control. Usually, I write a whole book or part of a book and send it to > several publishers (or maybe just one if it’s someone I’ve worked with > before). Then they decide (fairly slowly, like over about a ” >

      4. Once you’ve written the story, you email it to the publisher. But this only works if you already know some editors or have a literary agent. For an unpublished writer, the best route is to get a literary agent. And publishers take a long time to decide whether to accept a book because they have to get everyone in the publishing team to agree that the book is good and will make money. It’s no good publishing a book that won’t sell many copies – everyone loses out that way. So there’s a lot of maths to be done along with a dollop of guesswork!

      5. I apologize I wasn’t able to reply sooner! How do you get a literary agent?

        On Sat, Mar 28, 2020 at 10:53 AM wrote:

        > Jo Cotterill commented: “Once you’ve written the story, you email it to > the publisher. But this only works if you already know some editors or have > a literary agent. For an unpublished writer, the best route is to get a > literary agent. And publishers take a long time to decide wh” > Respond to this comment by replying above this line > > New comment on * * > > > > *Jo Cotterill* commented > on Contact > Jo . > > in response to *autumnstrop*: > > Why does it take so long to decide if they want to publish it? once you > get an idea in your head and you write a story, how do you send it to a > publisher?

      6. You submit to them! Look up a literary agent’s website and they’ll have a section called ‘Submissions’. Just follow what they say 🙂 but for a list of agents, I highly recommend a book called The Children’s Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook. Jo x

      7. If I tell you it takes 5 months to ship books to Australia, that might give you some idea of why… 😉 also loads of things have to happen: cover design, illustrations (if applicable), publicity plans, marketing, not to mention several rounds of editing. One year isn’t much time at all really! Sales reps work six months ahead!

      8. Wow! Publishing a book sure is a long process! But it’s worth it in the end.I really hope to publish a book when I’m older. I love writing!

  18. Hi Jo I recently read one of your books called Jelly. I found it really gripping and was up till ten at night reading it – where do you get your ideas from?! I can’t wait to read another one of your books!

    1. Hi Bay – oh gosh, I’m so sorry I missed your message! Ideas come from all kinds of places – overheard conversations, other books, TV, documentaries, newspaper articles, photographs, paintings…ideas are the easy part! It’s squashing them into a decent story shape that’s the hard bit! Jo x

  19. Hi Jo, sorry to bother you at this weird and manic time. I have a small query but it’s driving me mad! A post on Facebook popped up on my feed – offering free access to Geeks Can’t Dance as an ebook, as part of empathy resources for schools. I think it was from Oxford Academic Press / Oxford Publishing. I thought to myself – wow that will be so useful for the parents of our new Year 7 students and I was just about to share the link when I got distracted / had to go and sort something. When I came back, I couldn’t find the post anywhere, in spite of an exhaustive search of the internet… have you heard of this? I hope you can help. I thought it was such a wonderful, generous offer. Thank you.

    1. Hello!! Oh gosh, I’m SO sorry it’s taken me so long to reply! I do actually have the rights back to the Sweet Hearts series, so you’re quite right, I should get on and do something about self-publishing them so that they can be available again! I’ll add it to my list of Things To Do! 🙂 Jo x

  20. Hello, I am an English Teacher in Japan. I am having my students send Christmas cards to people who they are fans of. One of my students is a big fan of yours. The main reason for the assignment is to give them practice writing a card, addressing the envelope and sending it. Therefore, sending an email isn’t good for this. Would it be possible to get an address where she can send your Christmas card.

    Thank you so much.

    1. Dear Christopher – yes of course, how wonderful!! Please tell the student to send it to:
      Jo Cotterill
      c/o Piccadilly Press
      80-81 Wimpole Street
      W1G 9RE

      Thank you!

