Barbara Noe Kennedy

Barbara Noe Kennedy – Editor

After working as a nonfiction book editor for years at NatGeo, I know the ins and outs of publishing from ideation to final proofing.


I worked for 23 years at National Geographic as senior editor of travel publishing, where I managed the creation of illustrated travel books, including the award-winning National Geographic Traveler guidebook series. I was involved in every step, including ideation, marketing, covers, photo selection, and the actual writing and editing. I left in 2015 to go freelance full-time, during which time I’ve also been teaching creative nonfiction writing and travel writing at a local university.

I specialize in travel, but even in travel that means books with all of the required elements of a narrative arc. I can help you with any and all stages of your book, including developmental editing, line editing, and proofreading. I’d also love to help you with your book proposal and query letters.
Architecture Art Biographies & Memoirs History Nature Sports & Outdoors Travel Writing & Publishing
English (US)
  • Certificate in Art History from Smithsonian Institute

Work experience


Apr, 2015 — Present

I have taught the ins and outs of travel writing and creative nonfiction to after-work professionals since 2015. I also offer lectures that are virtual tours of the South of France and Paris.

National Geographic Society

May, 1993 — Oct, 2015 (over 22 years)

For 23-plus years I navigated the vision of National Geographic’s travel publishing program, including brainstorming and testing ideas, managing the creation of books from conception to publication, and conducting developmental and line editing and proofreading on hundreds of books. I also wrote marketing blurbs and promotional copy.


Jan, 1990 — Present

I have been a freelancer since 1990 (going full-time in 2015), writing travel, food and adventure stories for the National Geographic Traveler, Los Angeles Times, London Telegraph, Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, Fodor’s Travel, Lonely Planet, Reader’s Digest Books, and more. Other publications include numerous National Geographic travel book chapters, as well as National Geographic Traveler: Provence & the Côte d’Azur, the National Geographic Walking Washington, D.C., and two other single-authored guidebooks.


