Please note that some posts contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links Find out More

Ask Amy: Puppy Bowl
Cat Show Kitten Play
Cat Show Kitten Play

Cat Writers & BlogPaws Rock the Pet World!

by | Jul 3, 2016 | Cat Behavior & Care, Dog Training & Care, Writing Advice & More | 0 comments

Amy Shojai Blogpaws Cup

I love coffee cups…and coffee! So this is perfect for me. The gift bag from WIPIN also included cat toys (yay!) and a fold-able lawn chair with a small pet shelter area beneath the seat. Very cool!

Cat Writers’ Association and BlogPaws joined furry forces for an historic combined conference benefiting writers and bloggers of all purr-suasions–and to enthusiastic applause by one and all! In the coming days and weeks, many of us will continue to shout out praises for the resulting brand and professional connections we’ve made and friendships found as a result of these two stellar organizations.

NEWS FLASH! Amazon Prime Day June 5 (save 40%, details here)

It’s taken me all week to write thank yous to all of the CWA sponsors, speakers and other movers-and-shakers and I still have a few left to contact. Yes, it takes that many individuals and entities to create something this paw-some. For those unable to attend, I wanted to offer my own experience, which may be a bit different than some attendees, since I was tasked with leading the CWA portion of the conference (with a LOT of help!).

WEDNESDAY PREP TIME

I arrived on Wednesday afternoon June 22, and connected with CWA Prez Marci Kladnik and banquet gift bag coordinator Susan Willett. We spent the afternoon tracking down the “swag” donated by our incredible CWA sponsors and putting everything together with the help of more members as they arrived. This was a great time to reconnect and get a ‘sneak peek’ at the goodies.

Later that afternoon, I met with a room full of expert bloggers at a “tea” sponsored by AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association). They shared some great information that I’ll pass on very soon. Later that evening, Petsmart hosted a welcome reception for all the early bird attendees.

THURSDAY KICK OFF

AmyShojai-IntroSpeakers

Amy introduces CWA speakers. Copr Silver Paw Studio

The CWA’s publishing and promotion tracked ran on Thursday afternoon. Since this year I was CWA Conference Chair, it was my honor to introduce all our speakers.

Mark Coker of SMASHWORDS.com kicked everything off. His talk about best practices of best selling indie authors proved to be very popular. NYT bestselling cat book author, Gwen Cooper, followed with her story and tips for publishing with mainstream publishers–even if they “think” that cat books won’t sell. (Don’t tell that to Karma!). Gwen’s book about her blind cat Homer (along with many others) provide them wrong. Lea-Ann Germinder presented her final session of the day on PR and marketing for bloggers, writers and others to a standing-room only crowd. Mee-wow!

See more about speakers and recap here.

CWA Booth Cat Writers (2)

After the seminars, the exhibition hall opened. Several of our CWA members manned the booth during exhibit hours, as well as autographing their books. Many folks stopped by to learn more about our 24-year-old professional organization, and I expect we’ll gain some prestigious new members as a result.

AmyPressCon-byArdenMoore

Relieved after the press conference! Image copr. Arden Moore

YAPPY HOUR & PRESS CONFERENCE

Late that afternoon, I spoke on behalf of CWA at the BlogPaws press conference that officially kicked off the event. Can you tell I’m nervous?! It helps to have lots of dogs, cats, ferrets and even a rattie or two in the crowd…*s*

IMG_3746

IMG_3733

A “yappy hour” reception sponsored by Purina made all virtual tails wag, and was followed by opening events. Steve Dale presented the Winn Feline Foundation Award for journalistic excellence reporting on feline medical issues to Dr. Arnold Plotnick, a feline specialist, and three of the BlogPaws founders (Tom Collins, Chloe and Yvonne Divita) welcomed attendees numbering probably 400-500 (not counting their furry charges).

