Robert Kerbeck

Fiction Writer

30765 Pacific Coast Highway #141
Malibu, CA 90265

Author's Bio

Robert Kerbeck is the founder of the Malibu Writers Circle and a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. His first person account of the 2018 Woolsey Fire—the worst wildfire in Los Angeles history—was read by over a million people as an Op-Ed for the LA Times. Based on that essay, his debut book, Malibu Burning: The Real Story Behind LA's Most Devastating Wildfire, won the 2020 IPPY Award, the Readers' Favorite Award, and the Best of LA Award. His forthcoming memoir, RUSE: Lying the American Dream from Hollywood to Wall Street (Steerforth Press Feb. 1, 2022), is a thrilling look into his career as a corporate spy. 

Robert’s essays and short stories have been featured in numerous magazines and literary journals, including Narratively, Cimarron Review, upstreet, Gargoyle, Cream City Review, Los Angeles Magazine, Shondaland, and The Normal School. He has attended Tin House (three times), Bread Loaf (twice), and numerous writing workshops at the University of Iowa. His short story, Reconnected, was adapted into a film and appeared at film festivals worldwide, winning multiple awards. Robert is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio and also an award-winning actor. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robert resides in Malibu. Learn more about him and his work at 

Publications & Prizes

Malibu Burning: The Real Story Behind LA's Most Devastating Wildfire (MWC Press, 2019)
Journals: , , , , , ,
Easy Street
, , ,
Green Hills Literary Lantern
, , ,
Philadelphia Stories
, , ,
The Tower Journal
Willow Review
Word Riot
Prizes won: 


Malibu Burning: The Real Story Behind LA’s Most Devastating Wildfire (2019)

Winner, 2020 IPPY Award, Readers’ Favorite Award, Best of LA Award

Finalist, Foreword Reviews Indies Award & National Indie Excellence Awards

RUSE: Lying the American Dream from Hollywood to Wall Street (Feb 1, 2022 Steerforth Press/Penguin Random House)

Advance Praise for RUSE:
"Robert Kerbeck has mastered the art of social engineering, or what he calls 'rusing', and taken it to a whole new level.”

 — Frank Abagnale, author of Catch Me If You Can  

"Ruse exposes the dark, greedy, narcissistic side of Wall Street and Big Business in general. Kerbeck out-cons the top con-artists -- sophisticated CEOs.”  
— John Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

"Kerbeck has a very compelling writing style and can pull off humor, too, which isn’t easy. I really enjoyed Ruse.” 
— Bradley Hope, New York Times bestselling author of Billion Dollar Whale 

“Successful spies are great storytellers, and Robert Kerbeck ranks up there with the best of them.” 

— Valerie Plame, author of Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House

Notable publications:

“California’s Courageous Firefighters," published in Shondaland

Winner, 2021 SoCal Journalism Award presented by the LA Press Club

“License to Kill,” published in Los Angeles Magazine

“The Accidental Firefighter,” published in the Los Angeles Times

Other writing/publications:

Over twenty short stories published in the top literary journals in the country. Three time nominee for the Pushcart Prize.

His screenplay for “Reconnnected” won multiple awards at major film festivals around the globe. 



More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Philadelphia, PA
Raised in: 
Philadelphia, PA
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Nov 15, 2021