James smart pic

James Smart

Writer and editor

Location icon United Kingdom

Hello! I'm an award-winning freelance writer, editor and consultant.

I work across a wide range of topics. Specialities include travel, culture and tech.

Current projects include:
- editing illustrated DK books including 'Great Cities' and 'How to Be Good at English'
- B2B blogs on cybersecurity and health for Mimecast and Thermo Fisher Scientific
- book reviews for the Guardian
- editing and writing for Lonely Planet
- managing neighbourhood guides for the Office Group
- edits for clients via Reedsy ('a true editor', 'incredibly thorough', 'highly recommend', 'a perfect job')

Other key skills:
- management and consultancy across digital and print
- writing marketing and tech blogs and whitepapers
- extensive commissioning experience, including over 100 travel guides
- filing reviews, interviews and lifestyle pieces
- media spokesperson for Lonely Planet and others
- leading image-sourcing projects and Agile process improvement
- shooting and presenting video
- proofreading

If you've a large or small project that needs a writer, editor or manager, I'd love to hear from you.

You can see samples of my work below.



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.

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
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.

the Guardian
Best comics and graphic novels of 2020

n a year in which Covid-19 and Brexit made borders an even hotter topic, some of the finest graphic novels told migrants' stories. Welcome to the New World (Bloomsbury) is built out of Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan's Pulitzer-winning New York Times strips and charts a real-life Syrian family's arrival in Connecticut.

the Guardian
A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself by Peter Ho Davies review

Peter Ho Davies's powerful account of fatherhood begins with tests, chromosomes and complications; the chance that the birth might be "normal", and the chance that it might not. More tests come, and a choice is made: to terminate the pregnancy. The couple return home and, slowly, start to think of what might come next.

the Guardian
Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg review - inside the Brontës' dreamworld

Before Jane Eyre and before Heathcliff, there was Glass Town. Isolated on the edge of the Yorkshire moors, the Brontë siblings spent their formative years squeezing minute script on to precious paper, collaborating and competing to tell slyly overblown sagas of imaginary lands - Angria, Gondal and the great city of Glass Town.

the Guardian
Green Man festival - review

In a year in which many festivals have struggled, Green Man has sold more tickets than ever. It's thrived not by getting big acts (though there have been a few of those in its nine-year history) as much as through its adherence to that most old-fashioned of weekend-away virtues - being a place where people want to spend time.

Travel & Lifestyle

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.

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 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".

Lonely Planet
Stonehenge travel

Welcome to Britain's most iconic archaeological site. This compelling ring of monolithic stones has been attracting a steady stream of pilgrims, poets and philosophers for the last 5000 years. A haunting echo from Britain's forgotten past, it's a reminder of those who once walked the ceremonial avenues across Salisbury Plain.

Iceland Holidays 2020 | 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.

Culture Trip
Inside Amsterdam's Van Wonderen Stroopwafels Shop

Van Wonderen Stroopwafels offers this classic Dutch treat - made from two pieces of dough bound together by a caramel filling - with a tasty twist. Its stroopwafels come half-covered with chocolate and sprinkled with sweets, giving it a punchy sugar hit, a pleasing mix of textures and a bright, Instagram-ready look.

Morocco Holidays 2020 | 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

This title will be in stock on August 10 in the Americas regions.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.

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...

Best of Canada travel guide

This title is called Discover Canada in North & South America and you can buy it here. Both editions contain the same great content. Our easy-to-use guide, filled with inspiring and colorful photos, focuses on Canada's most popular attractions for those looking for the best of the best.


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.

Thermo Fisher Scientific
Healthcare writing

Researching and writing clinical supply blogs for this major healthcare equipment provider.


Lonely Planet
Spotlight on: East Iceland

Iceland is becoming more and more popular with visitors. Lonely Planet Destination Editor James Smart tells us about a part of the country that's yet to be discovered by mass tourism.

Lonely Planet
Spotlight on North Wales

Destination Editor James Smart explores the fresh-air delights of North Wales, zip-lining underground and over, mountain-biking on rugged paths and taking in the epic landscape.

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