2023 Writing Contest Opens

September 11, 2023
By Merrie Meyers
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Entrants can compete for nearly $10,000 in cash and prizes

Today, the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) announced the kickoff of the annual DWAA Writing Contest. Journalists, authors, bloggers, photographers, illustrators, editors and young writers can compete in a variety of categories for the coveted Maxwell Medallion, named for dog writing legend Maxwell Riddle.

The DWAA Annual Writing Contest opens September 11, 2023, and closes October 31, 2023. Finalists will be announced via social media at the end of 2023, with winners announced at an awards event in early Spring, 2024.Entries must have been published, posted, or aired between September 1, 2022, and August 31, 2023. For junior writers, publication can mean posting on a school website, literary magazine, or blog.

Entrants can also compete for cash and prizes in special award categories.

The prestigious DWAA writing contest is popular with writers, artists and other communication professionals involved in the canine community. The recognition provided through this awards program increases the visibility and credibility of the entrants.”
Dr. Merrie Meyers, Contest Chair

In addition to the 49 regular categories, the contest includes these 17 special awards:

  • AKC Club Publication Excellence Award (sponsored by the AKC) - $500
  • The AKC Family Dog Award (sponsored by the AKC) - $500
  • AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Public Service Award (sponsored by the AKC) - $500
  • AKC Reunite Microchip Awareness Award (sponsored by AKC Reunite) - $1,000
  • Captain William Lewis Judy Award (sponsored by American Legion Post #348 and Lisa Begin-Kruysman) - $350
  • Dogwise Best Book Award (sponsored by Dogwise Publishing; chosen by DWAA President from category winners) - $500
  • DWAA Junior Writer Award (sponsored by Young Writers on the Web Committee Chair Ted Slupik, mystery author Karen Harbert and children’s book author Karen Petit) - $400
  • Harrison Stephens Inspirational Feature Award (sponsored by Sally and Tom Reeder) - $300
  • James Colasanti, Jr. Poetry Award (sponsored by James Colasanti, Jr.) - $250
  • Manette Begin-Loudon Memorial Award (sponsored by the family of Manette Begin-Loudon) - $300
  • National Dog Show Presented by Purina Excellence in Writing/Producing Award (sponsored by the National Dog Show) - $500
  • PSI Professional Pet Care Award (sponsored by Pet Sitters International) - $300
  • Rio Award (sponsored by Jen Reeder and Bryan Fryklund) - $300
  • Second Chance Award (sponsored by Merrie Meyers) - $250
  • Sleepypod Pet Safety Award (sponsored by Sleepypod) - $500
  • Walter R. Fletcher Memorial Award (sponsored by The Westminster Kennel Club) - $500
  • Whole Dog Journal Health and Wellness Award (sponsored by Whole Dog Journal/Belvoir Media Publications) - $500
We appreciate all of the generous sponsors and program partners who support DWAA and the dog writing community. Their involvement in the program is one of the reasons that it is so successful. It’s wonderful to see these opportunities for recognition provided for dog writers and artists.”
Therese Backowski, DWAA President

For more information or to enter the contest, visit: dogwriters.org. You can also send questions to: 2023dwaacontestchair@gmail.com