DWAA’s Contest Offers 11 New Writing Awards Worth Nearly $8,000!

Today the Dog Writers Association of America announced that sponsors have added 11 new special awards to this year’s writing contest – an additional $7,900 in cash prizes that brings the overall prize tally to $14,000.

The DWAA Annual Writing Contest opens July 10 and closes Sept. 8, 2017. Winners will be announced in early December and can accept their prizes at the awards banquet the evening of Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 at the iconic New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan.

“We’re excited and grateful that so many fantastic individuals, nonprofits and corporations are sponsoring special awards this year,” said DWAA President Jen Reeder. “Special awards offer a unique way to get the pet writing community excited about a topic and support top-notch canine publishing.”

The two awards with the biggest purse are both sponsored by Fear Free, LLC: The Fear Free Pets Award and Fear Free Dog Enrichment Award. Each comes with a $2,000 prize. Fear Free Founder Dr. Marty Becker, also known as “America’s Veterinarian,” will give a keynote speech and present the awards to the winners at the banquet.

“As a dog writer as well as a veterinarian and the founder of Fear Free, I’m incredibly honored to be speaking to the Dog Writers Association and presenting the Fear Free awards this year,” Becker said. “Those of you who are out on the front lines communicating with pet owners have the unique power to better the lives of dogs and the people who love them through your work. We at Fear Free want to acknowledge that influence and encourage dog writers to spread the word about reducing fear, anxiety, and stress in our pets’ lives by offering these awards.”

Other new special awards include:

– The Canine Scribbles Award – $350
– The Ceva Heartworm Prevention Award – $1,500
– The GNFP Digital Online Article Award – $500
– The Harrison Stephens Inspirational Feature Award – $300
– International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals Pet Fashion Award – $350
– The Morris Animal Foundation Canine Health Award – $300
– The PSI Professional Pet Care Award – $300
– The Take Your Dog Award – $300
– The Walter R. Fletcher Memorial Award – seat of honor at the 2018 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

“We’re thrilled to have added such diverse awards to an already stellar list of special awards for dog writers,” Reeder said. “We’re lucky to have generous sponsors return year after year to support the organization and our writers, such as the American Kennel Club, which sponsors a number of coveted awards.”

Returning special awards include:

– AKC Club Publication Excellence Award – $500
– The Captain William Lewis Judy Award – $350
– AKC Microchipping Awareness Award – $1,500
– The Captain Haggerty Award for Best Training Book or Article – $200
– AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Public Service Award – $500
– James Colasanti, Jr. Poetry Award – $200
– AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy and Canine Good Citizen Award – $500
– Dogwise Best Book Award – $500
– DWAA Distinguished Service Award – $1,000
– DWAA Junior Writer Award – $400
– DWAA Robert H. McKowen Memorial Friends of Rescue Award – $300

For information about entering the contest, visit: dogwriters.org.

Reader Interactions


  1. Sheri S Levy says

    I have entered in 2011 and 2105. My YA sequel, Starting Over, was launched- yesterday-August 1st, 2017. You are asking for four copies of the story. If I sent in one PDF file, do you make copies. Or do I send in four PDF’s. My novel is about training service dogs, and in the past, I have entered in the special interest category. I do not see that category. Just wanted to be clear before I send in my novel. Thank you for your help. Sheri