Dog Writers Contest: Enter for Chance To Win Nearly $16,000

Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) announced the opening of the annual dog writers contest on July 9, 2018. The DWAA 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-five years. I was so impressed by the organization, that the DWAA contest and organization 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 9 and closes 6 pm (EST) Sept. 8, 2018. Finalists will be announced in early December on social media and can accept their prizes at the awards banquet the evening of Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 at the iconic New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan. Keynote speakers include NBC correspondent Jill Rappaport, host of Animal Planet’s “Dog Bowl,” and renowned radio host and pet journalist Steve Dale of Steve Dale’s Pet World.

dwaa contest


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 again 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 $$$.


“Winning a Maxwell Medallion is an honor that can really boost a writing career. Plus, there are so many cash prizes thanks to our generous sponsors!” says Jen Reeder, DWAA President.

“DWAA’s annual writing contest is a terrific opportunity for writers and other professionals whose work involves dogs,” said Contest Chair Laurren Darr. “Winning can be a real ‘game changer’ for a career – not to mention lucrative!”


The DWAA special awards include:

  • AKC Club Publication Excellence Award (sponsored by the AKC) – $500
  • AKC Reunite Microchip Awareness Award (sponsored by AKC Reunite) – $1,500
  • AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Public Service Award (sponsored by the AKC) – $500
  • The AKC Family Dog Award (sponsored by the AKC) – $500
  • The Canine Scribbles Award (sponsored by Canine Scribbles, LLC) – $350
  • The Captain William Lewis Judy Award (sponsored by American Legion Post #348 and Lisa Begin-Kruysman) – $350
  • The Ceva Heartworm Prevention Award (sponsored by Ceva Animal Health) – $1,500
  • DWAA Junior Writer Award (sponsored by children’s book author Karen Petit) – $400
  • DWAA Robert H. McKowen Memorial Friends of Rescue Award (sponsored by his family and friends) – $300
  • The Fear Free Pets Award (sponsored by Fear Free, LLC) – $2,000
  • Fear Free Dog Enrichment Award (sponsored by Fear Free, LLC) – $2,000
  • The GNFP Digital Canine Companion Award (sponsored by GNFP Digital) – $1,000
  • The Harrison Stephens Inspirational Feature Award (sponsored by Sally and Tom Reeder) – $300
  • The Heroes for Healthy Pets Award (sponsored by Merck Animal Health) – $1,500
  • James Colasanti, Jr. Poetry Award (sponsored by James Colasanti, Jr.) – $200
  • The Pet Fashion Guild Pet Fashion Award (sponsored by Pet Fashion Guild) – $350
  • The PSI Professional Pet Care Award (sponsored by Pet Sitters International) – $300
  • The Rio Award (sponsored by Jen Reeder and Bryan Fryklund) – $300
  • The Sleepypod Pet Safety Award (sponsored by Sleepypod) – $500
  • The Take Your Dog Award (sponsored by Pet Sitters International) – $300
  • The Walter R. Fletcher Memorial Award (sponsored by The Westminster Kennel Club) – $300
  • Dogwise Best Book Award (sponsored by Dogwise Publishing; chosen by DWAA President from category winners) – $500
  • DWAA Distinguished Service Award (sponsored by the American Kennel Club; chosen by DWAA leadership) – $1,000

For more information or to enter the contest, visit:

About DWAA

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:

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