Cat Writers’ Association Announces Winners in its International Communications Contest


Originally published June 25, 2016 — Updated July 1, 2016


CHANDLER, AZ: The 22nd annual Cat Writers’ Association Communication Contest drew more than 290 entries from all over the globe with Catherine Holm taking home the “best of the best” CWA President’s Award for her for her short story entitled Sideways

More than $11,000 in prize money and more than three dozen Muse medallion awards were presented in writing, photography and graphic arts categories at the special awards ceremony held at the joint CWA/BlogPaws conference at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Chandler, AZ on Friday.

“Each year, we set new records for entry submissions and each year, the quality of submissions improves,” said Arden Moore, founder of Four Legged, who served at this year’s CWA contest chair. “Some of the most competitive categories were for blog posts – a clear sign of the impact and influence online articles are having on the pet community.”

Among the highlights from the awards ceremony:

  • JaneA Kelley scored the only perfect score among all 290 entrants for her article entitled, “Recessionista.” She scored 100 from each of the three judges.
  • Leslea Newman won both the Books for Children category and the Litter-ary Award sponsored by World’s Best Cat Litter.
  • The most competitive category – online article focusing on health and general care produced a tie. Sharing this category and each winning a coveted CWA Muse medallion were Dusty Rainbolt for her article, “Researchers Study Kitten Mortality” and Kim Campbell Thornton for her article, “Catch It Early.”
  • Kim Campbell Thornton was also recoginzed for her lifelong impact in the pet industry and was named the recipient of the Michael Brim Distinguished Service Award. Fran Pennock Shaw nominated Thornton and noted, “Kim is a professional in every sense of the word – an award-winning editor, author and journalist, an advocate for the betterment of cats and all animals, and a leader within the Cat Writers’ Association.”

CWA 2015 Communication Contest Muse Medallion Winners 

Magazine National Circulation

Teresa Keiger – Cat Talk

Magazine Article/Health & General Care

Fran Pennock Shaw – An Aggressive Foe

Magazine Article/Behavior & Training

Sophia Yin, DVM – Young Cats, New Tricks

Magazine Article/Rescue & Advocacy

Bethany Wynn – Three Mascoteers

Magazine Article – Any Other Topic

Catherine Hess – The Cat’s Meow

Magazine Column

Janea Kelley – Recessionista

Newspaper Article/Rescue&Advocacy

Jan Reeder – Cat Crusader

Newspaper Column

Ewing, Susan M. – The Pet Pen

Newsletter/Regional Or Membership

Louise Holton – Alley Cat Mews

Newsletter/Health & General Care

Sally Deneen – Can Treats Make Them Pack on Pounds?

Newsletter Article/Any Other Topic

Ramona Marek – Estate Planning and Your Pets

Newsletter Column

Lyn Garson – Technically Speaking

Short Story

Catherine Holm – Sideways


Linda Mohr – Morning Visitor


Allia Zobel Nolan – Women Who Still Love Cats Too Much

Opinion Piece

Jen Reeder – Let’s Discuss Pets During Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Humane Education Press Kits

Bernadette Kazmarski – Homeless Cat Management

Books – Fiction

Carole Nelson Douglas – Cat In A Yellow Spotlight

Books for Children

Lesléa Newman – Ketzel, The Cat Who Composed

Books Health & General Care

Amy Shojai – Cat Facts: The A-to-Z Pet Parent’s Home Care Encyclopedia

Books – Other

Dahlynn and Ken McKowen and Margie Yee Webb – Not Your Mother’s Book on Cats

Video, CD, DVD or TV Production

Lisa Richman – Our Wish

Online Article/Health & General Care (tie)

