Sometimes it pays to be catty—I just finished hosting a Google Hangout On The Air (see bottom of post) about the Cat Writers’ Association annual contest. The international Cat Writers’ Association, Inc. (CWA) founded in 1992 is now accepting entries for its annual Communications Contest with more than $11,000 in prize money plus the prestigious Muse Medallion award in its kitty.
This year, CWA is offering 19 sponsored special awards of $500 to $1,000 each as well as its own Muse Medallions™ to winners in approximately 55 writing, broadcast and graphic arts categories. The special awards cover topics that include veterinary research, health, behavior, nutrition, seniors, kitten care, safety issues, the human-animal bond, humane issues and responsible ownership, plus awards for fiction and new writers.
Our contest showcases the very best in the feline field of professional writers, broadcasters, photographers and graphic artists. You don’t have to belong to CWA to participate. However, we encourage writers to become part of this professional group that strives to improve the lives of cats and serves as a great network of professionals.
CWA’s writing competition is open to work published between June 16, 2014 and December 31, 2015 (a special one-time 18-month contest period). Categories cover feline-oriented articles and columns, short stories and blogs, poetry, fiction and nonfiction books, photography and illustrations published in magazines, newspapers, newsletters and online and video/audio tapes of broadcast material. Awards will be presented at CWA’s annual conference to be held this year June 23-25 outside Phoenix.
Rules and entry forms are available on the CWA’s website. Entries must be postmarked no later than Tuesday, January 19, 2016.
I’ve been fortunate to win a few of the CWA-sponsored awards. While the cash is terrific (writers are notoriously underpaid!), the kudos from colleagues and other pros in the field goes even further. Having one of these awards on your resume actually helps land future writing jobs.
CWA also sponsors an annual writing conference. This year the conference is held in conjunction with the BlogPaws Conference, and event that brings together beginning to professional bloggers with a passion for pets. That makes it possible for pet professionals, show people, products manufacturers and media attending the event to also attend the educational sessions. Anybody who’s anyone in the world of cats or dogs (or ferrets, birds, bunnies, even pigs!) will be at this event in June. Yes, it’s a long time away, but now you can mark your calendar well in advance!
Seminars offer help to beginning-to-advance writers, and are presented by a wide range of professionals. Editors in attendance welcome meeting with aspiring article and book authors. In fact, I have personally sold more articles than I can count, and four pet books as a direct result of attending this conference.
Because our members have specialized interest in all-things-pets, seminars and panel discussions in the past have included such varied topics as laws pertaining to animals; veterinary issues and hot topics to cover in the news; and shelter/animal welfare issues. I’ve just confirmed speakers on topics ranging from self-publishing to New York publishing, marketing your work, submitting proposals and more. BlogPaws speakers will offer a plethora of info on blogging, SEO, state of the industry, marketing and more. Stay tuned!
In addition to the great writing seminars, a pet book signing event will be held during the conference featuring many attending authors and their latest books. If you love pets–and you do or you wouldn’t read this blog; and if you are now writing or would like to learn more; consider entering the contest and/or attending the CWA conference and/or entering the contest. Check out this video from contest chair Arden Moore with more information. Hope to see you there!
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