Barbara Noe Kennedy

Barbara Noe Kennedy - Editor

Washington, DC, United States

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

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Overview

Reviews (21)
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.
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Architecture
Biographies & Memoirs
Nature
Sports & Outdoors
Travel
Writing & Publishing
Humanities & Social Sciences
Art
History

Work experience

Adjunct Instructor

Graduate School USA and Women on Writing
April, 2015 – Present (over 4 years)

I have taught the ins and outs of travel writing and creative nonfiction to after-work professionals since 2015.

Senior Editor

National Geographic Society
May, 1993 – October, 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.

Freelance Writer and Editor

Self-employed
January, 1990 – Present (almost 30 years)

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.

Portfolio (19 selected works)

Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World's Most Amazing Places

National Geographic

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 organization's world-class photographers. These images, coupled with evocative text, feature a plethora of visual wonders: ancient monoliths, sc... 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 organization's world-class photographers. These images, coupled with evocative text, feature a plethora of visual wonders: ancient monoliths, sc... read more

Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Greatest Trips

National Geographic

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 to highlight the best of the world's most famous and lesser known sojourns. It presents an incredible diversity of possibilities, from ... 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 to highlight the best of the world's most famous and lesser known sojourns. It presents an incredible diversity of possibilities, from ... read more

National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States, 8th Edition (National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the United States)

National Geographic

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 comprehensive coverage includes engaging, individual park descriptions and brief history, travel planning tips, itineraries and directions, activi... 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 comprehensive coverage includes engaging, individual park descriptions and brief history, travel planning tips, itineraries and directions, activi... read more

National Geographic Walking Washington, D.C. (National Geographic Walking Guides)

Barbara Noe Kennedy

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 writer to help conjure the spirit of the place in elegant text enhanced by National Geographic's famous eye for good pictures. More tha... 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 writer to help conjure the spirit of the place in elegant text enhanced by National Geographic's famous eye for good pictures. More tha... read more

Journeys Home: Inspiring Stories, Plus Tips and Strategies to Find Your Family History

Andrew McCarthy, National Geographic Travl Team

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 quest to uncover his family’s Irish history, while twenty-five other prominent writers tell their own heartfelt stories of connection. Spa... 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 quest to uncover his family’s Irish history, while twenty-five other prominent writers tell their own heartfelt stories of connection. Spa... read more

Abroad at Home: The 600 Best International Travel Experiences in North America

National Geographic

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, neighborhoods, and regions that cover the breadth of North America's great global diversity—Chinatowns and Little Italys, of course, but... read more

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, neighborhoods, and regions that cover the breadth of North America's great global diversity—Chinatowns and Little Italys, of course, but... read more

National Geographic Traveler: Provence and the Cote d'Azur, 3rd Edition

Barbara Noe Kennedy

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 tour begins in Avignon, famed for its Palais des Papes, and moves into the surrounding countryside, including Orange and its Roman-era c... 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 tour begins in Avignon, famed for its Palais des Papes, and moves into the surrounding countryside, including Orange and its Roman-era c... read more

Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City (National Geographic Directions)

Anna Quindlen

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 takes her own readers on a tour of this greatest of literary cities.While New York, Paris, and Dublin are also vividly portrayed in fiction,... read more

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 takes her own readers on a tour of this greatest of literary cities.While New York, Paris, and Dublin are also vividly portrayed in fiction,... read more

The Mays of Ventadorn (National Geographic Directions)

W.S. Merwin

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.

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.

