Award-winning Author to Speak at The University of Scranton

Sep 10, 2009

        The University of Scranton's Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library will present this year's Royden B. Davis, S.J., Distinguished Author Award to William Bernhardt for his prolific and varied writing career.

        Area residents can meet the award-winning author, dubbed the "master of the courtroom drama" by Library Journal, at the 2009 Royden B. Davis, S.J., Distinguished Author Award Ceremony on Saturday evening, Nov. 14, 2009. The award ceremony will be held in the fourth-floor ballroom of the Patrick and Margaret DeNaples Center. The reception begins at 5 p.m. with the award dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required to attend.

        A former trial lawyer, Bernhardt will discuss his thrillers including Capitol Offense, which is the 17th novel in the Ben Kincaid series he introduced in 1991 with Primal Justice. Capitol Offense, which publishes on Sept. 29, will be available for sale at the event.

        Bernhardt has written 27 novels in the courtroom genre, which have sold more than ten million books worldwide and have been translated and published in more than two dozen countries.

        In addition to writing novels, Bernhardt also has written a children's book and constructs crossword puzzles for The New York Times. His successful career as an author has extended to editing an anthology and founding a publishing company, HAWK Publishing Group. HAWK's focus is to discover new writers and to sponsor writing workshops and seminars in the summer. Bernhardt also teaches writing and literature throughout the year. 

       Bernhardt has received several prestigious awards, including the Southern Writers Guild's Gold Medal Award. He was a two-time winner of the Oklahoma Book Award for Best Fiction. The 2000 Booklovers Convention in Houston presented him with a career achievement award. That same year, he earned the H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award. Currently, Bernhardt serves on several boards and councils, including the Board of Directors for the Thomas H. Gilcrease Museum of Western Art and the Publications Committee for the Oklahoma Historical Society.

        The Distinguished Author Award Series began with the Friends of the Weinberg Library's desire to recognize and honor the work of fiction and non-fiction authors. The Friends also saw it as an opportunity for authors to share their literary pursuits and impressions with residents of northeastern Pennsylvania. The annual event helps the Friends of the Library Endowment Fund, which supports special gifts for the Weinberg Library collections and services.  The Distinguished Author Award was named for the late Royden B. Davis, S.J., who served as the first president of the Friends of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Library at Scranton.

        Past recipients of the Distinguished Author Award have included Emmy, Oscar and Golden Globe-winning author and actor Jack Palance, Malachy McCourt, Mary Higgins Clark, Carol Higgins Clark, Lisa Scottoline, Linda Fairstein, James Grippand, Philip Margolin and Mary Gordon. The award was first presented in 1997.

For further information or to reserve a ticket for the award event, visit, or contact Kym Fetsko at The University of Scranton at (570) 941-7816 or

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