I am an independent writer, editor and journalist and the author of two nonfiction books. I’m a regular contributor to National Geographic and a contributing editor at the University of Southern California Center for Health Journalism. I also run a communications consultancy, Fran Smith Media, helping people and organizations tell their stories.

I write mainly about health, health care and medical science. My feature story for NatGeo on the science of longevity was the cover of the January 2023 issue. It kicked off an online series on the topic, written by me. NatGeo combined all my coverage into a special issue on aging and longevity in September 2023. My NatGeo stories have been translated into more than 30 languages and published around the world. (Always fun to stumble upon one in an an international airport!)

My most recent book, Changing the Way We Die, is widely used in classes and workshops on compassionate end-of-life care. It was an Amazon best seller and the winner of an Independent Book Publishers Award. I wrote it with my friend and longtime colleague Sheila Himmel. Learn more here.

Before venturing out as a freelancer, I worked as a newspaper reporter and editor and was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team at the San Jose Mercury News. My articles have appeared in dozens of magazines and hundreds of newspapers.

This is my journalism website. To learn more about my services as a communications strategist, editor, writing partner, writing coach, and guide to storytelling across platforms, visit my company site Fran Smith Media.

Photo Credit David Yarnold