About Me


I’m a freelance journalist, editor and essayist based in Brooklyn, New York, writing about culture, politics, technology and passionate hobbyists. My multimedia work has appeared in CityLab, Mental Floss and Tablet and as the cover story of the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye. Previously I spent nearly two years building and running the copy desk at Mic as copy chief, where I led editing, fact-checking, refining and formatting on stories seen by 25 million monthly readers.

I’m a graduate of the University of Chicago (2006) and the Medill School of Journalism’s Magazine Writing & Editing master’s program (2013), as well as a 2016 participant at Yale’s THREAD storytelling workshop. Today I’m also working to learn more about design, infographics and how to use visual language to translate my love for long-form narrative into nonfiction comics.

If you’re interested in heavy metal folk singers, how we game personal space on public transit or the real-life Iron Man, have a look at my clips. I also enjoy photography; check my media page for a look at youth boxing on the South Side of Chicago, nature shots from New Mexico’s Rio Grande Gorge and a man who once stole an airplane. Twice a week, I share and analyze my favorite stories from around the web at Things I’m Verbing.

You can reach me any time at esther.bergdahl@gmail.com. I’m available for freelance writing, reporting, photography, editing and copy editing. My general resume is available here. All the keywords you want: AP style, Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Audition, Premiere, InCopy), Microsoft Office Suite, social media, DSLR photography.

Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you.