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

Jen Reeder with Rescue Dogs Rio and Peach

Jen Reeder with Rescue Dogs Rio and Peach

Each year, I get excited about the annual writing competition hosted by the Dog Writers Association of America. At its core, the DWAA Writing Competition is all about celebrating outstanding media that involves dogs.

It’s a big umbrella – there are categories for work in newspapers, blogs, books, magazines, radio and television broadcasts, illustrations, photography, calendars, and genres like nonfiction articles, short fiction, humor, essays and poetry. Winners receive the coveted Maxwell Medallion, named for dog writing legend Maxwell Riddle.

Plus…there’s $15,950 up for grabs in Special Awards categories! It’s always a thrill to have one’s workrecognized, and it’s a huge bonus to also win money. One year I won $1,500 for a special award about microchipping – for an article that had paid $300. I was the picture of poise at the Awards Banquet when I announced to my table, “I’m going to Disneyland!”

DWAA’s sponsors are so generous in supporting the dog writing community, and it means so much to know our work is valued. Shout out to GNFP Digital, the tech arm of GoodNewsForPets.com, for sponsoring The GNFP Digital Canine Companion Award for an incredible $1,000! The winner of this – and all of the awards – will be announced on Feb. 10, 2019 at the DWAA Awards Banquet.

Rio with a Maxwell Medallion

Rio Wearing Jen’s Maxwell Medallion

The banquet is another big reason why I get so excited about the DWAA Writing Competition. The event is always held in New York City the weekend before the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show – which is fitting, since that’s where eight people founded the Dog Writers Association of America way back in 1935. Now DWAA boasts over 500 members!

Writing can be a solitary endeavor, so it’s energizing to meet face-to-face with fellow dog writers (and illustrators, photographers, and media personalities) each year at the DWAA Awards Banquet. We cheer for one another and offer praise for books and articles we’ve read by the finalists. There’s a real sense of camaraderie – win or lose, our work makes life better for man’s best friend.

Save the date for the evening of Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019.

Next year’s banquet will be at the iconic Hotel New Yorker in Manhattan! We’ll hear keynote speeches from 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. Both are on the board of the Grey Muzzle Organization, a terrific nonprofit that supports senior pet adoptions. Get ready to be inspired!

Remember, the DWAA Writing Competition closes on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. I hope many of my friends and colleagues will enter as we celebrate our work – and the dogs who inspire us!

For more information, please visit: https://dogwriters.org/writing-categories/



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