William Bernhardt is the author of over sixty books, including the Daniel Pike legal thriller series (#1 best-selling novel The Last Chance Lawyer). His previous works include the bestselling Ben Kincaid series, the historical novels Challengers of the Dust and The Florentine Poet, three books of poetry, and the Red Sneaker books on fiction writing. In addition, Bernhardt founded WriterCon Programs to mentor aspiring writers. WriterCon hosts an annual writers conference, an annual cruise, small-group writing retreats, a magazine, plus free bi-weekly e-newsletters and podcasts. More than three dozen of Bernhardt’s students have subsequently published with major houses. He is also the president/owner of Bernhardt Books, which publishes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.
Bernhardt has received the Southern Writers Guild’s Gold Medal Award, the Royden
B. Davis Distinguished Author Award (University of Pennsylvania) and the H. Louise
Cobb Distinguished Author Award (Oklahoma State), which is given in recognition
of an outstanding body of work that has profoundly influenced the way in which we
understand ourselves and American society at large. He has been nominated for the
Oklahoma Book Award nineteen times in three different categories, and has won the
award twice. In 2019, he received the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award
from the Oklahoma Center for the Book.
More than just Books.
In addition to his novels and poetry, Bernhardt has written plays, a musical (book
and score), humor, children stories, biography, and puzzles. He has edited two
anthologies (Legal Briefs and Natural Suspect) as fundraisers for The Nature
Conservancy and the Children’s Legal Defense Fund. In his spare time, he has
enjoyed surfing, digging for dinosaurs, trekking through the Himalayas, paragliding,
scuba diving, caving, zip-lining over the canopy of the Costa Rican rainforest, and
jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet. In 2013, he became a Jeopardy! champion.
OSU has called Bernhardt “Oklahoma’s Renaissance Man.” In 2017, when Bernhardt
delivered the keynote address at the San Francisco Writers Conference, chairman
Michael Larsen noted that in addition to penning novels, Bernhardt can “write a
sonnet, play a sonata, plant a garden, try a lawsuit, teach a class, cook a gourmet
meal, beat you at Scrabble, and work the New York Times crossword in under five