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The best-known feature of the DWAA is the annual writing contest, which encourages excellence in writing about dogs in all aspects of communication. The competition is open to all writers, photographers, editors, and publishers — with no distinction between amateurs and professionals.

The annual awards program has traditionally been held the day before the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show to present the awards to the winners of the writing competition.

Members and non-members attend for an evening of networking, business card exchange, education, celebration, photo opportunities, and more.

This year features two exciting keynotes: Anne Serling and Larry Woodward.

The 2020 DWAA Awards Banquet takes place on the evening of Sunday, February 9, 2020, at the Holiday Inn Secaucus Meadowlands in Secaucus, New Jersey. This exciting new location is a quick 5.2 miles from Madison Square Garden. 

There were 100 tickets available as of 08/01/19 and more than 1/4 of the tickets are gone already. As tickets are on a first-come, first-serve basis, please do not delay.

Purchase DWAA 2020 Event & Awards Banquet tickets here.

DWAA block rooms are available at this link.

Complete details about the event can be found here.

And now for the finalists in the Regular and Special Categories:

Regular Categories

All regular category finalists receive a certificate, which were sent out via U.S. postal mail on 11/29/19. Winners in the regular categories receive a Maxwell medallion.

A. Newspaper Articles and Columns

1. Article – Health or General Care

“Brachycephalic Dogs” by Joanne Anderson

“Heartworm Q & A” by Joanne Anderson

2. Article – Behavior or Training

“D-Day Paradogs” by Joanne Anderson

“OMG, Burns!” by Joanne Anderson

“Working Dogs: Lives Depend On Them” by Christy Powers

“Earning the Trick Dog Title” by Sue Ewing

3. Article – Rescue

“A New Breed of Police Dog: Graduation Ceremony in Ferris Highlights Rescued Pitbulls’ Rising Role” by Marc Ramirez

“Model Behavior” by Mary Tan

“The Business of Saving Lives” by Joanne Anderson

“A Decade of Lifesaving: FOTAS Celebrates 10 Years of Service” by Pam Gleason

4. Article – Art or any Other Topic

“Want Your Dog to Win at Westminster?” by Kim Kavin

B. Magazines

5. Single, Related, or All-Breed

Dogster Magazine by Melissa Kauffman and Annie Butler Shirreffs

AKC Family Dog Magazine by Mara Bovsun

Terrier Group Magazine by Melanie Feldges

6. Annual, Special Interest, or Any Other Subject

The Chronicle of the Dog by Devon Hubbard Sorlie and Chris Guzicki

Puppies Annual Magazine by Melissa Kauffman and Annie Butler Shirreffs

C. Magazine Articles

7. Article– Health or General Care

“How to Cope with a Serious Diagnosis/10 Tips for Navigating Tough Decisions About Your Dog” by Karen Fine

“Great Dane Puppies Contribute to Chagas Disease Awareness” by Caroline Coile

“Hearing With Their Hearts” by Jen Reeder

“CBD Oil & Anxiety” by Elizabeth Lopez

“Therapy Dogs: Bringing Comfort and Germs?” by CJ Puotinen

8. Article– Behavior or Training

“How Dangerous is This Dog” by Melissa McMath Hatfield

“Canine Cognitive Dysfunction: Caring for Dogs with Advanced Dementia” by Melissa McMath Hatfield

“The Beast at the End of the Leash” by Teoti Anderson

“Separation Anxiety vs Isolation Distress” by Melissa McMath Hatfield

“Male Marking Mishaps” by Peggy Swager

“Survival of the ….Friendliest?” by Sue Copeland

9. Article – Rescue

“The Healing Power of Faith: A Very Special Therapy Dog Helps One Child At A Time” by Kristin Avery

“The Central Illinois Eight” by Mary Price and Annalyn Paz

“The Gray Face with a Gentle Heart of Gold – Saving A Senior in Kauai” by Christy Doherty

