About Us

Speaking of Books is a family business started nearly 25 years ago (or thereabouts) by Jan Powling – our Founder – and Ellie’s Mum! A sparkling client list (most of whom are still with us today, we’re happy to say) joined us and others have been welcomed along the way.

Speaking of Books is well-known and trusted for having a deliberately small and hand-chosen client list. We know that education budgets need to be spent very, very wisely. Our aim is to ensure that every Speaking of Books event is a massive success for our most important clients, the children in schools! We deliver this by selecting only the very best clients together with exceptional planning and organisation of each event.

Our communication is responsive, friendly, efficient and reassuring. We are your partner in producing an excellent event in school or at your festival or conference.

About Ellie

Ellie started her career at the breakfast television station GMTV where she stayed for a few years before enjoying a variety of opportunities across the media industry including working for Classic FM, BBC Television and the magazine publisher, IPC Media.

In about (we think) 2002 she joined Jan in the family business, has never left and now runs things day-to-day!

Ellie gave 16 years to being a school governor, including taking on the role of Chair of Governors at a London primary school.  She is passionate about education, supporting teachers and all who work in schools and ensuring people (especially children) thrive. It’s what’s at the root of everything she does!

She has two children and one daft dog called Digby (who is a therapy dog through the Pets As Therapy ‘Read to Dogs’ initiative).

I have been working with Speaking of Books for about twenty years and I can only say that they are brilliant, utterly professional, very well organised and above all support and protect their authors from the slings and arrows of outrageous demands. They handle everything (except packing your case) from home to work and back plus all the fiddly bits in-between like negotiating with festivals, schools, hotels, etc. I used to handle my own bookings myself so I know exactly how brilliant they are.

Jeremy Strong

Working with Speaking of Books to give our children exciting and inspiring opportunities is absolutely fantastic. Ellie and the team have been key to building our school as a reading school by helping us to get some of the most prolific and well-known children’s authors to not only visit but to become part of our community. Speaking of Books is a well-run, organised, inspiring and personable agency who have made the organisation of whole school events a breeze for me.

Cathy Spence

Reading Lead, Great Malvern Primary School