For The Contest Year: 01/01/2021 – 12/31/2021
A. WRITTEN ARTICLES
Entries in written articles may be found in newspapers, blogs, websites, magazines, and newsletters, whether traditional print mediums or online sites. Entries must focus on felines (content must be at least 80% about cats). Pieces can range from lighthearted (even containing fictionalized cats) to educational and informative. In all instances, if the reader is to be educationally informed, the information should be fact-checked and accurate. Appropriate quotations and citations from credible sources must support research and factual information the writer found elsewhere. Photos and graphics (if used) should be relevant, enhance the piece and be specific to the topic at hand.
Entrants must specify a word count for each Entry; the word count determines the appropriate length sub-category for that entry.
“Word count” includes unique content and content integral to the comprehension and cohesiveness of the entry. Unique content EXCLUDES titles/headings, sub-headings, photo captions and descriptions, author biographies, sources, text boxes, and other elements that summarize or restate the contents of the entry. Text in graphics or pictures is excluded in word count, except where the comprehension and cohesiveness of the entry are affected by such exclusion.
For each of these general topics, one MUSE award may be awarded for each length category:
- Best long-form piece (1201+ words)
- Best short-form piece (1200 words or less)
A.1 WRITTEN ARTICLE: HEALTH
This category includes pieces written to educate and inform the reader about clear, up-to-date health and wellness information useful to cat owners/cat caregivers. Entries in this category may address [but are not limited to]: cat everyday wellness/preventive health care; diet; nutrition; exercise; and spay/neuter. Topics may also include the understanding and specific compassionate care required for special-needs cats, kittens (kittens covering approximately birth through 12 weeks), and aging and senior cats.
A.2 WRITTEN ARTICLE: GENERAL CARE
This category includes pieces written to educate and inform the reader about best practices in caring for cats that will be useful to cat owners/caregivers. Includes but is not limited to: grooming; feeding; handling; litter box tips; carrier tips; the need for routine veterinary exams; etc.
A.3 WRITTEN ARTICLE: BEHAVIOR/TRAINING
This category includes pieces written to educate and inform the reader on how to interpret and understand feline behavior. Includes but is not limited to: cat training and proactive behavior modification (training topics are also not limited and could include topics such as therapy cat training, cat training for emotional and physical enrichment, such as clicker training to learn tricks for treats, leash training for exercise, as well as behavior training to discourage challenging habits such as jumping on counters or litter box issues); understanding the basics of feline behavior, including evolutionary perspectives that help illuminate why cats do what they do; understanding and addressing “challenging” behaviors; etc.
A.4 WRITTEN ARTICLE: ENRICHMENT AND LIFESTYLE
This category includes pieces written to educate and inform the reader on how to provide cats with sufficient environmental enrichment (including how people relate with cats and how to improve the feline-human bond) to maximize cats’ physical, psychological, and emotional health and well-being. Includes but is not limited to: the everyday lives of cats in general [including how to meet every day (and unusual) challenges of living with cats]; the lifestyles of people and their cats [including therapy cats, adventure cats, and cat models]; cats in society, culture, art, history, mythology, and religion; and environmental enrichment with practical, how-to information on optimizing the environments we and our cats share, with an emphasis on enhancing cats’ physical, emotional, and psychological well-being; etc.
A.5 WRITTEN ARTICLE: FELINE-HUMAN BOND
This category includes pieces that are written to examine and celebrate the joys and challenges of sharing our lives with cats, and pieces that will help cat owners better understand how cats relate to us and how we can share our lives with them in the most satisfying ways. Pieces should include an emotional tie between the human and the cat. Includes but is not limited to: personal-perspective pieces exploring the human-cat relationship, featuring individual cats and their people and how they enhance each other’s lives; profiles of individual cats and their owners and their lives together; memoirs of life with a particular cat or cat family; issues surrounding cat loss: preparing for loss; euthanasia decisions; grief; mourning; etc.
A.6 WRITTEN ARTICLE: VETERINARY MEDICINE & RESEARCH
This category aims to inform and educate readers with up-to-date, accurate information about the current status of research in feline veterinary medicine, with a practical perspective on how cat owners and caregivers – from home care, to rescue shelters, veterinary practices, and more can use the information to better care for cats and improve their overall quality of life. These pieces will often include direct input (as interview quotes or quotes from published research papers) from active researchers to support the information provided. Includes (but is not limited to): cat health issues from the veterinary medicine and research perspective; profiles of current research into a particular feline health issue or particular feline breed, revolutionary new improvements on medicines or practical techniques available to improve a cat’s health and well-being, and/or new cures or improvements to existing medicines and practices for cat-related illnesses, diseases, ailments, and the like.
A.7 WRITTEN ARTICLE: ENTERTAINMENT
This category includes pieces that are written to entertain the reader. Entertainment diverts people’s attention from their demanding lives and engages, amuses, delights, or compels them in their leisure time. Includes but is not limited to: an amusing look at cats in our lives and our relationship with them; profiles of the lives and doings of a particular cat or cat family; enjoyable looks at cats in the larger society and culture; interesting perspectives on people who choose to share their lives with cats; cats, or cat characters fictional or nonfictional in nature. Pieces may be entertaining, enjoyable, lighthearted, humorous, or a combination.