A Writer's House in Wales (National Geographic Directions)

Jan Morris

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 Wales, is the 18th-century stable block of her former family house nearby. Surrounding it are the fields and outbuildings, the mud, sheep,... 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 Wales, is the 18th-century stable block of her former family house nearby. Surrounding it are the fields and outbuildings, the mud, sheep,... read more

Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country (National Geographic Directions)

Louise Erdrich

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 eccentric and close friend to the Ojibwe, who established an extraordinary library there a hundred years ago. Set against commentary about ... 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 eccentric and close friend to the Ojibwe, who established an extraordinary library there a hundred years ago. Set against commentary about ... read more

Sicilian Odyssey (National Geographic Directions)

Francine Prose

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 of the intensity of Sicily, the "commitment to the extreme," where the history is more colorful, the sun hotter, the cooking earthier, th... 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 of the intensity of Sicily, the "commitment to the extreme," where the history is more colorful, the sun hotter, the cooking earthier, th... read more

The Island Martinique (National Geographic Directions)

John Edgar Wideman

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 mixture of African and European that is Creole, he and his French traveling companion develop a powerful attraction to one another which they... 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 mixture of African and European that is Creole, he and his French traveling companion develop a powerful attraction to one another which they... read more

Desert Memories: Journeys Through the Chilean North (Directions)

Ariel Dorfman

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 the globe. For 10,000 years the desert had been mined for silver, iron, and copper, but it was the 19th-century discovery of nitrate th... 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 the globe. For 10,000 years the desert had been mined for silver, iron, and copper, but it was the 19th-century discovery of nitrate th... read more

Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations

National Geographic

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 Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations highlights fascinating icons of many religions around the world and of... 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 Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations highlights fascinating icons of many religions around the world and of... read more

Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Greatest Trips

National Geographic

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 to highlight the best of the world's most famous and lesser known sojourns. It presents an incredible diversity of possibilities, from ... 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 to highlight the best of the world's most famous and lesser known sojourns. It presents an incredible diversity of possibilities, from ... read more

MacArthur Came Back: A Little Girl's Encounter With War in the Philippines

Leanne Blinzler Noe

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, then Baguio. Talk of war swept through the country, but no one believed the Japanese would actually invade. Eight hours after they attacked... 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, then Baguio. Talk of war swept through the country, but no one believed the Japanese would actually invade. Eight hours after they attacked... read more

Galapagos at the Crossroads: Pirates, Biologists, Tourists, and Creationists Battle for Darwin's Cradle of Evolution

Carol Ann Bassett

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 most unspoiled, an inviolate place famed for its rare flora and fauna. But soon today’s 30,000 human residents could surpass 50,000. Add... 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 most unspoiled, an inviolate place famed for its rare flora and fauna. But soon today’s 30,000 human residents could surpass 50,000. Add... read more

Dragon Rising: An Inside Look At China Today

Jasper Becker

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 guide to the profound changes within China that are reshaping global economic, diplomatic, and military strategies. He weaves analysis with... 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 guide to the profound changes within China that are reshaping global economic, diplomatic, and military strategies. He weaves analysis with... read more

Barbara has 21 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Dr. Thomas Armbuster
Barbara did the final polish to the revision of my book, The Crimson Broadbill, soon to be published as The Swordfish Hunters. She made the story flow and "each sentence sing" by reorganizing the chapters, re-writing material within several chapters, and by adding footnotes, all without losing the author's voice. She did a beautiful job! She is energetic, has an eye for detail, and thinks li...
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Dr. Thomas Armbuster, November 2019


Alex Schuhr
Barbara responded and delivered promptly. She is provided high-quality edits and is very knowledgeable. Moreover, she offers plenty of useful advise, which she communicates in a clear and supportive manner. I highly recommend working with her.

Alex Schuhr, October 2019


Paul Wilson
Barbara Noe Kennedy is undoubtedly the best editor I could have possibly found for my work. Barbara demonstrated an amazing eye for detail and a studied insight into everything, large and small, that my manuscript needed. Above all, she had the patience to deal with someone who hadn’t written more than a grocery list since the 9th grade. Bottom line: She cares, and it shows.

Paul Wilson, August 2019


Dr. Thomas Armbuster
Barbara is a joy to work with. She is a bright, creative professional who understands the power of communicating and I have come to trust her instincts. I hope we continue to work together to finish my book, The Swordfish Hunters. I recommend her highly!

Dr. Thomas Armbuster, July 2019


Carrie Maguire
Barbara was a joy to work with. Clear and concise in her feedback, I found her developmental edits to be she an exceptional value and offer significant improvement for our writing project.

Carrie Maguire, July 2019

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