Dusty Rainbolt – Researchers Study Kitten Mortality

Kim Campbell Thornton – Catch It Early

Online Article/Behavior & Training

Janiss Garza – 5 Myths About Cat Walking

Online Article/ Rescue & Advocacy

Marci Kladnik – How One Massive TNR Project Broke My Heart and My Spirit

Online Article/Any Other Topic

Camille Dodero – Corporate Cats Still Suck

Online Column

Phillip Mlynar – Monday Miracle Column

Blog Entertainment

Lisa Richman – A Tonk’s Tail

Blog/ Any Other Topic

Melissa Lapierre – Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and Meows

Color Photograph Single

Jerry Thornton – Jaguar – Wild Cats of the Americas

Color Photographs Series

Marci Kladnik – How One Massive TNR Project Broke My Heart and My Spirit

Photographic Art

Christine Booras – Me, My Ferals And I


Stephanie Piro – Dream

Illustration Single

Bernadette Kazmarski – Snowy Morning

Illustrations Series

Ewa O’Neill – I Want A Cat: My Opinion Essay


2015 CWA Communication Contest Special Award Winners

AAFP Cat Friendly Award – Sponsored by the American Association of Feline Practitioners. Winner: Nancy Peterson for “One More Reason to Book Your Cat’s Next Vet Checkup Today.”

Adopt a Homeless Cat Award – Sponsored by AdoptAShelter.Com. Winner: Deb Barnes for “Oct. 16 – National Feral Cat Day: Any Cat Can Be Feral…Even Yours.”

The Dr. Jim Richards Cornell Feline Health Center Veterinary Issues Award – Sponsored by Cornell University’s Feline Health Center. Winner: Amy Shojai for “Cat Facts: The A-to-Z Pet Parent’s Home Care Encyclopedia.”

Human-Animal Bond Award – Sponsored by GoodNewsForPets.Com. Winner: Ramona Marek for “The Strength of the Human-Animal Bond.”

Hartz Every Day Chewable Vitamin Award – Sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation. Winner: Deborah Camp for “Cats Are Subject to Mental Changes.”

Hartz Glamour-Puss Award – Sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation. Winner: Debbie DeLouise for “Brush Your Cat for Bonding, Beauty and Better Health.”

Hartz Milk Replacement for Kittens Award – Sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation. Winner: Valerie Sicignano for “The Cats On My Block.”

The Kari Winters Rescue and Rehabilitation Award – Sponsored by The International Cat Association (TICA). Winner: Marci Kladnik for “A Blind Kitten Finds a Friend and Eventually, a Home.”

The Litter-Lifter Litter Box Awareness Award – Sponsored by Preferred Merchandizing. Winner: Phillip Mlynar for “Why Do Cats Act Weird When It Comes to Litter Boxes?”

The Litter-Lifter Newcomer Responsibility Award – Sponsored by Preferred Merchanizing. Winner: Leslie Goodwin for “Cat Skills: Loving Care for Cats.”

The Lorie Huston Health Award – Sponsored by PetSafe. Winner: Andrea Dorn for “Don’t Let Plants Be Pet Killers.”

The Sleepypod Traveler Award – Sponsored by Sleepypod. Winner: Nancy Peterson for “8 Tips to Make Sure Your Cat Is Prepared for a House Fire.”

The SmartCat All Natural Litter Training Award – Sponsored by Pioneer Pets. Winner: Janiss Garza for “5 Myths About Cat Walking.”

The World’s Best Cat Litter-ary Award – Sponsored by World’s Best Cat Litter. Winner: Leslea Newman for “Ketzel: The Cat Who Composed.”

The Shojai Mentor Award – Sponsored by Amy Shojai, co-founder of CWA. Winner: Carole Nelson Douglas.

The Michael Brim Distinguished Service Award – Sponsored by CWA. Winner: Kim Campbell Thornton.

The CWA President’s Award – Sponsored by CWA and chosen by CWA president Marci Kladnik. Winner: Catherine Holm for her short story entitled Sideways

Kuykendall Image Award Sponsored by CWA, this award is presented to the outstanding “image” entry featuring cats – whether photography, illustration, or graphic art. This may be a single piece or series entry, including, but not limited to, photos/artwork published in a magazine, newspaper, newsletter, book, pamphlet, calendar, poster, greeting card, or commercial online publication.

WINNER: Amy June Bates, illustrator, “Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed”

Petsafe®  Scholarship Sponsored by Petsafe®, this is an award of $500.00 for the winner to attend next year’s CWA Conference. The drawing was held during the just-concluded 2016 Conference.

WINNER: Mollie Hunt

   1st runner up: Adam Jablonski

   2nd runner up: Rick Reichenbach

   3rd runner up: Clea Simon

   4th runner up: Christine Booras

   5th runner up: Caren Gittleman

   6th runner up: Kezia Willingham

   7th runner up: Laurren Darr


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