The Red Pen of Doom

Conventional wisdom about writing is conventionally wrong.

About me

-Speechwriter and speech coach, so I can geek out about ethos, pathos and logos. Member of the Professional Speechwriters Association.

-Journalism degree from Western Washington University, where I was editor-in-chief of the paper of news and graduated No. 1 in my class.

-Won awards as a reporter and editor for chasing all flavors of mayhem: floods, fires, political scandals and a bumbling serial killer who managed to get away with it all. Got shot at by a sniper in a tiny town. Interviewed governors, US senators and writers like Ann Rule and Barry Eisler. If you cut me, I still bleed newsprint.

-Contributing writer for The New York Times’, where I wrote 200-some posts as their expert on public relations, publicity and scandals. Contributing editor to Criminal Element and The Big Thrill. Apparently, I like to contribute and edit, or contribute while editing.

-My sister is a genius screenwriter who won a Nicholl Fellowship from the Academy. She introduced me to SAVE THE CAT and other glorious screenwriting books, shockingly useful for writing things that have nothing to do with screenplays. Thanks, sis.

Artistic nonsense about photography
In the beginning, I shot my own photos for papers of news, using horrible manual cameras and such that used this stuff we called “film.” It came in rolls.

Now I shoot with a Nikon of Infinite Beauty (a D3100). This thing will do your taxes. Had my first photo show, Pieces of the World — shots from Sweden, Iceland, France, Belgium, Alaska, Hawaii, India and Dubai, all printed on canvas and framed. If you’ve never printed your photos on canvas, turn off the Series of Tubes and print your favorite photo on canvas RIGHT NOW. The internets will still be around when you come back.

Also, if you know photography tricks, drop me a line on the Twitter  or the comment sections, so we can talk smack about cameras and pretend to know what ISO settings really are.


This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

28 comments on “About me

  1. Pingback: Defense against the Dark Arts: Propaganda vs. journalism and rhetoric | The Red Pen of Doom

  2. Kathleen Mantor
    August 29, 2015

    i am not that witty but, yes, i know about all that “stuff” in my storage i pay monthly on and am not using. and yes, i know what you mean by move from here to there several times and you still have it stored away and not using it. “HELP!” you know anyone who helps people like me?”


  3. Cathy
    June 24, 2015

    The Twitter, she no sell the books – thank you. Will you tell publishing industry? And yeah, agree entirely about inverted triangle. Now, must write book….


  4. Proudmama
    February 17, 2015

    Witty? I don’t know about a witty comment. You are quite smart…and damn cute.I SO thoroughly enjoyed Save the Cat. Finishing any one of my three screenplays is high on my Bucket List. Heart, Julie


  5. maviconde
    February 6, 2015

    I love your blog, Mr. Bergstrom! I’ll be coming back, for sure, to learn and get more inspiration.


  6. jsganze
    October 26, 2014

    Love the blog. I’m just getting started and on the lookout the Six Horsemen.


    • Guy Bergstrom
      October 26, 2014

      Excellent. What do you scribble or edit?


      • jsganze
        October 27, 2014

        I scribble, but am just getting traction. I was a speaker for a long time and stepped away from it and that freed up the bandwidth. I edit too, poorly.


      • Guy Bergstrom
        October 29, 2014

        A speaker! Cool.


  7. Steve Edmiston
    August 15, 2014

    Guy – are you the “Red Pen of Doom” (a name I like immensely) that has deleted substantial content from “The Maury Island Incident” page on Wikipedia (more than once)? If so, would love to discuss at your convenience. I’m a writer on the film and web series project on that topic. Thanks!


    • Guy Bergstrom
      August 15, 2014

      No, I’ve never edited wikipedia entries. Can’t you see their IP address or whatever?


  8. Maria Fokas
    August 14, 2014

    Thank you for the follow Guy. I appreciate it…love your style…and the way you play with words…will surely be dropping by from here on :-)


  9. Candia
    August 14, 2014

    Thanks for following my posts. Flattered that someone of your standing appreciates my work. Thanks.
    Loved your b&w photo..Will return for more viewings.


  10. GF Boyer
    July 9, 2014

    In your post about critiquing groups, I thought this sentence about editing was amusing (notice the “it”): “Also, editing it best done on a keyboard, or with a red pen.”


    • Guy Bergstrom
      July 10, 2014

      Ugh. Thanks for spotting that. Fixed.

      This silly blog could also be called The Land of Insanely Fast Rough Drafts, because I do it for fun, and for free, and there is zero copy editing.


  11. AM Simpson
    June 13, 2014

    Hi Guy, thanks for the follow I appreciate it.


  12. amiechadwick
    June 11, 2014

    Thanks for following…and it is ok to follow closely ;) xoxo Amie


  13. Pingback: Rebecca T Dickson « On nickel and diming, giving anxiety the finger and WRITING

  14. Pingback: Save the Cat | Painting With Light

  15. leejtyler
    April 27, 2013

    SAVE THE CAT is a damn fine book. Now there is something like EAT THE FROG…? Have you heard of it?


    • Guy Bergstrom
      April 28, 2013

      No way. Eat the frog?


      • leejtyler
        May 2, 2013

        I kid you not. It’s supposed to be a productivity book abut doing the once thin you hate the most on our to-do list. If I took it literally, I would never get out of bed! ;)


  16. Seyi sandra
    January 28, 2013

    Quiet an impressive bio! Glad I found your blog.


  17. ideaista1
    December 18, 2012

    Serious smack about cameras? f-stops and shutter speed and why. Really.


  18. Thomas
    December 6, 2012

    Save the cat – Gona check it out like in about a meeeour lol


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