About Me

Lyrysa SmithAs a writer and journalist for more than 25 years in print, radio, and documentary television, I’ve developed keen curiosity, sharp observation skills, and a desire to understand.
I write to make a difference. That’s why I love writing about people and their lives—finding out what they do, what they think, how they feel, and why. I also enjoy writing about health, science, the environment, social issues, animals and wildlife, workplace, and consumer topics.
For me, it’s energizing to jump in, wade through, turn over the stones, notice the details, and share what I discover. I explore what matters, address concerns, and try to help others–all the while telling a compelling story.

Lately, I’ve been working as an editor and doing freelance writing while I completed my book, a memoir. 

A Normal Life: A Sister’s Odyssey Through Brain Injury, tells the story of my older sister’s severe brain injury from carbon monoxide poisoning and its impact on our relationship and on my family. This extraordinary saga has accounts of brain science, neurology, and hyperbaric oxygen; tales of brave doctors and bold therapists—even the FBI is involved. My family’s journey entwines tragedy and turmoil, powerful emotions and abundant humor, a few failures, some triumphs, caregiving solutions, and true transformation. Read more about it: A Normal Life.

Most recently, I worked as a staff writer in the features department with the Albany Times Union newspaper. I specialized in writing profiles of local people doing remarkable things or everyday things in unique ways. I also worked as a reporter for a national newspaper in Zimbabwe while living there with a grant for journalists awarded from Rotary International.
Read some of my articles and essays.

I have written scripts and produced documentaries for network, cable, and public television on a variety of subjects, from the history of the Mafia in the United States to the effectiveness of mentors working with at-risk students. I have also written educational television scripts for Japanese students learning English.

I received a New York Press Association Second Place for In-Depth Reporting award for a newspaper series about people living with HIV/AIDS in rural upstate New York, and a NYPA First Place for In-Depth Reporting for a group project about underage alcohol use. I also won several Hearst newspapers awards for features stories on topics ranging from elder care to stem cell research.

A memoir that I edited, Dancing Naked: Stripped, Whipped and Set Free to Survive Divorce, by Alice Belt, was published in 2007.

I have an B.A. from Stanford University in English and Creative Writing, and completed courses in literature, writing, journalism, political science, history, and theater at Stanford-in-Britain in London and at the University of Zimbabwe.

I’m always interested in new writing opportunities. Intriguing assignments are welcomed.

Thank you!

Feel free to contact me.