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Milly Johnson

Milly Johnson is a Sunday Times top ten bestseller and international author of women’s fiction. She is also a columnist, copywriter, joke writer, poet and popular after dinner speaker. Her speeches are superb, highly entertaining and memorable for all the right reasons.


About Milly Johnson

Milly Johnson was born and bred in Barnsley (of Glaswegian parentage) and educated at the local girls school. She attended Exeter University where she gained a degree in Drama and Education.

Never quite brave enough to fully pursue the career she wanted – to be an actress – she hedged her bets with an academic degree. But at Uni, after spending summers in Wales with a load of actors, she realised that acting was not the glamorous career she was hoping for so she turned more to her equal love of writing. That said she didn’t actually believe for a second that ordinary girls like her from northern working class backgrounds and no connections ‘made it’.

She turned to teaching which she didn’t enjoy and began training as an accountant – which had to be the worst job mismatch in history. Other boring jobs followed which were never going to satisfy as she knew that only writing books would make her happy.

In 1986 Milly rang around greetings card firms hoping to earn some pin-money by writing jokes and poems for the industry. She was contacted by a firm who set her on writing four-line humorous verse on a range that they foresaw being very successful – Purple Ronnie. She was one of the first writers on the project and worked occasionally writing copy until it became her full-time job in 1998 when she was made redundant whilst a month pregnant.

She had no success with the manuscripts she was sending in (the first one was a paranormal romance – she was ahead of her time it seems). She knew she could write, but couldn’t find her niche. And she kept giving up to concentrate on the day job, only for the urge to reappear and she would start again.

Milly married in 1995 and had two sons. She separated from her partner in 2000 and was a single parent of two small boys writing rude jokes, poems and ditties for a living – and a very good living it was too. Milly joined Hallmark as a chief copywriter but eventually moved on to pastures new.

In the year of her 40th birthday, she decided to give the book thing one last crack and started penning a story about three pregnant friends, as she had been pregnant with both of her best friends. Milly sent off the manuscript, an agent snapped her up and found her a deal with a publisher immediately, and 2013 saw the release of her 9th book.

Like any astute author she has learned to be very PR savvy. Milly befriended her local newspapers, wrote free columns for them in exchange for advertising lineage. She is a regular on BBC Radio Sheffield for whom she occasionally presents for, it was also where she built up her following. She then appeared on BBC Breakfast news discussing Valentine’s Day greetings cards for the first time in 2007 and in 2010 she applied to do Come Dine with Me in Barnsley, got through the audition and ended up winning it. In 2012 she was invited to appear with Keith Lemon on his prime time TV show LemonAid – where she was hoisted up in a chair to appear for the full length of the show thirty feet up.

Milly has had many short stories printed in magazines and appeared in countless local, regional and national newspapers, and she writes a column for the local glossy. She’s an avid Twitterer and networker and is in much demand for speaking at functions – from charity events to Bishops’ Breakfasts, commanding large audiences and appearing on Radio Sheffield almost every week. She absolutely loves speaking – which appeals to the now-much-braver-actress in her.

Her books are available worldwide and she is one of the Sunday Times top ten list of bestsellers.

‘Milly Johnson’ is now recognised as a brand by her publishers and  was shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan Romantic Comedy Award.

To book Milly Johnson, contact The Speakers Agency on +44(0)1332 810481 or email

Speech Topics
  • Where Writers Find Inspiration
  • The Cruising Life (and what happened when I missed the ship!)
  • The World of Greetings Cards
  • From Barnsley Schoolgirl to Best Selling Novelist – a wannabe writer’s journey
  • Happy Talking – a speech about cheerfulness and Happy Ever Afters
  • Christmas for Women
  • How to write a book – a crash course.
  • All about January – an entertaining talk about this most unpopular of months
  • Romance for Beginners – how this writer was inspired to write about love
  • Yorkshire!
  • Poetry – a talk featuring Milly’s poems and the inspiration behind them
Booking Information

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