Libby James

Writer. Runner. Teabag Recycler.


Libby writes because people fascinate her. Being a writer gives her a legitimate reason to be nosey—to find out all she can about people and what makes them tick. For more than 30 years she’s been a freelance feature writer and she’s also served a couple of stints as a lifestyle magazine editor. She currently writes for the North Forty News, a rural paper based in Wellington, serving the adjacent mountain communities. She writes a monthly Running Life column for the Fort Collins Coloradoan and a weekly blog at AdLibs (

She also writes fiction, primarily for upper elementary to middle school children. Below are a few recent works. For ordering information, go to Books & Publications.

Frisbee Dreams

Frisbee Dreams by Libby JamesFrisbee Dreams describes the journey of an underachieving couch-potato girl into a whiz with a Frisbee and a self-confident athlete. Addresses issues of intergenerational friendship and sibling/peer rivalry. Middle grade fiction.

(Middle grade fiction.)


Running Mates

Running Mates by Libby JamesRunning Mates features an eccentric old granny who wants to run a marathon and her reluctant-runner grandson who she coerces into helping her. They both grow and change in the process. 

(Middle grade fiction.)


Muffin Magic

Muffin Magic by Libby JamesMuffin Magic, a picture book for 4-8 year-olds, stars Adam who hates to move and finds a way to get his dad to stay in one place. He uses muffins to do it. Addresses cooking, single-parenting, and the pain of frequent relocating.


Libby James, out for a runLibby began her running career at age 35 by getting up early enough to run a single mile before she got her four kids off to school. She did that for five years.  In the 1970’s there weren’t many women runners of any age, and very few over forty, her age when she began to race in 1976. A little success spurred her on to try a marathon ”because running 26 miles sounded so impossible.” She ran the Denver marathon in 1978 fast enough to win her age group, and she’s still at it, running almost every day and competing more than a dozen times a year.

She holds American and world records in distances from 5k to half-marathon and has taken home hardware and cash as a top “age-graded” runner. She says it pays to get old and keep running. In 2012 she was inducted into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame, at which she acknowledged the people that have supported and inspired her to keep running.



Butterfly card by OldBagsWhen she’s not writing or running, Libby spends time repurposing used tea bags, using them as small canvasses to adorn note cards and bookmarks.  It suits her lifelong affinity for frugality and her need to recycle. While she claims that what she does with tea bags is not art, she admits that it is “something.” She loves to experiment with different shapes and sizes of tea bags, sometimes tearing them into strips, using gel pens, water colors and black ink to transform them. Libby makes her art pieces available under her business alias, "OldBags."

Read "OldBags Rejuvenates Empty Tea Bags As Art," by Phil Lindeman

To view Libby's creations and learn how order, visit Tea Bag Art.