James Smart

Writer and editor

United Kingdom

Hello! I'm an award-winning writer, editor and consultant. And I'm available for freelance work. Some recent projects:

• commissioning Lonely Planet's relaunched England, Britain and Devon & Cornwall guidebooks

• editing illustrated DK books including LGBTQ+ History and How to Be Good at English

• B2B articles on cybersecurity for Mimecast

• graphic novel and new fiction reviews for the Guardian

I'm a former Managing Editor at Lonely Planet and an award-winning arts critic. Editing clients at Reedsy have described me as 'a true editor', 'incredibly thorough' and doing 'a perfect job'. I also write about branding, design, music, travel, healthcare, sport and history. You can read some of it below.



the Guardian
Best comics and graphic novels of 2021

ver the last 12 months, graphic novels have explored everything from injustice to hedonism. But perhaps unsurprisingly in a year that saw many reflect on their lives, a crop of fine memoirs dominated the shelves. The biggest event of the year was the return of Alison Bechdel.

Great Cities

Stunningly illustrated biographies of the world's greatest cities, packed with paintings, photographs, maps, and artifactsDelve into the social and cultural history of over 75 of the world's most important cities.From the first towns in Mesopotamia to today's global metropolises, cities have marked ...

the Guardian
The Raptures by Jan Carson review - visions in a Northern Irish village

wo strange things happen in a Northern Irish village in the summer holidays of 1993. First, Hannah's classmates start dying. Then, one by one, they return to haunt her. There's a pattern to the deaths. Strange lumps cluster on the victim's skin, they become feverish, then their organs fail.

the Guardian
What You Can See from Here by Mariana Leky review - a tonic in troubled times

he okapi lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, its glossy brown body sloping up from zebra-striped legs. It's an unlikely presence in western Germany, but that's not why Selma is unsettled when she sees one, calmly wandering the woods of the Westerwald in her dreams. Selma is scared because every time she dreams an okapi, someone dies.

8 impactful branding trends for 2022 - 99designs

What do mischievous mascots, disco balls, monograms and rustic lettering have in common? These inventive, engaging themes all make our list of the top branding trends for 2022. We sampled opinions from our global community of graphic designers, and their selection illustrates the many different ways people and brands are responding to a pandemic-dominated 2021.

the Guardian
In. by Will McPhail review - only connect

Will McPhail's funny, shrewd cartoons often feature animals - amorous crocodiles, sly mice and bickering lizards - and cast a curious eye on human behaviour. He started drawing for Private Eye while still at university, and sketches regularly for the New Yorker; his Instagram feed is a parade of sharp ideas.

Travel & Lifestyle

Culture Trip
Adrenaline Junkies: Jump Off the Iconic Kjerag, Norway

This monumental 1,110m mountain near Stavanger is popular with hikers and photographers, who come here for stunning views of the fjords and mountains, plus the chance to stand on a boulder wedged above the abyss. Its northern cliff drops 984m almost straight down, and it's one of the world's most iconic BASE jump sites.

Lonely Planet
The Best Things to Do in Scotland

Scotland often feels bigger than it is. That’s in part because of its impact on the world – think Edinburgh’s cultural clout and or Speyside’s famous whiskies – but it’s also because of the sheer range of things to do here.

Lonely Planet
The 5 most beautiful road trips in Scotland

Roads in Scotland are generally good, and driving is a great way to connect the country's finest sights. Having a car also frees you up to head away from the main tourist destinations, whether for a stroll along a remote coastal trail or a pit-stop for fresh farm produce.

Culture Trip
Pizza's Newest Controversial Topping: Marmite

Pizza toppings can be controversial. Chocolate, clams and eggs are all used (and abused) on pizzas. Icelandic president Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson whipped up a storm when he said he would like to ban the pineapple-toting Hawaiian style. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promptly tweeted that he thought it "delicious".

Commercial writing

Get Cyber Resilient | Cyber Security News

Get Cyber Resilient is the go-to resource for cyber professionals in Australia and New Zealand. From cyber attacks to data breaches, businesses need to build cyber resilience to take on the challenges in an increasingly tech-driven world.

Iceland Holidays 2022 | easyJet holidays

If you're after natural drama, look no further than Iceland holidays. Volcanoes and glaciers dot this epic island's surface, and North Atlantic waves scour its shores. Visitors are waking up to its unique culture and inspiring landscapes - showcased in numerous films and TV shows, including Game of Thrones.

Health Tech Newspaper

Writing overviews based on presentations from health service thought leaders.

Etesian Green Shelters
Why we need more than zero-emission buses to meet net-zero

"Net zero" means that the amount of greenhouse gas produced is equal to the amount being taken out of the atmosphere. It's become a vital part of our fight against climate change, and in 2019 the UK became the world's first major economy to set a target of being net-zero by 2050.

Thermo Fisher Scientific
Clinical supply articles

Researching and writing blogs for this major healthcare equipment provider.

Morocco Holidays 2022 | easyJet holidays

It's only a short hop from Europe, but Morocco holidays make one heck of a trip. Here you can kick back on vast sunny beaches, sip mint tea in ancient medinas and explore the hills and valleys of North Africa's highest mountains. Historic Marrakech stars in many holidays to Morocco, and with good reason.

Editing projects

Best of Spain

Lonely Planet's Best of Spain is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Binge on fine art and nightlife in Madrid, wander Barcelona's cobblestone lanes, and explore charming Andalucian hill towns; all with your trusted travel companion.

How to Be Good at English

Ideal for home learning, this simple and inspirational book has everything you need to grasp grammar and punctuation, and master essential reading and writing skills.

James Smart - Editor | Reedsy

Editing memoirs and guides for clients. Five-star rating: - 'Worked quickly and professionally and maintained great contact with me throughout the work. Highly recommend.' - 'Like a true editor he trimmed my manuscript to make it concise and easy to read... added value to my work and did it all in time beating even his own timeline!' - 'Incredibly thorough... Beyond this however, is his ability to make suggestions that stay consistent with the author's voice... I would recommend him...

Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travelist

Buy Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travelist direct from Lonely Planet. The world's best guidebooks, travel advice and information.

Dublin city guide - 11th edition

The new edition of our Dublin travel guide (12th edition) is released February 1st - you can pre-order it now. A small capital with a huge reputation, Dublin's mix of heritage and hedonism will not disappoint. All you have to do is show up.

Eating & Drinking Guide

In 1994, The List launched the first printed edition of its Eating & Drinking Guide. The idea was to create a fully comprehensive guide to the rich eating and drinking scene in Edinburgh and Glasgow, covered by a team of authoritative reviewers. After...