Anna Quindlen first visited London from a chair in her suburban Philadelphia home—in one of her beloved childhood mystery novels. She has been back to London countless times since, through the pages of books and in person, and now, in Imagined London, she take... read more
Discover the best of Provence and explore its charming towns and cities, medieval abbeys, storybook castles, and Roman monuments. Follow this guided tour through its magical landscapes—fields of red poppies, fragrant lavender, olive trees, and sunflowers. The ... read more
See the best of Washington with this streamlined walking guide, complete with step-by-step itineraries and maps to help you explore the city like a pro and navigate like a local. Created in a handy, take-along format, this guide is written by a seasoned travel... read more
"Into Trouble" tells the true story of shy nineteen-year-old Paul Gorman's 1969 backpacking trip to Europe. As a harbinger of things to come, while hitchhiking to Chicago, he experiences 120 mph car chases between ex-convicts and cops, followed by lustful adva... read more
No nation on Earth is as newsworthy as 21st-century China—and no book could be timelier than Dragon Rising, as world attention focuses on China's all-out effort to present itself as a modern world power and on the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Becker is the ideal gui... read more
As eloquent as it is alarming, Carol Ann Bassett’s portrait of today’s Galápagos depicts a deadly collision of economics, politics, and the environment that may destroy one of the world’s last Edens. For millions, the Galápagos Islands represent nature at its ... read more
At the age of three, Leanne Blinzler Noe moved to the Philippines in 1937 with her parents and sister, where her father had accepted a job at a gold mine. Within a year, her mother had died, and she and her sister were living in a German convent in Manila, the... read more
This lavish volume reveals National Geographic's top picks for the world's most fabulous journeys, along with practical tips for your own travels. Compiled from the favorite trips of National Geographic's travel writers, this inspirational book spans the globe... read more
This inspirational book showcases 500 of the world's most powerful and spiritual places–and guides modern-day travelers who wish to visit them.With eloquent text, hundreds of gorgeous full-color images, and practical visitor information, Sacred Places of a Lif... read more
The Norte Grande of Chile, the world's driest desert, had ''engendered contemporary Chile, everything that was good about it, everything that was dreadful,'' writes Ariel Dorfman in his brilliant exploration of one of the least known and most exotic corners of... read more
In this compelling travel memoir, two-time PEN/Faulkner Award winner John Edgar Wideman explores Martinique's seductive natural beauty and culture, as well as its vexed history of colonial violence and racism. Attempting to decipher the strange, alluring mixtu... read more
A blending of art and cultural criticism, travel writing, and personal narrative, Sicilian Odyssey is Francine Prose's imaginative consideration of the diverse cultural legacies found juxtaposed and entangled on the Mediterranean island of Sicily. She writes o... read more
In Books & Islands in Ojibwe Country Erdrich compellingly writes about the Ojibwe spirits and songs, language, and sorrows that have passed down through generations. Erdrich later travels to Rainy Lake, to an island of real books, the world of an exuberant ecc... read more
Through an exploration of her country home in Wales, acclaimed travel writer Jan Morris discovers the heart of her fascinating country and what it means to be Welsh. Trefan Morys, Morris's home between the sea and mountains of the remote northwest corner of Wa... read more
A collection of essays by a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet traces the origins of the twelfth-century Provental troubadors, from the work of Bernart de Ventadorn, to the ruins of the chGteau of Ventador, to the careworn farmhouse belonging to the author himself.
Take a trip around the globe—without ever leaving North America. Ideal for those who don't want to spend the time or money to travel the world, this book presents a potpourri of international experiences in the United States and Canada. Discover the villages, ... read more
Addressing the explosive growth in ancestral travel, this compelling narrative combines intriguing tales of discovery with tips on how to begin your own explorations. Actor and award-winning travel writer Andrew McCarthy’s featured story recounts his recent qu... read more
National Geographic's flagship, best-selling guide covers all 59 national parks in the U.S. for nature and outdoor lovers everywhere. Intensive on-the-ground research, 300 photos and 80 colorful maps complete the extraordinary package. Practical and comprehens... read more
This lavish volume reveals National Geographic's top picks for the world's most fabulous journeys, along with practical tips for your own travels. Compiled from the favorite trips of National Geographic's travel writers, this inspirational book spans the globe... read more
NatGeo takes you on a photographic tour of the world’s most spectacular destinations, inspiring tangible ideas for your next trip. Travel to hundreds of the most breathtaking locales—both natural and man-made—illustrated with vivid images taken by the organiza... read more

Barbara has 63 reviews





Ellen B.

Ellen B.

Sep, 2023

Barbara's expertise and insights have been incredibly helpful. She improved my manuscript and supported my growth as a writer. Barbara's professionalism, prompt communication, and passion for storytelling make her an invaluable editor. I highly recommend her to writers looking for top-tier editing and a dedicated partner in their creative journey.
Bainy C.

Bainy C.

Aug, 2023

I worked with an editor over the table for my first book years ago and felt that we spent more time talking, debating, and questioning than revising the manuscript. But this time I am not wasting time at all with Barbara’s precise edits and suggestions in her comment boxes on the right side of my highlighted and red-inked manuscript. This electronic process works much better than over the table...
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Bill W.

Bill W.

May, 2023

I am a first-time author. Barbara was like a lifeguard while I was swimming in an angry ocean. She watched me and let me go out as far as I needed but was there when I got into trouble. I was pulled from the water many times but she never made me feel bad. Thus, I learned from my mistakes and ventured out again. A little wiser and under her watchful eye. You will be very happy with her.
Bruce M.

Bruce M.

May, 2023

Barbara cuts to the core of your writing right away, makes suggestions that are spot-on, and does so in ways that encourage and inspire rather than discourage. She is exactly the kind of coach I need and look forward to working with her until I cross the finish line. She is a real pro and understands your struggles.
Ellen B.

Ellen B.

May, 2023

I could not be more impressed with the level of professionalism and expertise that Barbara brought to my book project. She exceeded expectations in every aspect and demonstrated a deep understanding of the nuances of storytelling and characterization, providing invaluable guidance in refining the manuscript by helping me to identify issues and how to fix them. If you are an author looking t...
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