Updated: Feb 27
Local domestic violence charity, Broken to Brilliant, has beaten nine other international competitors to win the advice category in the 2020 Author Elite Awards for their book, written by abuse survivors.
The book, ‘Broken to Brilliant,’ which shares its name with the charity, recounts the authors’ experiences of abuse, together with their strategies for how they rebuilt their lives. It is the first book in a series of three, published by the charity.
Kate Smith, Founding Director of Broken to Brilliant, said, - the award was given to KC Andrews, the pen name for all Broken to Brilliant books and for all the domestic violence survivors who have shared their story.
Kate describes how important this achievement is for the organisation and for the 32 authors of the series.
“This award highlights the value of the stories that the authors have penned and the value that the readers see. That is really significant, we think. But as domestic violence survivors, it gives validation to our stories,” - says Kate .
Kate likens the creation of a book to having a baby.
“It’s a heartfelt journey. It’s a birthing of a book. The creative process of publishing one of our books, takes about nine months. From the time we invite survivors to share their story, the webinars, question and answer sessions, the live-in writing retreat, editing and proof reading and finally the book launch. That’s why we call it a birthing.”
The awards are held annually in the United States, but due to COVID restrictions, the charity directors could not attend late last year.
Instead, Kate attended virtually and was required to dress up for the event.
“I was sitting in a diamanté ballgown in my loungeroom, with my work boots on,” she laughs.
When the award hosts announced Broken to Brilliant as the winner, Kate couldn’t believe it. She says she contacted the other directors and contributors straight away and they couldn’t believe it either.
“I was jumping up and down!” she says.
The Author Elite Awards are annual awards bestowed for literary merit and publishing excellence in the writing and publishing industry.
There are 16 different award categories, including advice, fantasy, health, mystery, science fiction, romance and more.
The charity, Broken to Brilliant, is run by domestic violence survivors who mentor other survivors to re-establish successful lives after abuse.
The charity helps victims who have safely left the abusive relationship and are out of the crisis by providing services and programs to empower, support, assist and give hope to survivors in their journey to create a new chapter in their lives.
Broken to Brilliant aims to reduce the long-term impact of domestic violence by increasing financial independence, decreasing distress, increasing opportunities through education, life-skills training, and social support networks and supporting the rebuilding efforts of those who have experienced domestic violence.
Written by Shoshanna Rose, DV Survivor and Broken to Brilliant Author
Award photography by Colin Bushell Photography
Broken to Brilliant winner 2020 Author Elite Awards