Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) announced the opening of the annual dog writing contest this past June. The contest is considered the ultimate honor for those of us who specialize in creating and publishing information about dogs. Journalists, authors, bloggers, photographers, illustrators and editors can compete in a variety of categories for the coveted Maxwell Medallion, named for dog writing legend Maxwell Riddle.
I’ve been a member of DWAA for more than twenty years. The organization was formed in 1935, and I was so impressed by the organization, the DWAA inspired the birth of the Cat Writers Association. These “sister” organizations have the best interests of our furry companions at heart. To that end, a contest each year celebrates the best of the best of writing–and it’s open to YOU to enter your work!
The DWAA Annual Writing Contest opens July 10 and closes Sept. 8, 2017. Winners will be announced in early December on social media and can accept their prizes at the awards banquet the evening of Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 at the iconic New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan.
PRINT & DIGITAL ENTRIES WELCOME
You don’t have to be a member of DWAA to enter, but your work does need to be published. Entries are judged by a combination of professional DWAA members and outside dog professionals. For that reason, receiving recognition in the Dog Writers Contest is a great honor treasured by all those who write about dogs. Being recognized by one’s peers can only be topped by the love of a dog.
Because so much of today’s writing and communication is digital, the DWAA contest offers two ways to enter. You can submit digital work online, or you can snail mail physical copies of your work. Each year, newer writers are recognized and applauded through recognition in this prestigious contest, so don’t hesitate to throw your furry hat into the ring. Nonfiction, fiction, illustrations and more are eligible. You might win BLING in the form of the Maxwell … or even some $$$.
$14,000 PRIZES & MORE!
“DWAA’s annual writing contest presents such a fantastic opportunity for writers and other professionals whose work involves dogs,” said DWAA President Jen Reeder.
Entrants can also compete for cash prizes offered through corporate sponsored awards. “We’re excited and grateful that so many fantastic individuals, nonprofits and corporations are sponsoring special awards this year,” said Reeder. “Special awards offer a unique way to get the pet writing community excited about a topic and support top-notch canine publishing.”
NEW SPONSORED PRIZES RAISE THE $TAKE$
The two awards with the biggest purse are both sponsored by Fear Free, LLC: The Fear Free Pets Award and Fear Free Dog Enrichment Award. Each comes with a $2,000 prize. Fear Free Founder Dr. Marty Becker, also known as “America’s Veterinarian,” will give a keynote speech and present the awards to the winners at the banquet.
“As a dog writer as well as a veterinarian and the founder of Fear Free, I’m incredibly honored to be speaking to the Dog Writers Association and presenting the Fear Free awards this year,” Becker said. “We at Fear Free want to acknowledge your influence and encourage dog writers to spread the word about reducing fear, anxiety, and stress in our pets’ lives by offering these awards.”
Another impressive award is the Ceva Heartworm Prevention Award of $1,500 for the best article that educates the public about heartworm awareness and prevention tips. “There’s always new information on this potentially deadly disease. We hope that this award encourages writers to consider all the research and write about heartworm prevention as it remains a very important topic to cover,” said Craig Wallace, Chief Executive Officer of Ceva Animal Health.
AKC CONTINUES DWAA SUPPORT
DWAA was born at a dog show, so it’s no surprise that the AKC offers a paws-up for the contest. The American Kennel Club sponsors a number of coveted awards each year, including the AKC Club Publication Excellence Award, AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Public Service Award, and DWAA Distinguished Service Award.
“The American Kennel Club is honored to recognize the writers and journalists that advance the sport of dogs and highlight the best aspects of the human-canine bond,” said Brandi Hunter, Vice President of Public Relations for The American Kennel Club.
The DWAA special awards include:
- The Fear Free Pets Award – $2,000
- Fear Free Dog Enrichment Award – $2,000
- AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Public Service Award – $500
- Dogwise Best Book Award – $500 The Canine Scribbles Award – $350
- The Ceva Heartworm Prevention Award – $1,500
- The GNFP Digital Online Article Award – $500
- AKC Microchipping Awareness Award – $1,500
- International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals Pet Fashion Award – $350
- AKC Club Publication Excellence Award – $500
- The Morris Animal Foundation Canine Health Award – $300
- DWAA Robert H. McKowen Memorial Friends of Rescue Award – $300
- The PSI Professional Pet Care Award – $300
- The Take Your Dog Award – $300
- The Walter R. Fletcher Memorial Award – seat of honor at the 2018 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
- AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy and Canine Good Citizen Award – $500
- DWAA Junior Writer Award – $400 – James Colasanti, Jr. Poetry Award – $200
- The Captain William Lewis Judy Award – $350
- The Captain Haggerty Award for Best Training Book or Article – $200
- The Harrison Stephens Inspirational Feature Award – $300
- DWAA Distinguished Service Award – $1,000
For more information or to enter the contest, visit: dogwriters.org.
The Dog Writers Association of America is the most recognized professional writing association devoted to dogs. Founded in 1935, the DWAA has grown from eight founders to over 500 members, including journalists, authors, bloggers, publicists, photographers, illustrators and media personalities. Under the umbrella of the human-canine bond, members cover dog competitions, health, training, rescue, pet fashion, veterinary research, working dog organizations, animal welfare legislation, fundraisers and many other topics. For more information, visit: dogwriters.org.
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