Holly Burns


I'm a writer, editor, and content strategist. I believe in the power of language and the importance of giving people the right words at the right time. Currently, I work at Instagram, where I manage a team of whipsmart content strategists who work on products like Instagram Stories, Direct, Live, and IGTV.

Before that, I was a content strategist at Facebook, a writer at Gowalla, and a copywriter and social media manager at Travelocity, where one of my most surreal job duties was acting as the official written voice of the Travelocity Roaming Gnome. On the upside, I got to fly all over the world, writing funny tweets in disguise as someone else. On the downside, I had to walk through airports carrying a very large ceramic gnome.

I have a background in magazine publishing and have written things that have appeared all over the place, though Ladies Home Journal and Travel + Leisure were the two most exciting ones because my parents had actually heard of them. Back when blogging was a thing, I had a blog called Nothing But Bonfires, and it kept me in fun money for a little while. I got a free stove out of it, a couple of jobs, a few trips, and some nice friends. I hung up my hat in 2014 because it just wasn't fun anymore, but I kept the friends. (Also the stove. I totally kept the free stove.)

In November 2017, when my second child was 5 months old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I went through chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. I'm currently cancer-free and hoping this was just a terrible blip in an otherwise pretty wonderful existence. I grew up in England, France, Holland, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the slightly less glamorous Connecticut, and I currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband and children. I like throwing parties, planning vacations, and getting really good deals on things. I am the author of exactly no books, but my biggest goal in life is to change that one day.


One day I'll get around to archiving all my old clips, but my belief right now is that life is too short for both ketogenic diets and re-remembering how my scanner works for the twenty-sixth time. Until then, here are a few things from the web.


I always think I don't like public speaking, right up until the minute I get up on stage and realize I'm a huge ham. Turns out I actually love being the center of attention! As well as being part of the advisory committee for the 2017 Design Matters conference in Copenhagen, I've spoken at the following conferences:


You seem cool. I'd like to hear from you! You can email me at nothingbutbonfires[at]gmail.com.