Writing Competition

The competition rules have changed.  All contestants should carefully read the new rules and, if they have any questions, contact the Contest Chair for clarification before submitting any entries.

By submitting an entry, all contestants agree to be bound by the following rules.

All entries must be submitted on or before the Contest due date, as evidenced by the postmark on a hard copy entry or the sent date on an online submission.  In either case, submissions must be accompanied by payment in full.

Late entries, those not accompanied by the correct entry fee, or any other deviation from the rules, including, but not limited to, submission of material in the wrong category, will also result in the rejection of the submission without notice.

No refunds of the submission fee will be made.


  • The contest is open to all writers, editors, publishers, photographers, artists and others whose work falls into the designated competition categories.
  • Members and non-members may apply.
  • Discounted member entry fees are available to members in good standing as of May 1, 2019.
  • Only original work published between September 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019 will be accepted.
  • Reprints, revisions, updates of previously published work are not eligible.
  • An entry may be submitted in only one regular category. Exception: A book containing art may be submitted in a book category and in one or more art categories and requires two or more entry fees.
  • Magazines, newsletters and blogs must be published at least quarterly.
  • Submissions begin July 9, 2019 at 6:00 a.m. EST. The contest closes for online entries on September 8, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. EST.
  • All mail-in entries must be postmarked no later than Friday, September 6, 2019.

Entry Fees

Discounted Member entry fees are accepted for members in good standing as of May 1, 2019.

Member: $15.00
Non-Member: $20.00

Member: $10.00
Non-Member: $15.00

Special Award Entries

  • Special Awards are made possible through the generosity of individuals and organizations, and consist of awards as noted in the list of Special Award Categories.
  • Special Award Sponsors are not involved in selecting winners.
  • Special Award entry MUST ALSO BE entered in a regular category.

Submission Formats

  • Hard copy or online submissions are acceptable.
  • Publication name and date must be visible on each entry.
  • All information must be legible.

Two Ways To Enter

Payment of entry fees will be collected via Paypal with all online entry forms.  Submissions for online entries may be submitted digitally on the entry form, or via US Mail.  If mailing your submission, please be sure to include a copy of your Paypal receipt in the package, so we may easily match up your online entry with any mailed items.

If you wish to avoid online payment, please use the Mail-in Entry form, and include a check or money order payable to DWAA.

Instructions For Hard Copy Entries

  • REGULAR CATEGORY: One entry form plus three copies of submission.
    • Magazines, newsletters, club publications and blog posts: Two issues required. Submit three sets of two issues.
  • SPECIAL CATEGORY: Additional copy of entry form plus two additional copies of submission.
  • Articles submitted by mail must be clipped from magazines, newspapers, newsletters, or printed from online sources.
  • Those who entered online must include a Paypal receipt in your package, to easily match up your mailed items with your online entry.
  • Those who did not enter online need to include the Mail-in Entry Form and a check or money order payable to DWAA.
  • Mail entries to:
    Bryn Nowell
    Address to be announced
  • Entries must be postmarked by Friday, September 6, 2019. No late entries will be accepted.
  • Entries cannot be returned, and all material becomes the property of DWAA for the purposes of administering the contest.
  • DWAA is not responsible for entries lost in transit.

“As you know I was completely surprised when you announced my name as the 2014 winner of the Best Children’s Book category for my book, Maggie Goes to Maine. We decided to come to New York for the banquet because I felt so honored just to be a nominee. Needless to say I am thrilled and have enjoyed showing my beautiful Maxwell Medallion to family and friends. Please extend my sincere thanks to others in the Dog Writers Association of America.”

Betsey Anderson

Entrant Responsibilities

  • In no event will DWAA’s liability exceed the amount of the submission fee.
  • Entries may be made on behalf of someone else, but the name of the person creating the work must be listed as the entrant. The entrant’s and submitter’s address and contact information are required.
  • All names and contact information of co-creators are required.
  • Any threats or insults directed to the Competition Chair, DWAA, or its members in relation to the Competition will be deemed cause to terminate an individual’s ability to participate in any future Writing Competitions.  Such decisions will be made by the Competition Chair and the Executive Committee and will be final.

Judging & Awards Information

  • A panel of three judges scores each entry. Judges consist of DWAA members and non-members who are professional writers and editors. Judges’ scores determine the nominees and winners. Judges may enter the contest, but will not judge entries in categories they enter.
  • Judges’ decisions are final. A list of judges will be posted August 16, 2019.
  • Nominees will be announced via DWAA’s social media sites on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. Winners will be announced the evening of Sunday, February 9, 2020 at the DWAA Awards Banquet.
  • Nominees in the regular and special categories receive certificates. Winners of regular categories receive the DWAA Maxwell Medallion, named in honor of the late Maxwell Riddle. Winners of special categories receive awards as listed.