“She Makes Waves” by Penny Leigh

“Explore the Flip Side — Adopt An Adult” by Elizabeth Lopez

10. Article– Breed

“Saving A Vulnerable Breed” by Joanne Moxham

“Lean on Me” by Mara Bovsun

“Dynamic Duo: Trevor and Tennille” by Jen Reeder

“Ears — To Crop or Not to Crop” by Suzanne Smith

“Zachary Tinkle’s Pug: His Most Furbulous Supporter” by Laurren Darr

11. Article/Column – Art or Any Other Topic

“Pets Are the Best Medicine” by Jen Reeder

“Overcoming Disabilities at Dog Shows” by Suzanne Smith

“Dance of the Sugar Plum Furries” by Elaine Gewirtz

“AKC Program Helps Fund Purchase of Patrol Dogs” by Penny Leigh

“Calling 911 Canine Style” by Elaine Gewirtz

“Maud Earl, First Lady of Dog Painting” by Lisa Peterson

D. Canine or All-Animal Newspapers or Newsletters

12. Canine or All-Animal Newspapers or Newsletters

GRRAND GRROWL (Golden Retriever Rescue and Adoption of Needy Dogs) by Devon Hubbard Sorlie

Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine DogWatch Newsletter by Cynthia Foley and Debra M. Eldredge, DVM

Discoveries Newsletter by Sharon Albright and Melissa Smallwood

E. Canine or All-Animal Newspapers or Newsletters Articles

13. Article – Any Topic

“Make Weight Loss Happen” by Kate Basedow

“Understanding Addison’s Disease” by Deb M. Eldredge, DVM

F. Online

14. Blog or Website

Boogie The Pug by Candy Godoy

Fidose of Reality by Carol Bryant

Stumps and Rumps by Megan Mullins

Noses & Toes Pet Photography by Angela Schneider

The Website of the Animal Medical Center by Andrew Weatherhead

A Dog Walks Into a Bar by Bryn Nowell

15. Online Magazine or Online Newsletter

Speaking of Dogs Newsletter by Lorraine Houston, Nancy Foran, and Cathy Vandergeest

For Active Dogs! Newsletter by Chris Zink

The MayFlyer Newsletter by Michaelann Cox Mako

G. Online Articles or Blog Entries

16. Article Or Blog – Health or General Care

“When Is It Time To Put Your Dog Down?” by Julie Buzby

“Caring for a Deaf Blind Dog” by Melissa Shapiro

“Reflections from a House Call Veterinarian” by Melissa Shapiro

“My Dog Wasn’t Eating: How a Team Effort Saved His Life” by Susan Willett

“Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? by Julie Buzby and Jenise Carl

17. Article Or Blog – Behavior or Training

“Paws of War: Dogs Who Help Military Veterans With PTSD” by Jillian Blume

“How to Help a Dog That’s Missed Early Socialization” by Jason Nicholas

“Stress-Free Vet Visits: A Calmer Pet at the Vet” by Amanda Reeves

“8 Easy Fixes For A Fear Free Veterinary Visit For Dogs” by Carol Bryant

“Alert Barking: The Dog Equivalent to “Get Off My Lawn!” by Cathy Madson

“Why Dogs Sit on Your Feet? Dog Behavior Explained!” by Denise Fleck

18. Article or Blog – Rescue

“Rainbow Bridge: Losing the Loves of Our Lives” by Angela Schneider

“7 Helpful Tips for Bringing a Stray Puppy or New Dog Into Your Home: The Story of Jake the Hound” by Julie Buzby and Jenise Carl

“How Not to Adopt a Dog: Removing Barriers to Pet Adoption” by Maggie Marton

“Cocker Spaniels Are Like Potato Chips, You Can’t Have Just One” by Carol Bryant

19. Article or Blog – Any Other Topic

“Your First 30 Days After Adopting a Puppy” by Debora Lichtenberg

“The Amazing Story of a Secret Service Dog Trainer” by Jillian Blume

“The Best Pet Subscription Boxes” by Kaitlyn Wells

“English Springer Spaniel Dog Trials” by Kate Haglin

H. Graphics

20. Single Photo

2019 Westminster Kennel Club by Olga Frolicz

Gratitude by Jeanne Taylor

My Happy Place by Angela Schneider

21. Series Photos

Things We’ll Remember by Gene Maddox

Topaz Cockers Trick Dog Stories by Debra Lampert-Rudman

Summer Sea Dreamscape by Emma Kesler

22. Single Illustration or Painting

A Merrier Terrier Christmas by Melanie Feldges

Agility Welsh Terrier by Emma Kesler

Bonny Gets a Puppy by Kelly Boyer

Welsh Terrier Record Holders Official Crest by Emma Kesler, Marika Kesler, Denise Yates

