Jan grew up in Ayrshire and has been a journalist for over 30 years, writing for a diverse range of publications, from TV Quick to the Sunday Times. Today, she combines journalism with communications consultancy work. Since 2008, she has written a regular visual arts column for The Herald newspaper and appears as an arts expert on television, radio and in podcasts, writing and talking about art in what she hopes is a non-pretentious way.

She studied English and Scottish Literature at Aberdeen University in the 1980s and has been a bookworm for as long as she can remember. Her late father, a Church of Scotland minister, taught her to read from the Bible when she was three years old because the verses were short and he thought she could memorise them. He was right! She co-wrote Arrivals and Sailings: The Making of George Wyllie, a biography of the renowned Scottish artist, George Wyllie, with his elder daughter, Louise. It was published by Polygon Books in 2016.

Jan regularly chairs events at book festivals; including the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She is co-chair of Women in Journalism Scotland and has a wide and varied presence on social media. Her black lab, Archie, even has his ow Twitter feed called @TheBaldBoy. Jan worked behind the scenes at BBC Scotland on the launch of the new(ish) BBC Scotland channel and she also helped to organise the BBC Expert Women initiative in Scotland which equips women to be confident contributors to television, radio and online.

Listen to Jan Patience on the Read All About It podcast HERE


1. Favourite book from childhood
Heidi by Johanna Sypri

2. Favourite book from formative years
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

3. A book you’d recommend to anyone
Poem for the Day: Volume 1 (Edited by Nicholas Albery)

4. A book you couldn’t be paid to read again.
The Shack by William P. Young

5. The last book you read or are currently reading
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (audio)
Motherwell by Deborah Orr (print)