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I am the author of several books of personal narrative and fiction, and occasionally my poetry has been published online and in journals. I've been the recipient of honors and awards from The Society of Midland Authors, The Chicago Writers Association, and the Eric Hoffer Book Awards. In the summer of 2011 and then from 2015-2017, I was privileged first to have been the Writer-in-Residence at the Jack Kerouac Project in Orlando  and then at the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, Illinois. 


Much of my writing is about fathers and sons, the redemptive power of travel and nature, music, and the sage-like connections we share with animals. I do my work inside a small shed behind my home near Chicago. It might be where I do my best thinking.  

For many years now, I've been a writing teacher and a regular craft column contributor at MEDIUM at The Writer Shed, and write regular personal essays at SUBSTACK: The Abundance. 


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The Islander

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Now Available 

A short novel 

By David W. Berner


 A novella from  The Shortish Project and Outpost19 Books. An intiative championing the great tradition of short novels. 

"Unputdownable...a melancholic, solemn, and remarkable short novel."International Review of Books

"A poignant and thought-provoking work of fiction that delves into themes of grief, healing, and companionship...impactful...compelling." —Literary Titan Review

Page Turner Awards Finalist, 2022


An aging writer retreats to a remote island off the coast of Ireland to escape to a monastic life. A young woman who carries her own troubled past comes to the island on a solitary spiritual and hiking adventure. Together they attempt to discover a way to heal their collective hearts.


"A timeless phenomenon splendidly explored and revealed in his wise and insightful Walks with Sam, a moving memoir about how a young dog can teach an old man new tricks about mindfulness and presence. Hard to remember when I've enjoyed a walk with two friends more." —James Dodson, New York Times best-selling author of Faithful Travelers and Final Rounds. 


"Berner’s plainspoken manner reveals moments of true enlightenment. Dog lovers and spiritualists will adore this." Publishers Weekly


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"A storyline to satisfy our wistful golfing souls."Tom Coyne, author of A Course Called Scotland and A Course Called America

"An effectively colorful, somewhat philosophical story of love and heartbreak on the golf links." — Kirkus Reviews

"What an absolute delight this piece of literary fiction is!  I was hooked from page one." — International Review of Books

A young boy is in love with the game of golf, but he doesn’t understand why. He has a natural talent and an enviable swing but playing the game well is not enough. There’s something missing.

When Jimmy, the homeless man who spends his days cheering on golfers from his usual sitting spot just off the 5th green at Old Elm Municipal Golf course goes missing, the young boy becomes curious. His quest uncovers Jimmy’s mysterious link to the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland and reveals a life in golf that not only fascinates but sends the boy on a personal journey to discover the magic of an ancient game.


Roundfire Books, UK



David W. Berner is the recipient of honors and awards from The Society of Midland AuthorsThe Chicago Writers Association, and the Eric Hoffer Book Awards. He has been the Writer-in-Residence for the Jack Kerouac Project in Orlando, where he was privileged to live and work at the Kerouac House for two-and-a-half months. He later was honored as the Writer-in-Residence at the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, Illinois.


His memoirs reflect on our collective relationships and how those experiences link us to the world we share. David's stories are about fathers and sons, the redemptive power of travel, nature, music, and the sage-like connections we share with pets. 

His work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts, and Under the Gum Tree.


David was born in Pittsburgh, PA and now lives in the Chicago area. Along with his writing credentials, David has had a distinguished career as a broadcast journalist, reporting for the CBS Radio Network, WBBM Radio Chicago, and public radio outlets throughout America.


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A new novel by David W. Berner comes to Substack.

Now available in PAPERBACK 

RAINBOW MAN is a serialized online story about a aging widower who travels to Spain to seek solace and instead finds himself entangled in the secret counterculture life of a younger woman. 

Join the story @ SUBSTACK

Available NOW. 


David writes inside a shed on his property, an 8x10 space filled with books, a desk, a fan, a heater, and his old acoustic guitar. Many of his books have been written here, Writer Shed Stories from Writer Shed Press is produced here, along with his regular personal essay newsletter @Substack:
The Abundance


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