Have you read a good book about dogs lately?
If you have, it was probably written by a member of The Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA.)
The DWAA's 500 distinguished members devote themselves to writing about our favorite companions doing everything from competitive sports to solving mysteries. It may sound like fun but, in fact, it is serious business.
The DWAA Writing Competition encompasses all aspects of media: journalism, art, photography, fiction, radio, blogs, poetry, history and reference works.
The awards banquet was held on February 10, 2013 at the Affinia Manhattan Hotel.
One of the most exciting moments at the banquet is the induction of the members in to the Hall of Fame. There are two DWAA Hall of Fame inductees for 2012:
- Ms. Eve Adamson, New York Times bestselling author and award winning freelance writer; and
- Mr. Ranny Green, a features writer for the Seattle Times, a Maxwell Award winner and former Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) vice president and president.
DWAA writing awards are called “Maxwell Medallions.” Winners are presented with medallions resembling the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The medallions are named in honor of Mr. Maxwell Riddle, in recognition of his long career as a writer and dog expert.
The categories in the DWAA writing competition are almost as interesting as the winning works. They range from “Feature or News Story in a Magazine or Newspaper” to “Health or Care Article in Canine Newsletter” to “Human / Animal Bond books” It is refreshing to see excellence recognized, without regard to the potential for bottom line profits. At this awards dinner, it is the quality of the writing that counts.
In addition to the Hall of Fame inductions and the Maxwell Medallion awards, special awards are granted at the banquet. These are sponsored by dog-related non-profit organizations and pet industry companies. A few examples:
- The Association of Pet Dog Trainers awarded The Canine Life and Social Skills Award (C.L.A.S.S.) to Ms. Brenda Aloff for her book “Puppy Problems? No Problem .”
- The American Kennel Club awarded its Distinguished Service Award to Ms. Pat Santi for her contributions to DWAA. Ms. Santi has been a DWAA member for 21 years and its secretary for over 16 years in addition to her many other accomplishments outside DWAA.
- Ms. Karen Petit sponsored the DWAA Junior Writer Award. It went to Ms. Diana Chan for her video, "This is Zephyr." It is available for viewing on YouTube.
All of the winning works and the nominees are posted on the DWAA website. (My dinner companions explained that hyperlinks to each of the nominated and winning works would be a nice addition to the website so visitors could readily find and read them. I agree.)
On a personal note, I would like to publicly thank the DWAA membership for permitting me to join them at the banquet. It was so nice to see familiar faces from the awards banquet in the press room at Westminster, including Mr. Ranny Green, who worked tirelessly helping his fellow journalists cover the dog show.