If you are a writer who writes about cats, the international Cat Writers’ Association (CWA) is for you. The CWA is a professional organization of published writers and artists who specialize in feline matters.
From its beginnings in 1992, the CWA has grown to nearly 200 professionals from the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Israel and New Zealand. Members include writers and editors for cat-related and general-interest media, mystery and science fiction novelists, newspaper columnists, animal behaviorists, breeders, veterinarians, illustrators, photographers, public relations specialists, broadcasters and online professionals.
Each member is dedicated to providing news, information and education on all aspects of cats, and to improving the quality of writing about cats and other companion animals.
Professionalism is encouraged among members. The CWA provides information on becoming published and help mentor new writers. The CWA is most proud of the networking opportunities available to members, in offering contacts, informal discussions and their annual conference seminars for writers, editors and publishers.
The conference features nationally known speakers on such subjects as working with agents, how to write saleable articles and books, media training, self-editing, and understanding contracts, as well as cat-related magazine editor panels. In addition to two days of professional seminars, the CWA holds a reception where writers and editors can meet and mingle, a book-signing event, an awards banquet and other networking opportunities. All writers are welcome.
Members Learn from Speakers Such As Heloise, International Newspaper Columnist
Heloise, the internationally-syndicated columnist, author and radio commentator, will speak at this year’s CWA conference in Houston. “Hints from Heloise”, a 7-days-a-week feature, appears in more than 500 newspapers in the U.S. and in twenty countries with one column a week dedicated to animal issues. Author of seven books, Heloise is a contributing editor and columnist for Good Housekeeping Magazine. She also appears on television and radio, and makes frequent guest appearances on NBC’s The Today Show.
Hilary Helmrich, president of the Winn Feline Foundation, will be the keynote speaker on Saturday at the CWA Writing Awards Banquet. She has bred pedigreed cats since the mid-1970’s. In 1983 she became a board member of the Winn Feline Foundation which funds research for cat health, and has been president since 1997. Employed in the pharmaceutical industry, Helmrich has published many articles on the Foundation and feline health issues.
CWA conference events are held in conjunction with the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) International Cat Show, the largest cat show held in the Western Hemisphere. The CFA show at the George R. Brown Convention Center presents the championship cats from around the world, as well as vendor booths with cat-related products, demonstrations and autograph signings by CWA authors. The CWA writing seminars are co-sponsored by the Dog Writers’ Association of America.
Muse Medallion & Corporate Awards Bring Recognition to Great Writers
The CWA’s annual contest for published work, open to members and nonmembers alike, advances the organization’s goals by recognizing and rewarding outstanding communication about cats in nearly 40 categories, including magazine and newspaper articles and columns, fiction and nonfiction, online venues, photography, and poetry. Entrants compete for the CWA’s Muse Medallion™ and for special, corporate-sponsored awards on such topics as nutrition, health and behavior. The fee is $8.50 per entry for CWA members and $15 per entry for nonmembers. All published writers and photographers are eligible and encouraged to participate. Awards are presented at CWA’s annual conference in conjunction with the Cat Fanciers’ Association’s International Cat Show.
CWA encourages all writers to join CWA if you write about cats. For more information about membership requirements and about the CWA conference and contest, www.catwriters.org.