H. Graphics (cont.)

23. Series of Illustrations or Paintings

Sydney Tours Eufaula by Kay Whaley and Kathy Hamrick

Paw Prints Infographics: Soak Up the Sun, Walk This Way, Full Circle by Kate McCroary

Weaver the Diabetic-Alert Retriever by Billie Holladay Skelley and Billie Holladay Skelley

Color Me Canine by Sandy Mesmer

24. Posters, Calendars, Brochures or Pamphlets

Sunnybank Home of Lad 2019-2020 16-Month Calendar by Kathryn George

Bernese Mountain Dog Calendar 2020 by Dr. Bernd Guenter

The National Dog Show: A Thanksgiving Tradition by Steve Griffith and Kathy Carson

Portuguese Water Dog 2020 by Jane Harding

I. Humor, Poetry, Short Fiction, Essays/Editorials

25. Humor

“Extreme Mouse-Induced Hysteria” by Elizabeth Jarrell

“A Mostly True Apology Letter To My Dog” by Kristin Avery

“7 Things I’ve Googled Since I Got a Puppy” by Amy Tokic

26. Poetry

“Connection” by Kara Graves

“Haiku by Dog: Yearning” by Susan Willett

27. Short Fiction

“Same Time Next Year, A Cocker Spaniel Mystery” by Carol Bryant

“Charlie At The End” by Frances Pauli

“Hope’s Haven” by Dorothy Wills-Raftery

“Finding the Perfect Sandy” by Amy Hempe

28. Essays/Editorials

“Magazine Story” by Janine Latus and Keith Lanpher

“The Sound of Home” by Susan Willett

“What’s Wrong With Your Dog?” by Susan Willett

“A Magical Moment” by Marci Kladnik

“I Taught an Old Dog New Tricks” by Jen Reeder

J. Other Media

29. Video, DVD, or TV Broadcasts

“Fit For Life Videos” by Chris Zink and Gayle Watkins

“Teach the Leash: Loose Leash Walking” by Pam Dennison

“Sarah & Domino” by Carol Novello, David Whitman, Doug Scott

30. Radio, Podcast, or Other Audio

“Using Food Therapy To Help Your Dog Live a Healthier Life With Dr. Judy Morgan” by Tori Mistick

“The Buzby Dog Podcast at ToeGrips.com” by Julie Buzby

“Lost Dog Recovery” by Molly Sumridge

The Sibe Vibe “Caring For A Senior Dog” Part 2 by Dorothy Wills-Raftery and Robert Forto

K. Club Publications (National, Regional or Local)

31. Magazine format

The Australian Shepherd Journal by Kathleen Glaes and Leslie Ziesing

Illustrated Standard of The Bernese Mountain Dog by Frandel Ellen Flake-Brown

The Courier by Susan Myrick and Team Courier

The Spotter by Katherine Szomoru and Jennifer Cramer

32. Newsletter format

Search and Rescue Dog News by Norman Snelling and Sue Wolff

Basenji Club of America Bulletin Board by Suzanne La Croix and Mary Ellen Chaffin

L. Club Publication Articles

33. Article – Any Topic

“The Most Important Registration” by Caroline Coile

“Topaz Cockers Trick Dog Stories” by Debra Lampert-Rudman

“On The Road Again!” by Caroline Coile

“Advocacy” by Jeanne Patterson and CathieJo Jacobson

“Florence Nightingale, I’m Not” by Elizabeth Jarrell

34. Regular Column or Series

“Taurine Testing Yields Some Surprises” by June Greig

“Gracie Beats the Odds” by June Greig

“Low Platelet Counts” by Elaine Mitchell, Jody Sutton, Barbara Magera

“The Ancient, Ubiquitous, and Sinister Tick, Parts 1 and 2” by Nancy Melone

M. Club Special Publication

35. Club Special Publication

Basenji Club of America 2018 Yearbook by Mary Ellen Chaffin and Suzane La Croix

N. Books

36. Single, Related, or All-Breed

Hard to House Train – Practical Solutions for Dog Trainers by Peggy Swager

Empowerment Training for Your Power Dog by Dawn Antoniak-Mitchell

Color Me Canine (Toy Group) A Coloring Book for Dog Lovers of All Ages by Sandy Mesmer

