James Catchpole

James Catchpole

James Catchpole is a literary agent and author of What Happened to You?

James is a literary agent and author.

James is reluctant to describe himself as an author, having only written one picture book, so it’s lucky his wife is writing this page instead.

Faber’s biography of James is pretty accurate:

James Catchpole was destined to be either an itinerant singer or an amputee footballer. He managed to get off the substitutes’ bench a couple of times for the England Amputee Football Team, and also busked around Provence with a guitar (another profession where it actively helps to have one leg), but reached the limits of his talent in both fields by his mid-twenties, and so joined the family business of children’s books.

He now runs The Catchpole Agency with his wife Lucy, and represents authors and illustrators of children’s picture books, non-fiction and novels, including Polly Dunbar, SF Said and Michelle Robinson. Lucy and James live in Oxford with their two young daughters, the eldest of whom is firmly convinced she will be joining the business too – but at six, she has plenty of time to recant.

If you’re interested in What Happened to You? we made this video about it back in 2020. (So young! So pre-pandemic.)

You’re SO Amazing – a sequel co-written with Lucy – comes out May 2023 in the UK (Faber) and 2024 in the US (Little, Brown).

Things James has said / written

We Need Diverse Books
A personal essay by James.

BBC Breakfast

On children, disabled people and loud questions.

Moon Lane TV
James reads his book. Child friendly!

National Book Tokens
asked James for a version of our KidLitCripCrit list – 7 illustrated children’s books about disability

Book Riot
The current state of disability representation in children’s books – interviewed by Margaret Kingsbury.

James may be available for

  • School visits
  • High offices of state (you never know)
  • Wedding singer 🙂
  • Diversity consultancy – disability in children’s books