Shelby author secures a finalist spot for a writing award

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published October 5, 2020

 Shelby Township resident Danielle Bernock has been nominated for a 2020 Author Elite Award.

Shelby Township resident Danielle Bernock has been nominated for a 2020 Author Elite Award.

Photos provided by Danielle Bernock


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Shelby Township resident Danielle Bernock has been nominated for a 2020 Author Elite Award, an honor given for literary merit and publishing excellence in the writing and publishing industry.

Bernock was nominated for her book, “Because You Matter,” as a top 10 finalist in the self-help category. Hundreds of books from authors throughout the world are up for an Author Elite Award.

The Author Elite Awards are given annually by Author Academy Elite and presented at the Author Elite Awards ceremony. The category winners are bestowed a special award, officially called the “Academy Boon of Merit.” There will be one winner for each of 16 genres.

Books that have been entered can be viewed online at

On Oct. 23, entries will be reviewed and evaluated on popular vote, social contribution and overall presentation, including cover, content, flow and originality, by the academy’s voting membership that includes best-selling authors, literary agents and industry leaders.

Kary Oberbrunner, the founder of Author Academy Elite and the Author Elite Awards, said that the competition is a chance to raise awareness of authors and the stories they put their heart into writing.

“Our goal is to help further connect this global community of authors, maintain excellence and integrity of the book publishing industry, and raise awareness that the stories being told and the authors who write them are worth our attention,” said Oberbrunner.

Bernock said she worked on “Because You Matter” for about 18 months.

“It started as an idea to help others reclaim their life from trauma using my story. Healing from my trauma was so life-changing. But then I decided the book needed more than just my story to reach across the differences of race, age, gender and faith, as well as speak to various kinds of trauma,” she said.

In her book,  Bernock interviews real people with traumatic experiences in hopes of helping others.

“I have a desire to reach millions with the message within this book. The message (is that) you get one life and how you live it is up to you — you have great value and the right to know you’re loved, and it’s through taking ownership of every area of your life (one piece at a time) that you find freedom and satisfaction,” she said.

Bernock said she began writing eight years ago.

“I have written off and on most of my life (songs, poems) but started writing my first book in 2012. It was the overwhelming response I got from that first book (“Emerging With Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, And The LOVE that Heals”) that led me to continue to write, start speaking and coaching,” she said.

So far, she has written four books: “Emerging With Wings,” “A Bird Named Payn,” “Love’s Manifesto” and “Because You Matter.”

“In addition to my books, I’ve written for numerous online publications, and my stories have been published in two book anthologies,” she said.

Bernock said she has been thinking about writing another book in the near future.

“It’s quite possible I’ll write more books. I have one I’m mulling around right now but haven’t started,” she said.

For more information or to vote for the awards, visit and click the “Vote for 2020” button. Once there, click through the poll to view the self-help category and then find and click on “Because You Matter.”

To find out the winners, visit