37. Rescue or Adoption

Rehoming Love, Tail Thumping Adventures of Happily Adopted Canines by Kate Kuligowski

Ouzo the Greek by Lisa Edwards

Second-Chance Dogs: True Stories of the Dogs We Rescue and the Dogs Who Rescue Us by Callie Smith Grant

Tabouli: The Story of a Heart-Driven Diabetes Alert Dog by Matt Pelicano

38. Training or Sports

Tricks In The City: For Daring Dogs and Humans That Love Them by Sassafras Lowrey

Play Your Way to Good Manners by Mary Kate Naito and Sarah Westcott

Dog Training Diaries: Proven Expert Tips & Harmony with Your Dog by Tom Shelby

39. Behavior, Health, or General Care

The Allergic Pet by Deva Khalsa

101 Essential Tips: Dog Behavior & Training by Jason Nicholas

Tabouli: The Story of a Heart-Driven Diabetes Alert Dog by Matt Pelicano

The Dog Safety Bible by Denise Fleck and Robert Semrow

40. Human Animal Bond

Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink by Nita Sweeney

The Rescuers: Incredible Stories of Life-Saving Dogs by Laura Greaves

41. Reference

Solving Dog Behavior Problems Like A Professional by James O’Heare

Dog Breeds Pet Fashion Illustration Encyclopedia: Volume 5 Sporting Breeds by Laurren Darr

He’s Only Playing! Meeting, Greeting and Play Between Dogs. What’s Ok, What’s Not by Sarah Whitehead

42. Fiction, Young Adult or Humor

A Borrowing Of Bones by Paula Munier

Decoded Dog by Dianne Janczewski

On Scent by Cherie O’Boyle

43. Children

The Duchess and Guy: A Rescue-to-Royalty Puppy Love Story by Nancy Furstinger

Amazing Dogs with Amazing Jobs by Laura Greaves

Weaver the Diabetic-Alert Retriever by Billie Holladay Skelley and James Paul Skelley

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.

Newf Tide by Annalyn Paz

The Ancient, Ubiquitous and Sinister Tick, Parts 1 and 2 by Nancy Melone

The Australian Shepherd Journal Breed Standard Column Club Publication, Magazine by Matt Mullin

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.

“Chipping IN: NJ STRAYS Make Microchipping Accessible as Part of Their No-Kill Vision” by Lisa Begin-Kruysman

“The Most Important Registration” by Caroline Coile

“Why Every Day Should Be Chip Your Pet Day” by Denise Fleck


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.

“My Dog Wasn’t Eating: How a Team Effort Saved His Life” by Susan Willett

“5 Questions Every Cat or Dog Owner Should Ask Their Vet” by Kaitlyn Wells

“Laws for Paws Should Give You Pause” by Elizabeth Anderson Lopez


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.

“How Little Therapy Dogs Help Veterans, Children With Special Needs” by Bev Thompson

“Teach Your Dog Ten Tricks” by Caroline Coile

“These AKC Trick Dog Performers Know the Benefits of Trick Training” by Stephanie Gibeault


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

“Lean on Me” by Mara Bovsun

“Bright Spots” by Elaine Gewirtz

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.

“D-Day Paradogs” by Joanne Anderson

“The Lieutenant Who Had A Hundred Dogs” by Dusty Rainboldt

“A Borrowing Of Bones” by Paula Munier

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.

“Clipped Your Dog’s Toenail Too Short? Here Are Sure-Fire Tips on How to Stop a Dog’s Nail From Bleeding” by Julie Buzby and Jenise Carl

“CBD Oil & Anxiety” by Elizabeth Anderson Lopez

“Make Weight Loss Happen” by Kate Eldredge Basedow

The DOGTV Canine Enrichment Award

Sponsored by DOGTV, this award recognizes the best article in print or digital, including blog posts, that discusses canine enrichment and its role to improve a dog’s physical and mental health. The award consists of a $500 cash grant. 

