Best.  Day.  Ever.

I have been visiting schools since 1995 (when I was just a baby).  I have currently visited over 3000 schools, mainly in the UK but also some in other places such as Australia, New York and Canada.  As far as I know, no other children's author has visited as many schools as I have - or wants to!

I live in the Essex / Suffolk borders and so mainly I visit schools in East Anglia, London and thereabouts.  But - I also concoct tours of schools in other parts of the country on a regular basis.  Just ask and I'll find a way to be in your part of the world.

Before we go any further, please note: I don't visit private schools any more.  I used to but it always made me feel morally conflicted.  These days I choose to concentrate on visiting non-fee paying schools

A typical day:

I would typically visit your school for a day and during that day do four sessions.

Reception for 50 minutes

KS1 for 60 minutes 

LKS2 for 60 minutes

UKS2 for 60 minutes

The younger children get a mixture of storytelling, poems and joining in. There will be a lot of laughter and silliness.  I usually perform my story of The Umbrella Tree which I have been telling for nearly 30 years now. Towards the end I bring out my books and show them the sort of thing I write.  The Funny Life of Pets is always a favourite as I encourage the children to tell me their stories about naughty pets doing funny things. It is part performance, part question and answer, part talking and laughing. I am told it is always inspiring.

The older children get a mixture of stories and talk about writing. Through various comedic digressions - such as wild lollipop ladies, invisible walls, and why we have hair - I show them how I create stories from ideas and tell the story of how I came to understand that I am a writer at the age of 7.

My fee for a day varies according to where you are in the world but I think my rates are fairly standard.  Please email me and I'll give you a quote.

As well as assembly-style sessions, I am also very experienced at providing writing workshops and longer-term projects.  I am particularly good at helping children develop their ideas before they start writing and also have a very nifty workshop on editing - which is not easy to teach.

Please have a look at my blog on this site.  There are various musings on and around my visits to schools.

I am often booked as part of a book week.  I have been known to open libraries and unveil murals.  But generally I seem to get booked in as a boost to a school's creativity and morale.  Here are a load of testimonials from various schools.  You don't need to read them all.  You're probably busy.  


James was an engaging and charismatic visitor to our school. The children loved having him here and having the chance to ask question to an actual real life author. James made sure the assemblies he delivered were matched to the ages of the children and made them engaging and fun to be part of. It was fantastic to here snippets from his books and how he made sure the children could relate to what he shared. We would definitely recommend him for a school visit. Everything ran smoothly and it was fantastic to see so many children wanting to buy the books and be inspired by him.

Salisbury Road Primary School,  Plymouth.  April 2023.

We had James visit our school for the day and he was an absolute joy to have! He spent time with children from all year groups and pitched his sessions perfectly for each age group. James had us all roaring with laughter and the smiles left on the children's faces after their workshops with him were wonderful to see. Ever since James' visit, children right across the school have had their notebooks out, eager to use their imaginations and become authors themselves. Thank you, James, for a really brilliant day! 

Preston Manor Lower School, Brent. March 2023

A huge thanks for the incredible visit yesterday. Children and staff are still talking about you, your books and the jokes you told. Our lollipop lady felt like a celebrity on patrol today!   Thanks again - you made the school buzz and gave the children (and staff) a much-needed inspiration boost.

Rochford Primary School, March 2023

Thank you  for coming into Risby and working with Y6, they thoroughly enjoyed the morning and it was so lovely to hear the children laugh and see them so engaged. We are still talking about your visit now, your books are being passed round the class and being shared and enjoyed and I have incorporated so many of your ideas into my teaching. The editing part was perfect - such a simple and effective approach. We use it all the time now and I have shared it with the other teachers.

Risby Primary, Suffolk. October 2022

Everyone loved James's visit to our school. He had all the children from aged 4 to 11 in fits of giggles and the staff too! We could all relate to his stories of school and family life. His books are proving to be very popular right across the school. Thank you for inspiring us all to read and write. 

St Edmunds Primary School, Surrey.  September 2022

Still chortling.... Best. Day. Ever.

Ridgeway Primary School, Croydon. September 2022

Wow!  What an amazing visit! James captured and held our children's attention for a full hour and they still wanted more!  James is funny, silly, inclusive and addictive and many of our children have had their eyes opened to the pleasure of reading and writing.  The buzz in the staffroom from the adults matched the children's too!  Thank you, James. 

Edgar Sewter Primary, Halesworth, Suffolk. September 2022

Hillmorton Primary School were fortunate to have a visit from James Campbell, an author of children’s books. He introduced himself in such an energetic and inspiring way, in an assembly to KS1 and KS2. He retold some of his wonderful, engaging and funny stories using actions and lots of expression. The children were captivated! After school children had the opportunity to buy one of James’ books, he even signed it, children were leaving with beaming smiles on their faces.. James has inspired us all to want become exciting and funny authors. Look out for our stories in the future!

Hillmorton Primary, Rugby, Warwickshire. September 2022

James visited our school in Summer 2022. Through reading extracts from his books, answering questions and filling our school hall with laughter he was able to engage our children and take them on a writing journey like no other. His quote, "You don't have to be an adult to be a writer; start now," was particularly influential to a number of our Year 6 children who instantly started to note down ideas. We hope to see James again very soon.

Bridgewater Primary School, Salford. June 2022

Thank you for doing an excellent job of hosting the ceremony last week, despite the ever-shifting circumstances.  As ever, the feedback from schools included countless references to how much they enjoyed both the comedy, and the book discussions, as well as getting to meet you and ask you questions.  I also know that school staff were very pleased with everything you said towards the end of the ceremony about your own background, and becoming a writer.  They felt it was a very important message for their pupils.

