Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  David Warren Berner  

Pen Name: David W. Berner

Genre: Other

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1956 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

-- Website --
-- David Warren Berner on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

I have lived in Rogers Park, Chicago; Glen Ellyn, and Naperville, Illniois. I attended graduate school at Aurora University, Aurora, Illinois and have worked at CBS radio in Chicago, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

I am a long-time journalist in Chicago, working at WMAQ and WBBM radio. I have also written for Golf Chicago Magazine and I have also been published in Rivulets, literary magazine. I am currently an assistant professor at Columbia College Chicago in the School of Media Arts.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Accidental Lessons: A Memoir of a Rookie Teacher and a Life Renewed
ISBN: 1606933914

Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency, LLC. 2009

Grand Prize for Literature, 2011 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards
Accidental Lessons is a remarkable memoir by successful Chicago journalist David W. Berner. Berner takes the reader inside his own personal journey a heart wrenching and inspirational account of self-discovery. Berner had it all - a very successful career as a broadcast journalist and a wonderful family life. But his career hits a bump and he finds himself out of work. Life then delivers more trouble - his father becomes terminally ill and his marriage falls apart. In the middle of painful personal times, this respected journalist makes a decision that changes his life forever. Berner takes a job in a public school outside Chicago where the students are representations of society's "throw-aways." What he learns from them teaches him invaluable lessons about himself, who he is, and why he became a journalist in the first place - to seek out the truth and give voice to those who need their story told. David W. Berner is a journalist, documentary writer, and producer. He teaches writing, documentary and radio narrative classes at Columbia College in Chicago. He has published personal essays and hundreds of magazine articles and interviewed such greats as Ted Kennedy, Tiger Woods, and Bill Gates. He lives in Naperville, Illinois with his family and two dogs, Hogan and Mike. Mr. Berner is currently working on a collection of essays about fatherhood. Accidental Lessons is his first book.

After Opium: Stories (Volume 1)
ISBN: 1469995530

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2012

The ten stories in this collection are taught, smart and wide open windows into deep corners of the human condition. David W. Berner, award-winning author of the memoir ACCIDENTAL LESSONS, has a skill for telling short-short fiction. In this group of stories - some previously published - Berner explores how we carry on after kicking habits, shedding obsessions or losing what we believe we can't live without. In the title story - AFTER OPIUM - boyhood friends meet years after one has overcome the spell of opium addiction. THREE DRUNKS AND TWO COPS explores how even the best of intentions can be dangerously, and even humorously, ill-advised. BOBBY AND KATHLEEN and LOVING LINDA touch on desperate relationships that despite the best intentions never have a chance to survive. THE BIRD, PIECES OF GLASS, and OVER THE EDGE AND INTO THE WIND examine the fragility of love. Berner looks at how we bond in the midst of possible tragedy in TWO MEN ON A ROOF and the lasting sadness and horrific experiences of a Vietnam War veteran are revealed in THE SMELL OF DEAD SOLDIERS. And lastly, we are reminded of the melancholy beauty and precious memories of a first love in the collection's final piece, BARRE WORK.

Any Road Will Take You There: A journey of fathers and sons
ISBN: 0988439093

Dream of Things. 2014

Recipient of a Book of the Year Award from the Chicago Writers Association, Any Road Will Take You There is honest, unflinching, and tender.

In the tradition of the Great American Memoir, a middle-age father takes the reader on a five-thousand-mile road trip -- the one he always wished he'd taken as a young man. Recently divorced and uncertain of the future, he rereads the iconic road story -- Jack Kerouac's On the Road -- and along with his two sons and his best friend, heads for the highway to rekindle his spirit.

However, a family secret turns the cross-country journey into an unexpected examination of his role as a father, and compels him to look to the past and the fathers who came before him to find contentment and clarity. The result is a memoir that reveals the generational struggles and triumphs of being a dad, and the beautiful but imperfect ties that connect all of us.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Contact information - David W. Berner -, 630-815-1962, fees are negotiable, I prefer to work in areas in and around Chicago, but would consider other areas within 150 miles.