“What Tricks Can I Train My Dog? (12 Fun Dog Tricks to Try Next)” by Caitlin Crittenden

“The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever” by Larry Kay and Chris Perondi

“Puppy Meets World” by Elaine Gewirtz

Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health Award

Sponsored by Dr. Harvey’s Fine Health Foods for Companion Animals, this award is for the best online blog post written by a dog blogger that exemplifies good health and wellness for dogs. The award consists of a $500 cash grant.

“7 Signs Your Dog Is in Pain” by Julie Buzby

“The Misery Dog” by Gene Maddox

“Don’t Leave Me: Why, When, and How to Take Pets to the Back” by Amy Shojai

The Fidose of Reality Dog Blogger Award

Sponsored by Darlene and Carol Bryant on behalf of FidoseofReality.com, this award is given to a non-corporate dog blogger. Composing a quality dog product or service review is an art. The winning dog blog post exemplifies the elements of a solid dog product or service review that goes above and beyond the basics. Entries will be judged on writing style, grammar, punctuation, imagery/video, and the overall way the review is presented. The award consists of a $300 cash prize and a trophy. 

“CBD Oil for Dogs: Worth the Hype?” by Maggie Marton

“Searching for How to Cut Your Black Dog’s Nails? I Was Too Until I Tried This” by Jenise Carl

“The Ultimate Dog Walking Shoes” by Emma Kesler

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 cash grant.

“How Not to Adopt a Dog: Removing Barriers to Pet Adoption” by Maggie Marton

“Woman Delivers Dog 1300 Miles Home To Find Owner No Longer Wants Her” by Mary Schwager

“#RememberMe Thursday: Writing to Save Lives” by Dorothy Wills-Raftery

The Fear Free Pets Award

Sponsored by Fear Free, LLC, this is awarded for the article, book, blog, TV segment, radio spot, video, column or other creative media format that best educates, promotes, or demonstrates the importance and benefits of taking a dog to a Fear Free certified veterinary professional. This may also include how a dog’s emotional well-being can play a role in all aspects of its life and health, including veterinary care, how decreasing fear, anxiety, and stress is beneficial to the patient and owner both during the veterinary visit and at home, a focus on Fear Free applications pre- and post-veterinary visit, successful case studies/stories of how a dog went from fearful to Fear Free during or throughout the course of a single or series of veterinary visits, positive experiences working with a Fear Free certified veterinary professional or anything that highlights how Fear Free and what it stands for is all around better for staff, patients, and clients. This award consists of a $2,000 cash grant and a one-of-a-kind commemorative award.

“Make Your Pet’s Last Vet Visit as Free of Fear as His First” by Linda Rehkopf

“Model Behavior” by Mary Tan

“Cooperative Care: Seven Steps to Stress-Free Husbandry” by Deborah Ann Jones

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.

“You’re Lucky You’re Cute” by Sydney Bleicher

“8 Easy Fixes For A Fear Free Veterinary Visit For Dogs” by Carol Bryant

“TRICKS IN THE CITY: For Daring Dogs and Humans That Love Them” by Sassafras Lowrey

The Good News For Pets Award

Sponsored by GoodNewsForPets.com in celebration of the digital platform’s 20th anniversary, this award is for the best digital story – online video, blog post or online article with photography that best demonstrates the bond between people and their canine companions. The content must be demonstrated as having been shared through digital media. The winner will receive a $500 grant.

“The Dogs of Chernobyl: A Story of Tragedy and Hope” by Paula Fitzsimmons

“Kim and Brian and Lana” by Carol Novello, David Whitman, and David Scott

“Sarah & Domino” by Carol Novello, David Whitman, and David Scott

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.

“Speaking of Dogs” by Lorraine Houston, Nancy Foran, and Cathy Vandergeest

“The Gray Face with a Gentle Heart of Gold – Saving A Senior in Kauai” by Christy Doherty

“Jasper’s Story, from Sad to Glad (Senior Dog, Extreme Rescue)” by Ted Slupik and Gail Diedrichsen

The Sibe Vibe “Caring For A Senior Dog” Part 1 by Dorothy Wills-Raftery and Robert Forto

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.