  21. I just want to say thank you for your beautiful book, Jelly. It was so fortuitous that I discovered it on the library shelf (during the brief period the library was open). It has been the perfect book to share with my just-11-year-old daughter at bedtimes, opening up a needed dialogue on her frustrations of body image and physical changes. She has laughed and cried alternately throughout, so relatable were the sentiments.
    Jelly is such a great character – one whose deflective humour has enabled us to laugh through both the awkward topics of female development and Jelly’s own very real experience.
    We look forward to reading more of your books. 😍

  22. Dear Jo Cotterill
    I just wanted to let you know that I am really enjoying your book, A Library of Lemons. This book has been my favourite book I have ever read, I love the drama and the atmosphere, this book has made me love books and reading more. I would like to know what books inspired you to write ‘A Library of Lemons’ and are there any that you would recommend to me. RSVP

    Many thanks
    Lucy (age 10)

  23. Hi Jo,
    My name is Lilah and I am emailing you because I wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your book “Looking at the Stars.” It is my favourite book that I have ever read because of the story line and how emotional it was. Most of the time I find it hard to find books that interest me, but your book was the type of book that when you go to bed you stay up for hours upon hours reading and guessing what is going to happen next. I have read many books but sadly none can compare to “Looking at the Stars” so I was wondering if you had any suggestions for a book that I can read with a similar of story line.
    Thanks so much,
    Lilah (age 11

    1. Dear Lilah, what an AMAZING message, and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed Looking at the Stars. There’s a fantastic page of similar books to mine here at BookTrust: I have to confess, I haven’t read any of them! (apart from my own, of course, LOL) But Miriam Halahmy who wrote Hidden is a fantastic author and writes really well (I’ve read a couple of her other books) so I reckon that would be a good place to start 🙂 Enjoy! Jo x

  24. I am a teaching assistant at Pipworth Community Primary School in Sheffield and the secretary of the PTA. We are promoting the love of reading. We are a school in a deprived area of the city with a lot of families on free school meals. I am also trying to encourage parents to read and intend to run a book swap stall one day a week. I was wondering if you could tell our children and parents a little bit about yourself and your books. I want to introduce and celebrate different authors to our families and want to put together an author newsletter every month. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated by myself and all the children.

    1. Hi Rylee! I was inspired by watching the news on TV about the refugees coming out of Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. I was also interested to look at the way women come second so visibly in a patriarchal society, and how a ruling government can be very cruel to people who want to challenge traditional ideas. Hope this helps! Jo x

  25. Hi Jo! My name is Emma and I’m writing a book review about your book stage fight, and the other books from the book serie, because I wanna tell my class about different struggles. I just wanted to know if you’ve struggles from any disorder yourself? I’m trying to gather some information but I didn’t succeed finding out about that one from the internet so i might as well ask you myself. By the way i love your books, I struggle myself from some of the disorders you wrote about and to be honest they help me a little. Also I am not from the U.K or the U.S so sorry if you didn’t understand some word, I’m not originally speaking English.

    1. Dear Emma
      Thank you for your lovely comment. Your English is excellent! I have had a bit of anxiety over the years, combined with depression, though I’ve been lucky that it’s mostly been for short periods of time. When I was young, I was a VERY fussy eater and hated vegetables and most fruit, but I never had an eating disorder, nor have I self-harmed. I’ve been very lucky to have lots of creative opportunities to express myself, as well as a very supportive and loving family. I’m so glad to hear my books have helped you a little. One thing I’ve learned from writing is just how many people think they are alone in feeling a certain way. It’s not true – there will always, always be people who feel exactly the same way you do. Finding them and talking to them can help you to feel less ‘different’. Good luck with your book review! Jo x

  26. Hi Jo,
    I am George. I am 13 years old and I have down syndrome. I absolutely love your book, ‘Glee Club’, and I was wondering if you are planning on writing a second book?
    Thank you!

    1. Hello George, how lovely to hear from you! I’m so glad you enjoyed Glee Club. I’m sorry, there isn’t a sequel planned, if that’s what you meant. I do have lots of other books you might like though: Take Two, and Three’s A Crowd are similar in style to Glee Club. If you fancy trying something a bit longer, my novel A Storm of Strawberries has a main character with Down’s syndrome! Jo x

      1. Hi Jo,
        Thank you very much for your reply! I have ordered Take Two and Three’s a Crowd and I am really looking forward to reading them!

  27. Dear Jo Cotterill,

    Please allow us to introduce ourselves, we are year-7 students of “Saulės Gojus” school in Vilnius, Lithuania.

    Currently, we are reading one of your books (looking at the stars) and loving it! It would be a pleasure to get your takes on some of our questions and discus the book. We would love to have a video chat where our class would ask you questions about your life as a writer and your world-renowned book.

    As students we are available from 8:30 to 15:30 on all week days, we are flexible at any time within the time span.

    Thank you for considering our request, we look forward to your reply.

    Kind regards,

    Saulės Gojus year-7

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