IMG_3751

FELINE FRIDAY EVENTS

CWA sessions continued with a stellar lineup of panels. Dr. Marty Becker (moderator), Dr. Elizabeth Colleran and Denise Fleck provided lots of content for bloggers and writers in their wide ranging discussion Fear Free Hot Topics for Pet-Centric Writers. Dr. Becker covered the “fear free” program he promotes to help pets visit vets without being scared; Dr. Colleran discussed the Cat Friendly Practice initiative and cat behavior issues; and Denise Fleck, a first and and pet disaster prep expert, offered great recommendations for keeping pets safe.

The final CWA session featured award winning blogger/writer Susan Willett moderating a panel of authors and editors, aimed at helping attendees get PAID for their work. Panelists included Lisa Beg-Kruysman, Lonnie Hull Dupont, Patricia Fry and Lynn Thompson.

Then I was invited to a brunch sponsored by Virbac, to learn more about fleas and intestinal worms and how Sentinel Spectrum works. Hey, we’re pet people, that’s what we do!

EXHIBIT HALL & CAT STYLE LOUNGE

More than 50 exhibitors offered information and samples (TREATS! TOYS! FOOD!). I finally had to politely decline any more samples, as I feared the plane wouldn’t be able to take off. Part of the exhibit area features cat-specific products in the “Cat Style Lounge” hosted by Kate Benjamin of Hausepanther. Many folks took advantage of entering drawings for some of these wonderful products and…look what I won!

IMG_3821

Hausepanther also hosted the “Happy Meow-ur” that evening. Later, many folks had fun glamming their pets up for the Pawject Runway hosted by Red Roof Inn, but I and many of the cat folks instead prepped for the BIGGEST NIGHT OF THE CWA YEAR–

KimThornton-AmyShojai

Kim Thornton presents Muse to to Amy for CAT FACTS. Copr. Jerry Thornton

CWA AWARDS BANQUET

The awards banquet honors published work in dozens of categories. This year I was honored to be nominated in 7 categories, and even more delighted to actually win a coveted Muse Medallion for my book CAT FACTS. The book also won a special award sponsored by the Cornell Feline Health Center. I’ve already blogged about this here, but wanted to share the pictures, too. It was a special night.

AmyShojai-ArdenMoore-CornellAward

Contest chair Arden Moore presents Cornell Award to Amy for CAT FACTS. Copr. Jerry Thornton

The CWA Banquet and seminar events were made possible by our incredible sponsors, led by Purina, GoodNewsForPets.com and PetSafe. I know that Prez Marci is already planning for 2017 so please message her through the CWA website for further info.

AmyShojai-DustyRainbolt-MarciKladnik

Amy presents Shojai Mentor Award to Carole Nelson Douglas–Dusty Rainbolt accepts, with President Marci Kladnik. Copr. Jerry Thornton

As one of the founders of CWA, I also sponsor a special award that honors the member who has helped another through mentoring to achieve his or her professional goals. This year, I was excited to learn that my good friend Dusty Rainbolt (a former recipient of the award) had nominated a mutual friend, Carole Nelson Douglas (author of the Midnight Louie books and many others).

See more about the various award winners and contest sponsors here.

AmyShojai-MarciKladnik-BRACELET

President Marci Kladnik presents Amy with retirement bracelet. Copr. Jerry Thornton

AMY’S SURPRISE RETIREMENT GIFT

After serving the CWA as president for 24 years in several capacities, I announced my retirement from the Council. So after all the awards were given, President Marci Kladnik presented me with the most spectacular custom made charm bracelet, designed by CWA artist/writer member Wendy Christensen. Yes, I was floored!

2016-06-25 13.29.46 2016-06-25 13.29.34

It has charms representing milestones in my CWA and writing life, from my cats and dogs, to book covers, a tiny type writer and open book, roses, cello, comedy/tragedy mask, the Muse Medallion and CWA logo and more. I will treasure and wear this with deep joy for the rest of my life.

2016-06-25 14.35.02SATURDAY BLOGPAWS

Throughout the weekend, BlogPaws also held fantastic sessions and Saturday I had time to finally spend time with all the wonderful offerings. These included keynote addresses, one-on-one discussions, and a book signing event.

