Secondary Menu

Member Spotlight Monday: James Smedley

It’s Monday, which means it’s time to focus our spotlight on another talented current OWAA member and their ongoing excellence in outdoor communications. Today, we introduce James Smedley:

James Smedley

  1. Where were you born?
    Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
  2. Where do you call home now?
    Wawa, Ontario
  3. What’s your nickname?
    I’ve had many but Smeds is the most widely used.
  4. What’s your favorite outdoor activity?
    I’m an insatiable angler.
  5. What is your profession/connection with outdoors communication?
    I am a photographer, writer and editor.
  6. Why did you choose to become an outdoor communicator?
    It was that or Walmart Greeter. But seriously the idea of making a living out of writing and photographing the things that I love seemed like a dream worth pursuing.
  7. What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
    That I have succeeded.
  8. What three words would your friends use to describe you?
    Funny, laid-back, accepting.
  9. What is the best piece of advice you have received as an outdoor communicator?
    Early in my career I was told that it can take a long time to become established as an outdoors writer. It did. But I was prepared for the work and the wait.
  10. When you head for the Great Outdoors, what is the one thing you do not leave home without?
    Depending on the destination – fishing gear and or camera gear.
  11. What would you do if you won the lottery?
    The same thing I am doing now but with a bit more security.
  12. Who do you most admire in your life and why?
    My father and mother who continue to teach me so much without ever telling me what to do.
  13. What was the last movie you saw?
    I’m a bit of a music junkie and watched a very sad documentary called Amy – about the life of Amy Winehouse.
  14. What are your top three favorite books?
    Impossible to choose. I love Joseph Boyden’s books and I am currently reading a book of poems by Charles Bukowski and an account of the 1994 Vendee Globe Yacht Race. I devour real-life adventure and history and even historical fiction stories.
  15. Can you juggle?
    Yes, but only with two balls.
  16. What is your favorite dessert?
    Really good quality ice cream.
  17. If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
    I would have the ability to make people understand one another and appreciate that there are many ways to live well on this earth. This would be an incredible power and go a long way toward fighting the shocking ignorance, stupidity and hate that seems to be on the rise.
  18. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
    Planning my next fishing trip and/or photo shoot.
  19. What is your favorite inspirational quote?
    “When in doubt, do it” I’m not sure who said it, maybe me. It helps to keep me experiencing interesting things rather than choosing the comfortable path.
  20. What do you like best about OWAA?
    The chance to talk to people who actually understand what it is I do for a living.

Thank you, James, for not only your answers, but also for being valued part of “The Voice of the Outdoors.”

If you are an OWAA member and wish to be featured in a future Member Spotlight Monday, send your answers to the above questions and a photograph of yourself enjoying the outdoors (in JPG format sized for the web) to Colleen Miniuk-Sperry at

Not a member? Check us out at

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

© Outdoor Writers Association of America