Salford Children's Book Awards. June 2022

Thank you so much for the visits to our schools yesterday.  The kids loved it so much and everyone was thrilled that we were able to spend those few hours having such fun!”  

St Benet's Catholic Primary, Beccles, Suffolk. February 2022

Thank you for coming to visit us today. All of the children thoroughly enjoyed your visit. It was so lovely to see so many of them engaged and keen to get their own copies of your books after school too. You've delighted and inspired them. 

Toftwood Infant and Junior Schools, Norfolk. March 2022

I found I couldn't stop laughing, especially when he was talking about his encounter with a wild lollipop lady... if I could rate him I would rate him 9/10 for comedy because some of his jokes were too funny and it made my face hurt.

Y5 person at Rayleigh Primary, Essex. January 2022

More testimonials...

A fantastic day. James was able to enthuse and engage the children and as an added bonus there was a lot of laughter. I was especially impressed with how he managed to capture the interest of our most reluctant boy readers and writers and consequently inspire some really amazing and creative work. Hare Street Primary, Harlow, Essex. November 2021

James – what a fabulous afternoon the children had, thank you so much for coming along to see us!  I’m so sorry I missed you before you left but it really was a great afternoon and I’m sure the children took a lot away from it.  Goodyers End Primary, Warwickshire. November 2021

James was able to create bespoke virtual workshops for all pupils in the school, from Nursery all the way to Year 6.  The pupils  really enjoyed interactive story telling sessions. There were plenty of opportunities for the children to ask questions and discover the creative process of how to write a book. All children and teachers had a fantastic time! Sprites Primary, Ipswich. November 2020.

Just a quick note to say thank you so much for yesterday. The children really enjoyed the sessions and teachers found it particularly interesting also!  A refreshing change to the usual workshops we have to endure with the children!  Galfrid Primary, Cambridge. Feb 2020

My son, Jonas (Willows, Y1), was absolutely buzzing after seeing James Campbell. I can honestly say it has been his best day at school this year. Chantry Book Jam 2019

The children enjoyed every aspect of your visit and are enjoying reading your books at home and school. On a recent visit to the local library they told us they had ordered 25 of your books as they had had so many children asking for them! Epping Primary 2020

Thank you so much for the sessions you delivered today. They were absolutely brilliant and talking to students this afternoon they were really pleased to have been selected for this event. 1 of the students misses a lot of time from class, due to various reasons, however he stayed for the whole two hour session. I can't say thank you enough, totally inspiring and what an amazing opportunity for those students involved. I will be in touch next year! Hedingham School, Essex

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say thank you for this morning and how much we all enjoyed your visit.  My class were enthralled.  We are writing mini narratives this week and your input was perfectly timed.  Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you again in the future I'm sure. Boxford Primary, Suffolk. Oct 2019

I just wanted to say on behalf of the staff and children from Westwood and Grove, thank you so much for the enjoyment and inspiration you spread to the children during your visit.  They absolutely loved you visiting and you can’t beat the sound of children’s laughter.  Thank you for being so adaptable too. We look forward to inviting you back to school in the future. Westwood and Grove, Lowestoft. Sept 2019.

Thank you so much for an amazing morning...the staff couldn’t believe how quick-witted you were when responding to all the children’s comments and making us all laugh out loud! The children and the staff were buzzing about you all day. Trinity St Marys, South Woodham Ferrars, Essex

Thank you so much for your wonderful event yesterday. You were so funny and everyone clearly had a great time. I have been reading excerpts from your Funny Life books to my Chatterbooks book group recently and they've gone down a storm - with them and me (people may have wondered what all the chuckling was about as I prepared the sessions upstairs!) so I knew we were in for a treat especially as Emily had said how well received you were at Occold. But I didn't quite realise just how funny and inspiring you would be.  You have such a gift of being able to relate to children and really see things through their eyes.  It amused me how some of the more reticent children quietly slipped to the front as the session moved on! Felixstowe Book Festival

I can’t Thank you enough for making such a great impression on Tuesday. To see the laughter and smiles of our children was priceless listening to you talk. They have certainly been inspired and it has sparked lots of conversation.  Bungay Primary, Suffolk, 2019

We had an amazing morning with James; the KS1 children (and staff) were howling with laughter at his stories, poems and anecdotes which were accompanied by an amazing repertoire of sound effects, silly voices and facial expressions!  I really liked how James adapted his delivery for the different ages, focusing more on the writer's craft for KS2, yet still retaining his uniquely irreverent style.  We were both entertained and inspired by his sessions and I will certainly be contacting him again in the future.  A fantastic experience, well worth the money. Clare Primary Suffolk. 2019

Our team delivers an undergraduate module which supports first year students to go into schools and deliver their own sessions, improving their confidence, experience and employability. We invited James to deliver a session as part of our Cultural Careers Conference so that our students could see best practice in action. James delivered his creative writing session to a class of local primary school children where he went through various stages to help them get down on paper their creative ideas. The children, class teachers, our students, and other guest speakers from the conference were all wowed with James's session. When I took a sneak peek around the room, every single person was wide eyed and smiling or laughing. Everyone was entertained and inspired, but more than that - they were given the tools they needed to set about creating their very own pieces of writing. In the short time we gave him, James somehow supported every single child in the room and showed them their ideas were exciting and valuable. They each went away proudly with the beginnings of their own individual stories. It seemed to be one of those sessions that you would remember forever. We've since been delighted to be able to incorporate James' sessions into our Arts Education Program. Unsurprisingly, all of the schools we've worked with have given highly positive praise. I'd like to thank James for enhancing our program and we look forward to working with him again next year! University of Essex.