About Fritz

Emmy winner. Jeopardy winner. Lumberjack. Writer.


I lied about the lumberjack part. But I did grow up in Oregon.

My name is Ryan "Fritz" Holznagel. I'm a professional writer who likes to turn corporate jargon and high-tech talk into clear, friendly words. Clients past and present include Google, Ooyala, CDK Global, Intuit, SessionMYouTubeTendril and Eventbrite

My special joy is rewriting and co-writing with others to make their words clean and strong.

I won an Emmy Award in 1992 for scripting the CBS TV special A Claymation Easter Celebration. Soon after that I began to focus on fun facts, writing for CD-ROMs like Mindscape's 20th Century Video Almanac and Broderbund's Where in the U.S.A. is Carmen SanDiego?

That led me into the early Internet, and in 1995 I became Editor in Chief of the web review site Point, where I edited the book The World Wide Web Top 1000. Point was purchased by Lycos, and for them I created the popular feature The Lycos 50 -- the first weekly ranking of the web's most-searched terms, and the forerunner to sites like Google Trends. Later I spent five lovely years (2004-09) on the writing team at Google. Since leaving Google I've freelanced for a variety of clients.

With my friend Paul Hehn I created the biographical guide Who2.com in 1998. The site is still thriving and we have written nearly 4000 thumbnail sketches of famous people. We also created the site Utterly False Trivia in 2015. I've also written for the Dictionary of American History (here's my entry on the Boy Scouts) and other publications.

I was born in Oregon and have a history degree from Willamette University. I'm a member of Phi Beta Kappa, which means I finally have something in common with both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Carson Kressley.

As for Jeopardy: I was a four-time winner on the show in 1994. The next year I returned and beat 14 other champs to win the 1995 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions and the grand prize of $100,000. I also represented the U.S. in the 1996 Jeopardy! International Tournament, and was invited back to the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions and the 2014 Battle of the Decades.

I'm always keen on any project that combines facts and fun.

Need a writer? Please contact me.