Jess Smith ~ Writer, Singer, Historian, and Traditional Story-teller

Jess Smith is a writer, singer and traditional story-teller who lives in Perthshire (near Crieff). She has written several novels and is both a historian and commentator on and from the Travellers of Scotland. Jess Smith is the mother of three children and grandmother to six. As well as writing, Jess Smith performs and tells her stories throughout Scotland and beyond.


The Scottish Traveller Dialects – co-authored with Robert Dawson (2002)

Jessie’s Journey – Book 1 of autobiographical trilogy (2003)

Tales from the Tent – Book 2 of autobiographical trilogy (2003)

Tears for a Tinker – Book 3 of autobiographical trilogy (2005)

Jessie’s Journey, describes what it was like to be one of the last of the traditional travelling folk. The Journey is seen through the fresh eyes of a girl growing into adulthood. Tales from the Tent continues the journey. After a brief settled life she takes to the roads once more. She begins to store up the rich folklore of the travellers’ world. Tears for a Tinker is the final part of the journey.

Bruar’s Rest – novel (2006)

Sookin’ Berries – children’s novel (2008)

The Matted Cat – Audio CD of songs, stories and poems

I am a Traditional storyteller from Scotland’s Perthshire Travelling people. My past lifestyle which is now extinct was working the land. This closeness to nature taught me many things about the body’s hidden senses and thankfully I have never lost them. – Jess Smith


Kirriemuir – winner of the Doric Verse 2004.

TMSA (Traditional Music and Song Association) Keith Festival 2003 – winner of women’s singing and storytelling cup.

Keith Festival – winner of storytelling cup in 2002.