Regular Categories

A. NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AND COLUMNS

1. Article – Health or General Care
2. Article – Behavior or Training
3. Article – Rescue
4. Article – Art or Any Other Topic

B. MAGAZINES

5. Single, Related, or All-Breed
6. Annual, Special Interest, or Any Other Subject

C. MAGAZINE ARTICLES

7. Article – Health or General Care
8. Article – Behavior or Training
9. Article – Rescue
10. Article – Breed
11. Article – Art or Any Other Topic

D. 12. CANINE OR ALL-ANIMAL NEWSPAPERS OR NEWSLETTERS

E. CANINE, ALL-ANIMAL NEWSPAPER OR NEWSLETTER ARTICLES AND COLUMNS

13. Any Topic

F. ONLINE: Please submit the URL for your blogsite, website, magazine, or newsletter for this regular category.

14. Blogsite or Website
15. Online Magazine or Online Newsletter

G. ONLINE ARTICLES OR BLOG ENTRIES

16. Online Article or Blog Entry– Health or General Care
17. Online Article or Blog Entry– Behavior or Training
18. Online Article or Blog Entry– Rescue
19. Online Article or Blog Entry – Any Other Topic

H. GRAPHICS

20. Single Photo
21. Series Photos
22. Single Illustration or Painting
23. Series of Illustrations or Paintings
24. Posters, Calendars, Brochures or Pamphlets

I. HUMOR, POETRY, SHORT FICTION, ESSAYS/EDITORIALS

25. Humor
26. Poetry
27. Short Fiction – No more than 10,000 words – please provide word count with entry
28. Essays/Editorials

J. OTHER MEDIA

29. Video, DVD, or TV Broadcasts
30. Radio, Podcast, or Other Audio

K. CLUB PUBLICATIONS (National, Regional or Local)

31. Magazine Format
32. Newsletter Format

L. CLUB PUBLICATION ARTICLES

33. Article – Any Topic
34. Regular Column or Series

M. 35. CLUB SPECIAL PUBLICATION

N. BOOKS

36. Single, Related, or All-Breed
37. Rescue or Adoption
38. Training or Sports
39. Behavior, Health, or General Care
40. Human/Animal Bond
41. Reference
42. Fiction, Young Adult, or Humor
43. Children

Special Award Categories

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. For information about actual recovery stories, writers can contact AKC Reunite at microchip@akcreunite.org.

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 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.


















Fidose of Reality





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 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 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 go 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.





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.

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.

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.

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: $400 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 $100 for each age grouping:

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

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

vet candy award



pet candy award

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.


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 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.

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.