Dog Writers Association of America Announces 2022 Writing Competition
This time-honored tradition celebrating excellence in writing about dogs is back!
The Olympics of the dog-writing world has resumed after a two-year hiatus. The Contest Chair, Barbara Magera, said, “We are pleased to be able to hold the 2022 competition so we can celebrate the writers and artists working to educate people, champion causes, advocate for dogs, make us laugh, and appreciate the relatable and magical relationships we enjoy with our furry friends.”
Creative works published during the hiatus won’t be left behind. For the 2022 contest, eligible entries will include those published from September 1, 2020, through August 31, 2022. Entries can be submitted as of September 1, 2022. The submission portal is located on DWAA’s website, www.dogwriters.org. Entrants do not have be DWAA members. Because of the larger than average number of entries that are anticipated, approximately 100 judges have been recruited from DWAA’s membership and other peer organizations including the AKC, breed clubs and the CWA.
Founded in 1935, the Dog Writers Association of America is the most recognized professional writing association devoted to dogs. The competition is open to all writers, editors, publishers, photographers, bloggers, artists, and others whose work falls into the designated competition categories. Entrants compete in a variety of categories for cash prizes and the coveted Maxwell Medallions, named for dog writing legend Maxwell Riddle.
Information on entering the contest and categories will be available on September 1, 2022. The Contest will run until October 15, 2022.
THANK YOU to OUR SPECIAL AWARD SPONSORS
DWAA Special Awards 2022
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.
AKC Reunite Microchip Awareness Award
Sponsored by AKC Reunite 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 $1,000 cash grant.
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 AKC Family Dog Award
Sponsored by the American Kennel Club, this award is for the best writing (including books, articles and blog posts) about any or all of the good manners programs under the AKC Family Dog umbrella, including AKC Therapy Dog, AKC Trick Dog, AKC Canine Good Citizen, AKC Community Canine, Urban CGC and AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy. While participating in these activities that are fun for both dogs and people, dogs become well-socialized and develop a lifelong bond with their owners. This award consists of a $500 cash grant.
The Canine Scribbles Award
Sponsored by Canine Scribbles, LLC, this is awarded for the best article that promotes the reasons to own a purebred canine. The fiction or nonfiction article of 1000 to 1500 words must be published in a print or online publication. The focus of the article should exemplify the virtues of owning a specific purebred dog. A high-resolution .jpeg (at least 300 dpi) should accompany the article that depicts the canine about which the article is written. The article should be clearly and succinctly written, and should outline the advantages of purebred dog ownership, with a unique journalistic voice. $350 cash grant
The Captain William Lewis Judy Award
Sponsored by American Legion Post 348 of Brick Township, New Jersey. 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. Congratulations to The American Legion as it Celebrates its 100 Years Anniversary. The award consists of a $350 cash grant.
The Dogster Health & Wellness Award
This award recognizes the article/column that did the best to promote home-care health awareness — identifying health and wellness best practices that dog owners can carry out at home for the dogs they love. Dogster helps dogs by helping dog owners and wants to recognize an outstanding written piece that does the same. $500 cash grant.
The Manette Begin-Loudon Memorial Award
Sponsored by Lisa Begin-Kruysman. Presented to the writer/producer of a work that promotes awareness of the challenges faced by those who advocate for dogs included in the “Bully Breed” category, encompassing, but not limited to, topics centered on Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), Dog Fighting Rings and breed discrimination in general. The award consists of a $300.00 grant.
Fear Free Dog Enrichment Award
Sponsored by Fear Free, LLC, this is awarded for the article, book, blog, TV segment, radio spot, video, column or other creative media formats that best educates, promotes, or demonstrates how enrichment activities (exercise, food puzzles, scent training, etc.) can benefit a dog’s emotional—not just physical—well-being and the role that has in their overall health. This may also include topics relating to how the resulting benefits of such enrichment to the dog’s emotional well-being can help set them up for more successful veterinary visits in the future, thus living a happier, healthier life. This award consists of a $2,000 cash grant and a one-of-a-kind commemorative award.
The Grey Muzzle Award
Sponsored by The Grey Muzzle Organization, this award goes to the best article, book, blog, TV segment, radio spot, video, column or other creative media format that best educates, promotes, or demonstrates to the public the plight of at-risk senior dogs. This may include stories about special programs at a rescue or shelter that enable older best friends to retain their homes or find new forever homes, seniors for seniors programs, medical victories, hospice care for homeless dogs or other ways in which communities and/or individuals are helping to make sure no old dog dies alone or afraid. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize and a commemorative plaque.
The Harrison Stephens Inspirational Feature Award
Named in honor of Harrison Stephens, a newspaper editor who wrote thought-provoking features marked by journalistic integrity and humor until his death just before his 100th birthday. This award is for a feature article that highlights the human-canine bond and leaves the reader with a smile. Potential topics include working dogs (or a lazy dog with a winning personality), or dog-centric nonprofits that promote positive outcomes for pets and people. The award is sponsored by Sally and Tom Reeder and consists of a $300 grant.
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 cash grant.
DWAA Junior Writer Award
Sponsored by DWAA 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: $400.00 cash grant per category, a DWAA Maxwell Medallion, and lapel pin.
- Category: Ages 10-12
- Category: Ages 13-14
- Category: Ages 15-17
The Rio Award
Sponsored by Jen Reeder and Bryan Fryklund in honor of their beloved Labrador retriever mix, Rio, this award is for an article, book or essay that profiles a dog who changed someone’s life in a profoundly positive way. The award consists of a $300 cash prize
UPWARD Dogology, the “Outdoor Adventure” Award
Sponsored by Upward Dogology, this award celebrates a story depicting an event, activity, or adventure that happens outdoors with a dog in a magazine or blog (any genre.) Spending time outdoors with our pets is one of the best ways to relax, unwind, and get some exercise. Sometimes these activities go just as planned, and other times we find ourselves in the most unexpected situations. Share your favorite outside adventure with your dog! Examples: a specific event on a hike, a picnic disrupted by a dog, a scary situation, or a travel vacation. The winner will receive a $175 cash grant.
The PSI Professional Pet Care Award
Sponsored by Pet Sitters International (PSI), this award is presented to the entry that best educates pet owners about the benefits of using professional pet sitters. Qualifying online or print entries include newspaper or magazine articles and blog posts. This award consists of a $300 cash prize.
Dogwise Best Book Award
Sponsored by Dogwise Publishing. $500 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 cash grant. Do not apply for this award.
The Walter R. Fletcher Memorial Award
Sponsored by The Westminster Kennel Club in memory of legendary dog show reporter Walter R. Fletcher, this annual award goes to the writer who best exemplifies continued press coverage of dog shows in America. The writer’s work must appear in a print or online publication with coverage generated from American Kennel Club-sanctioned dog shows, including but not limited to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The winner will be honored with a reserved seat in the press area for both nights of the 2023 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The winner will also receive $500.
The Sleepypod Pet Safety Award
Sponsored by Sleepypod, this award is for the best article or book that shares tips for pet safety and/or anecdotes of dogs helped by owners who take safety precautions. The award consists of a $500 cash grant.