Jon Bentley-Smith

Jon Bentley-Smith – Editor

Experienced freelance editor, copy-editor, and proofreader with a background in trade publishing. Politics/History.


I spent almost five years in the editorial department of Oneworld Publications, an award-winning independent publisher in the UK, working across their wide-ranging non-fiction list. During my time there, I was valued, in particular, for my sharp eye for detail. Among other things, I assessed non-fiction proposals, carried out structural edits and line edits, and proofread book texts, covers and marketing materials. I worked on bestselling popular histories, a winner of the FT McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award and a book that was longlisted for it, and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.

As a freelancer, I have edited, copy-edited, proofread, and written editorial prescription reports on works of fiction and non-fiction. Indeed, I love working on - and reading - a wide variety of titles, and I've been fortunate enough to work closely with authors of crime fiction, current affairs, history, literary fiction, memoir, Middle Eastern studies, nature, philosophy, politics, popular culture, and popular science. I am precise and adaptable, tuning my approach to the nature of the piece and its intended audience.

History Political Science & Current Affairs
English (UK) English (US)
  • BA Creative Writing

Work experience

Oneworld Publications

Apr, 2017 — Aug, 2019 (over 2 years)

I continued* to work across the non-fiction list and, in addition, became the sole editor of titles.

*please see below

Oneworld Publications

Feb, 2016 — Mar, 2017 (about 1 year)

Assisted the non-fiction commissioning editors, including with editing manuscripts, and carried out line edits.

Oneworld Publications

Jan, 2015 — Jan, 2016 (about 1 year)

I assisted the non-fiction commissioning editors on titles that ranged from popular histories to academic monographs. Among other things, I assessed proposals, wrote cover copy, proofread jackets, and carried out final checks on book pages before they were sent to the printer.


Sep, 2009 — Present

As a freelancer I have edited literary fiction and collections of short stories, flash fiction, and poetry; copy-edited crime fiction and narrative non-fiction; provided editorial prescription reports on non-fiction typescripts and proposals; and proofread philosophy, history, and current affairs titles.


Imagine a world where leaders are able to pass power directly to their children. These children are plucked from their nurseries and sent to beautiful compounds far away from all the other children. They are provided with all the teachers they need, the best f... read more
Shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2018 A Book of the Year for the Evening Standard and the Observer A black porter publicly whips a white Englishman in the hall of a Gloucestershire manor house. A Moroccan woman is baptised in a London church. Henry VI... read more
For more than a century successive US and UK governments have sought to thwart nationalist, socialist and pro-democracy movements in the Middle East. Through the Cold War, the ‘War on Terror’ and the present era defined by the Islamic State, the Western powers... read more
"A stimulating history of how the imagination interacted with its sibling psychological faculties—emotion, perception and reason—to shape the history of human mental life."—The Wall Street Journal To imagine—to see what is not there—is the startling ability th... read more
Every day we hear that the rise of populism threatens democracy around the world, but is this really true? Did populism cause the current crisis, or is it the other way around? To understand the state of our politics right now, we must get to grips with this c... read more
We Used to Be Kings

Stewart Foster

Professionals similar to Jon

Get a range of offers by requesting quotes from multiple professionals.

Terri Lee Paulsen

Terri Lee P.

Freelance copyeditor/proofreader with strong editing skills, an eye for consistency, and a history of meeting (and exceeding) deadlines.

Waconia, MN, USA

100% reply rate

View profile
peter letzelter

peter L.

Savvy, experienced, professional editor specializing in both general interest and academic works.

Glover, VT, USA

100% reply rate

View profile
Elizabeth DeNoma

Elizabeth D.

Expert developmental editor/book coach/proposal writer with over 20 years' experience. Fun to work with, always delivers on time.

Seattle, WA, USA

100% reply rate

View profile