“Paws of War: Dogs Who Help Military Veterans With PTSD” by Jillian Blume

“She Said Yes to the Dress…and The Dog” by Mary Schwager

“The Healing Power of Faith: A Very Special Therapy Dog Helps One Child At A Time” by Kristin Avery


James Colasanti, Jr. Poetry Award  

“Lifeline” by Debra Lampert-Rudman

“Dinky Inky The Stinky Pug” by Laurren Darr

“The Fast Track to Dog Show Success” by Sandy Weaver

“Connection” by Kara Graves


DWAA Junior Writer Award  

Sponsored by Karen Petit, an author of children’s books, 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: $1,000 cash grant, DWAA Maxwell Medallion, and lapel pin.

Exciting news: Because we had an influx of entries last year thanks to DWAA’s Young Writers on the Web program, this year we are awarding FOUR awards by age group. Each winner will receive $250 for each age grouping:

  • Category One: Ages 7-9
  • Category Two: Ages 10-12
  • Category Three: Ages 13-14
  • Category Four: Ages 15-17

Ages 7-9:

“Aussieca vs. Corgiland” by Theo Bernstein

Ages 10-12:

“A Promise Unbroken” by Jason Kimberly
“Atlas to Mars” by Nikolas Klimenko

Ages 13-14:

“Chain Reaction” by Kathryn Prerost
“English Springer Spaniel Dog Trials” by Kate Haglin


Ages 15-17

“The Pooch Project” by Kendle Frank
“The Stray” by Conal Gallant

“Soaring” by Isabel Tagtow
“Changing Teenage Loves One Dog At a Time” by Kendle Frank

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.

“How Much Should I Pay My Pet Sitter?” by Melissa Smith

“Choosing Safe, Reliable Pet Care” by Melissa Shapiro


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.

“Shamaron – Dog Devoted” by Tammie Rogers

“The Rescuers: Incredible Stories of Life-Saving Dogs” by Laura Greaves

“Tabouli: The Story of a Heart-Driven Diabetes Alert Dog” by Matt Pelicano

“What’s Wrong With Your Dog?” by Susan Willett


The Sleepypod Pet Safety Award

Sponsored by Sleepypod, this award is for the best article or book that shares tips for pet safety during travel and/or anecdotes of dogs helped by owners who take safety precautions. The award consists of a $500 cash grant.

“Keeping Your Senior Dog Safe on Planes & in Airports” by Denise Fleck

“Pets and Hurricanes: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Evacuating With Pets” by Julie Buzby

“Heatstroke Dangers: Pet First Aid for Hot Weather Play & Travel” by Amy Shojai


The Vet Candy Award

The Vet Candy Award will be presented to the writer with the most inspiring story about a veterinarian or veterinary professional in a newsletter, magazine, or blog post format. The award consists of $300 and a plaque.

“Reflections from a House Call Veterinarian” by Melissa Shapiro

“I Just Want a Friend” by Elizabeth Jarrell


The Pet Candy Award

The Pet Candy Award will be presented to the writer with the most inspiring story about a pet lover in a newsletter, magazine, or blog post format. The story must be about anyone other than the author. The award consists of $300 and a plaque.

“The Amazing Story of a Secret Service Dog Trainer” by Jillian Blume

“Service Dog Helps 7-Year-Old Boy Prepare For His 10th Surgery” by Jen Reeder

“Reaching RACH: The First Rally Champion Reflects on How He Got Here” by Miranda Carney

The Walter R. Fletcher Memorial Award

Sponsored by The Westminster Kennel Club in memory of legendary dog show reporter Walter Fletcher, this annual award goes to the reporter who best exemplifies continued press coverage of dog shows in America. The writer must have written a bylined article in a print or online general interest publication about a dog show (or shows). The winner will be honored with a reserved seat in the Walter Fletcher Memorial Chair for both nights of the 2018 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The chair is located at the end of the front row, in the working press section, on the arena floor of Madison Square Garden. The winner will also receive $300.

Winner announced 02/09/20 at the annual banquet.


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.


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.


DWAA Hall of Fame Inductee

Special thanks to the DWAA 2019 Judges.

Special thanks to DWAA Banquet and Contest Chair, Darlene Bryant, for all her hard work in overseeing the competition and all of its moving parts.


Purchase DWAA 2020 Event & Awards Banquet tickets here
.

DWAA block rooms are available at this link.

Complete details about the event can be found here.