Dog Writers Association of America’s Annual Writing Contest Winners To Be Announced Feb 10


DWAA logo

The Annual Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) Contest Category winners will be announced 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. The finalists were announced Wednesday December 5. Registration for the banquet is now open, tickets are limited.

“Ever since I first judged the contest years ago, I knew that just being nominated as a finalist was a true honor,” said Laurren Darr, DWAA’s Contest Chair. “This year’s contest was no exception. Entries from all forms of media represent the strong bonds between humans and their dogs in an unsurpassed professional manner.”

Journalists and authors also compete for a total of $15,950 in special awards. The Dog Writers Association of America announced the opening of the annual writing contest July 9, 2018. Journalists, authors, bloggers, photographers, illustrators and editors competed in a variety of categories for the coveted Maxwell Medallion, named for dog writing legend Maxwell Riddle. The DWAA Annual Writing Contest opened July 9 and closed online at 6:00 p.m. EST Sept. 8, 2018.

Young woman with dog and computer

“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 finalists for the DWAA special awards were also announced on Wednesday December 5. 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) – $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

“We are so grateful to all of our generous sponsors who support DWAA and the dog writing community,” said DWAA President Jen Reeder. “Writing is such a labor of love, and it’s wonderful to see the work of dog writers and artists honored in this competition.”

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:


Why I’m Excited for the DWAA Writing Competition – And Why You Should Be Too!

Media Contacts

Lea-Ann O’Hare Germinder, APR Fellow PRSA

917-334-8682 or 212-367-2170


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