2016-06-25 12.32.39 2016-06-25 12.58.55

I also spent a lovely lunch time with the Hill’s Pet Food folks, learning more about the benefits of specific nutrition for our cats and dogs. And yes, I shared my table with a very friendly rattie!

2016-06-25 12.27.27

Deb Barnes & Amy Shojai on the red carpet. Copr. Silver Paw Studio

Deb Barnes & Amy Shojai on the red carpet. Copr. Silver Paw Studio

The finale that evening highlighted the BlogPaws “Nose-to-Nose” nominees and announced the winners in a variety of blogging categories. The red carpet and photo op is great fun, because the PETS get to strut their stuff. You ain’t lived until you’ve seen a glam cat tricked out in formal wear, or a ferret rocking a gemstone leash. The banquet was yummy and the entire evening was sponsored by Natural Balance and Nature’s Recipe. Pet people and pet companies really know how to throw a paw-ty!

IMG_3853

SWAG-SWAG-WAGGITY-PURTASTIC-SWAG!!!

Between the CWA Banquet gift bags, the BlogPaws swag bags, the speaker tote with gifts (from Women In the Pet Industry), and all the samples from the exhibitors, I could not carry everything home. So without opening the bags (really, I had no time at all while there!) I stuffed everything into a big box, and shipped the 30-pound package home.

You heard right…30 POUNDS!

Today (Sunday July 3) I finally opened the box. And here’s what happened.

I will try to personally thank as many sponsors and donors as possible but honestly, it will take several weeks. My pets and I are incredibly grateful. The pet industry truly cares about cats and dogs (and ferrets, hamsters, birds, all-critters). And I am very pleased to be a part of it.

So for all you folks who attended the CWA and BlogPaws events–what was your favorite part? Please share! For me (even though I love the swag) the best part was meeting new folks and reconnecting with friends and colleagues. Can you hear my purrrrrrr?


YouTube Button

Subscribe to Amy’s YouTube Channel

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

0 Comments

Categories:

Recent Posts

7 Tips How to Prepare Cats, Dogs, and People for Holiday Visits

How to Prepare Cats, Dogs, and People for Holiday Visits

Holiday celebrations include visiting family and friends. It also means keeping pets safe during the holidays. Since we consider cats and dogs part of the family, pet holiday visits require special preparations. Changes to routine can increase fear, anxiety, and stress in everyone, and especially our pets. Hitting the road also raises stress levels, so unless your pets adore car travel, prepare with advice in this article. Here are some tips for reducing the angst once you arrive, so that everyone enjoys family pet holiday visits.

How to Prepare If Pets Outlive You

We often lament the fact that dogs and cats don’t live as long as we do. But what about the reverse—what if your pets live longer than you do? Are there legal protections you can take in planning for when your pets outlive you? We loved them dearly while alive, and must also care for them when we’re gone with proper plans. And yes, it can happen totally out of the blue.

The unthinkable happens, even to animal professionals. Back in 2014, in the same week, our pet community felt rocked by the tragic and sudden deaths of two heroes, animal behaviorist Dr. Sophia Yin and Cat Writers Association president Dr. Lorie Huston. Dr. Yin left behind her beloved dog Jonesy, while my friend Lorie left six special needs rescue cats. CWA members networked to re-home Lorie’s cats. More recently, the Cat Writers’ Association again lost a beloved leader when president Paula Gregg passed away suddenly. She had time to make plans for her beloved Persian cats, Truffle and Brulee.

None of these wonderful pet lovers expected to have their pets outlive them. Do you have plans for your special pets? Here are tips for planning for when your pets outlive you.

Old Pets? 7 Cheap DIY Help for Old Fogey Dogs & Cats

Like older pets, I also move a wee bit slower than in my youth. Shadow-Pup helps keep me active and young, as well as chasing and engaging the more mature Karma-Kat. Aging dogs and senior cats rock!

