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James’s talks reflect his diverse interests, and include writing, the smallholding, and mountaineering. He gives talks to U3As; Probus and WIs; book groups; schools, colleges, and universities. In fact, any room full of people!

Or indeed, online.

** Usually available at short notice **

His current talks are:

  • The Long Road to Publication – A talk about his twin careers of detective and crime writer, and why and how it took so long to publish his debut novel The Trail
  • Five hours up, five hours down: Soloing the Matterhorn
  • Losing Fingers on Ama Dablam: Climbing the 6,812 metre peak known as the ‘Matterhorn of the Himalaya’
  • Real Cop, Literary Cop – A talk about his twin careers of detective and crime writer, including an analysis of the components of crime fiction (plot to point of view to protagonist)
  • From double-glazing to crime fiction: how to sell a book (or anything) in a crowded marketplace
  • Living sustainably – is it really possible?  – Tips for eating and living more sustainably in order to combat global warming
  • I Ate My Last Herefordshire Russet This Morning – An Introduction To Growing Apple Trees (includes a demonstration of whip and tongue grafting)
  • Will Perennial Vegetables Save the Planet? – An Introduction To Growing Perennial Crops
  • The (Apple) Trees & The Bees – symbiotic relationships between honeybees, apple trees and humans
  • 6 Lessons from the Winter Smallholding – (Winter / Christmas special)including, how to make cassis; turkey-naming; the story of the Christmas Pippin apple)
James Ellson talk

Recent reviews:


Oliver Harris, course lead for the crime elective at Manchester Metropolitan University Writing School

bang up to date and topical


thought-provoking and superbly presented

Denton and Disley

A brilliant speaker

Bury U3A

highly engaging . . . a session to repeat in the future

Leicester Grammar School

always an indication how much a talk is enjoyed by the questions generated

New Mills

Please get in touch to discuss or arrange a talk