2016 Writing Competition Nominees

Special Award Categories


All nominees receive certificates.
Winners receive cash awards.

Sponsors of the Special Awards are not involved in the judging.


AKC Club Publication Excellence Award

Sponsored by the American Kennel Club, this award is for the best article in a national, regional, or local AKC club publication in magazine or newsletter format. The award consists of a plaque and a $500 cash grant.

The winner is Jen Reeder for “Canine College.”


AKC Microchipping Awareness Award

Sponsored by The AKC Reunite Program for the best article on how  microchips can be used in pet recovery. Articles can include recovery stories of how dogs were identified or returned to owners, permanent identification in cases of theft, uses of microchips to confirm identity of dogs in competition, etc.  The Award is a $1500 cash grant. For information about actual recovery stories, writers can contact the AKC/Reunite 1-800-252-7894.

The winner is Ardenis Perez, “Should You Microchip Your Pet?”


AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Public Service Award

Sponsored by the American Kennel Club, this award goes to the writer of a print or online feature article that best educates pet owners about responsible dog ownership. The award consists of a plaque and a $500 cash grant. To enter, submit one article, which must also be entered in this year’s contest in one of the regular categories.

The winner is Kate Eldredge, “All About Dog Crate Training”


AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy and Canine Good Citizen Award

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Sponsored by the American Kennel Club, this award is for the best writing about the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program or the puppy level of CGC, AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy.

Recognized as the ‘gold standard’ for family dog manners, CGC and AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy focus on teaching good manners to dogs and responsible dog ownership to dog owners. This award is a $500.00 cash award.

The winner is Elizabeth M. Jarrell, “Conquering the S.T.A.R.S”


Dogwise Best Book Award

Sponsored by Dogwise Publishing. $500.00 to the author of the best book. The winner will be chosen by the president of DWAA from the winners of all the book categories. The award is a $500.00 cash grant.  Do not apply for this award.

The winner is Laura Teresa Coffey for “My Old Dog.”


DWAA Distinguished Service Award

Sponsored by the American Kennel Club, this award honors extraordinary achievement and communications excellence. It recognizes the person who, by word, deed, exemplary conduct, public communication and professional excellence, best promotes the interest of the sport of dogs. The award consists of a plaque and a $1,000 cash grant. Do not apply for this award.

The winner is Marsha Pugh.


DWAA Junior Writer Award

Sponsored by Karen Petit for writers under 18 years of age. This award is to recognize and encourage young writers who exhibit talent, resourcefulness, dedication, and integrity in their writing about dogs and dog-related topics. Award: $400 cash grant, DWAA Maxwell Medallion and lapel pin.

The winner is Kayleigh Knight for “Winning”


DWAA Robert H. McKowen Memorial Friends of Rescue Award

Sponsored by his family and friends.  For the best article describing the rescue process; adoption, fostering, transporting, home visits or other aspects of rescue. $300.00 cash grant.

The winner is Christy Caballero, “Core Paws Overlooked-Not anymore.”


James Colasanti, Jr.  Poetry Award  

For the poem/poetry which best exemplifies the unconditional love of a dog. Sponsored by James Colasanti Jr. The award is a $200.00 cash grant.

The winner is Debra Lampert-Rudman, “I Keep Looking.”


North Shore Animal League America Award

For all media which best supports the missions of the League’s program, encouraging spay/neuter initiatives as a way of reducing unwanted births and pet euthanasia rates; focus can be on the community-wide programs or individual responsibility of pet owners. Award: $500.00 cash grant.

The winner is Lisa Begin-Kruysman, “Desert Paws.”


Planet Dog Foundation Sit. Speak. Act. Canine Service Award

For all media. For the best story promoting and celebrating a program in which dogs serve and support their best friends, by highlighting service dogs, therapy dogs, K-9 search and rescue, or police dogs. Award: $500.00 cash grant.

The winner is Tracy Libby, “Reporting for Duty.”


The Captain William Lewis Judy Award

Sponsored by American Legion Post #348, Brick Township, NJ and Lisa Begin-Kruysman. For a submission in any form of media that educates the public about the important role our military dogs play in our Armed Forces including issues affecting their emotional and physical care during their training, active service, and retirement. The award consists of a $350.00 cash grant.

The winner is Bud Boccone, “My Buddy: The Dogs of WWII.”


The Captain Haggety Award for Best Training Book or Article

Sponsored by Babette Haggerty of Haggerty Dog Training, in memory of her father, Capt. Arthur Haggerty. For the best book or article on training. Award: $200.00 cash grant.

The winner is Christina Potter, “Insider Training.”



Nominees & Winners: Regular Categories
Previous Year’s Nominees and Winners
Writing Competition Logo

Regular Category Winners and Special Award Winners will be announced at the DWAA banquet on February 12, 20167. All nominees receive certificates. Winners receive the DWAA Maxwell Medallion, named in honor of the late Maxwell Riddle.

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