I’ll admit that senior pets have a special place in my heart, even if they suffer from senility. Maybe in part because I can more easily relate to them. Do you love old pets? Are you ready for some old dog and/or old cat love? Oh, here are 7 cheap DIY tips to help your old pets.

Counting Thanksgiving Blessings, the Pet Writer Way in 2022

Time for my annual Count My Blessings post. The past year has meant change, change, and more change, and that’s good and also challenging. But some things never change…I’m thankful to you—yes, those who read this blog, my newspaper column, the cat book lovers, and the dog book lovers, and folks who have “adopted” my thriller series. And those who offered awesome applause and support any of the other venues mentioned…

8 Common Old Dog Health Conditions & What To Do

When November rolls around each year we take time to celebrate the many blessings we’ve enjoyed, including our old dogs. Pet people, of course, give thanks for their animal companions, and November traditionally is Adopt A Senior Pet Month. Do you share your life with an old fogey dog? Maybe your old girl dog leaks urine when lying down—is that common, and what can you do about it? My current doggy companion, Shadow-Pup, has reached teenager status. Bravo-Dawg lost his life to cancer before becoming a senior doggy. But his predecessor, Magic, still lives on in my heart. During his final years, we battled several old dog health conditions.

Celebrating Old Dogs: What Is Old?

Each November, we celebrate old dogs during their “official” month. But when is your dog considered old? We love our senior citizen dogs for the special joy they bring every day. But once a year, we celebrate old dogs during November Adopt A Senior Pet Month.

What is considered “old?” There are individual differences between pets, just as there are for people. While one person may act, look and feel “old” at fifty-five, another fifty-five-year-old remains active with a youthful attitude and appearance. Aging is influenced by a combination of genetics, environment, and health care over a lifetime. The oldest dog on record was an Australian Cattle Dog who lived for twenty-nine years and five months…

I’ve written about how to care for an elderly dog before, but this post addresses how to know when your canine friends become old dogs.

Celebrating Old Cats: What Is Old?

Every year, I write about our old cat needs. While Karma-Kat has just reached middle age, cats age at different rates. When do you consider your cat old? Is your old cat a senior kitty by age 8, or 13, or…when? For cats, what is old? Here’s how the experts define ‘old age’ in cats…

Sweet Pet Poison: Your Guide to Cat & Dog Antifreeze Poisoning

Pets often get into poisons by accidentally eating the wrong plant, or other dangerous toxins. With the pending change in the weather and when temperatures fall, cat and dog antifreeze poisoning becomes a danger.

You’ll find antifreeze in surprising places, not just in the garage. For instance, the liquid in snow globes can poison pets when the toy breaks. Not long ago, social media shared many stories of antifreeze poisoning cats from the liquid in broken snow globes. The liquid tastes sweet, so it’s very appealing for sweet-loving dogs to drink or lick up spills on the garage floor. Puppies are the worst, eating anything that doesn’t move faster than they do. Cats also are at risk when they walk through puddles and lick/groom the liquid off their body. Here’s what you need to know to keep your pets safe–and maybe save their life!

Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Cancer. We whisper the word, fear the consequences, and our hearts break when cancer touches loved ones, including furry family members. But according to veterinary specialists, cancer is the most treatable—and curable!—of any chronic pet disease.

November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month. We lost our Bravo-Dawg in the winter after a valiant fight, and you can read the first post here. The amazing folks at Morris Animal Foundation address many kinds of cancer and have funded numerous studies and even trained researchers to continue the search for the cure.

According to Dr. David Haworth, president and CEO of Morris, “One in 2 dogs will develop cancer, and 1 in 4 dogs will die of the disease.  The Foundation leverages the best minds in veterinary medicine and science to work on understanding the cause (funding over 40 studies on cancer in dogs at any given time…).” Read more about what you need to know …

Visit Amy's Website

Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

On Demand Writer Coaching

AmyShojai.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com http://amazon.com/.

Awards

Memberships