Dog Writers Association of America Announces Writing Competition Winners

March 24, 2024
By Merrie Meyers
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The Dog Writers of Association of America (DWAA) recently announced the winners of its 2023 Writing Competition. DWAA, founded in 1935, is the nation’s oldest professional organization dedicated to those involved in promoting the interest of dogs. The competition is open to all writers, photographers, editors and publishers — with no distinction between amateurs and professionals. “We are thrilled to be able to provide recognition for the hundreds of journalists, photographers and digital communicators who cover the science, health, sport and enjoyment of our ‘best friends’,” said Therese Backowski, DWAA president.

This year’s competitors submitted close to 500 entries in 47 regular and 17 sponsored categories from every state in the US, Canada, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Each entry was reviewed by three judges.

This year’s competition was rewarding, I got to work with hundreds of members and non-members involved in the profession. Plus, as a judge, I learned a lot about the interaction between dogs and their people I didn’t know before.”
Contest Chair Dr. Merrie Meyers

Program Sponsor Awards: Each Regular Category Winner receives a foundry-cast “Maxwell” medallion, named for one of DWAA’s founders, Maxwell Riddle and a DWAA Pin. Special Categories are sponsored by individuals and companies involved in the canine community. Each special award winner receives a cash prize. This year’s sponsors included: The American Kennel Club (AKC) with four different awards- Club Publication Excellence Award, Family Dog Award, Responsible Dog Ownership Award, and Reunite Microchip Awareness Award; American Legion Post 348 of Brick Township, New Jersey, in memory of dog industry pioneer and innovator Captain William Lewis Judy;  Dogwise Magazine in recognition of the Best of the Best Book in the competition;  Sally and Tom Reeder in memory of journalist Harrison Stephens; James Colasanti, Jr. in celebration of poetry; Lisa Begin-Kruysman in memory of her sister Manette Begin-Loudon’s advocacy for dogs; The National Dog Show presented by Purina in celebration of Excellence in Writing/Producing; Pet Sitters International in recognition of the important role of pet sitters in the lives of dog owners and their pets; Jen Reeder and Bryan Fryklund in memory of their dog Rio; Contest Chair Dr. Merrie Meyers in celebration of older dog adoptions; innovative pet product company Sleepypod, with a focus on pet safety during pet travel; Westminster Kennel Club, in memory of dog show reporter Walter R. Fletcher; and Whole Dog Journal,in recognition of pet health and wellness.

All of the entries are accessible on DWAAs website,  Finalists and Winners are listed here For more information about how to join DWAA, please visit the membership page of the website,

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