A.8 WRITTEN ARTICLE: RESCUE & ADVOCACY
This category focuses on educating, informing, and inspiring the audience on topics of cat rescue and advocacy, such as issues of homeless, stray, feral/community cats and kittens; wild cats; and big/jungle cats. Includes but is not limited to: hoarding and kitten mills; early spay/neuter; kitten season; adoption of senior, black, and special needs cats; getting cats into forever homes; advocating for adoption; the issues of feral/community cats; TNR; profiles of individual rescuers/shelters/shelter workers; successfully managed colonies; and community organizations. Advocacy also includes animal welfare and animal rights topics.
A.9 WRITTEN ARTICLE: PRODUCT REVIEW
This category features pieces that assess products invented, created, and marketed for cats and cat owners and products that enhance and enrich the human-feline environment. The piece should draw attention to the product and give cat lovers impartial insight beyond commercial advertising regarding its value for both the cat and the cat owner. The purpose of a review is to inform, evaluate, and share personal experiences about a product. Both sponsored and non-sponsored reviews are eligible to enter this category.
Sponsored reviews: if the writer received either free product, paid compensation, or both in exchange for the review, per FTC guidelines, the writer should clearly state at the time of publishing that the post was sponsored. Per FTC guidelines, a disclosure statement must appear at the beginning of a review (or at least before mentioning a product or providing a link to a product). Judging criteria require entrants to follow FTC guidelines or an entry will be marked down accordingly. For more information, please see: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/disclosures-101-social-media-influencers.
Unsponsored: If the writer purchased the product themselves and received no compensation from a brand or brand representative, the writer should clearly state that the post was not sponsored at the time of publishing.
A.10 WRITTEN ARTICLE: WILD FELINES
This category includes pieces about our domestic cats’ wild relatives which are defined as either wild cats (typically smaller in nature, for example, the Asian leopard cat) or big/jungle cats, such as lions and tigers. It includes (but is not limited to) species profiles; pieces on wild/big cats in art, history, culture, and lore; information on conservation issues; pieces illuminating the relationship of wild/big cats to domestic cats (which can run the gamut of domestic house pet, to stray cat, to feral/outdoor community cat), including behavior, genetics, and history; profiles of people whose lifestyles include wild/big cats, including the challenges of health issues, daily care, diet, safety, and legal issues, surrounding community attitudes, and other lifestyle challenges and issues.
A.11 WRITTEN ARTICLE: PEDIGREED CATS
This category focuses on pieces about pedigreed felines (breeding, show, or pet), and the world of cat breeding and cat showing. It includes (but is not limited to): breed or breeder profiles; cat shows; how to find a reputable breeder; characteristics of pedigreed felines; behavior and lifestyle issues/challenges in breeding cats; living with pedigreed cats as pets; and living with intact cats.
A.12 WRITTEN ARTICLE: GENERAL/OTHER
This category is reserved for pieces that do not fit into a specific category (see Written Article Categories A.1 – A.11 for reference). They may be editorial in nature, serious, lighthearted, informative, educational, fictional, nonfictional, and more.
This category attempts to stir a reader’s imagination or emotions by carefully choosing and arranging language for its meaning, sound, and rhythm. The subject of an entered poem must be (a) cat(s). Poetry is usually presented in one of three forms: narrative, dramatic, and lyrical. Types of poetry may include Haiku, Free Verse, Cinquains, Epic, Ballad, Acrostic, Sonnet, and more.
C. SHORT-FORM STORIES (stories under 40,000 words)
At least two-thirds of the content of short-form stories should cover cats. Short-form stories may be submitted as individual entries from an anthology, collection, or periodical. Short-form stories may also be featured online and be available in print or digital form (eBooks). Stories that portray cats in a negative, inhumane, or irresponsible manner will not qualify.
C.1 SHORT-FORM FICTION (SHORT STORY, NOVELLA OR FLASH FICTION)
This category focuses on short-form fiction that showcases the creativity, voice, and skill of a writer in a variety of topics and genres and conserves characters and scenes while engrossing the reader within the plot. In fictional works, it’s not required that a cat be the main character, but a cat(s) must be integral to the plot and story, rather than incidental characters or walk-ons.
C.2 SHORT-FORM NONFICTION (SHORT STORY, NOVELLA OR FLASH NONFICTION)
This category focuses on short-form nonfiction stories (stories under 40,000 words) that showcase the creativity, voice, and skill of a writer in a variety of topics and genres and conserves characters and scenes while engrossing the reader within the plot.
D. SERIAL WORKS ENTERED BY AN EDITOR
This category includes ANTHOLOGIES and COLUMNS (MULTIPLE AUTHORS)
Serial works include a collection of literary works by different authors, with a central theme, at least two-thirds cat-related in content, chosen by the compiler/editor entering the collection. Entries may be a collection of poems, short stories, a calendar, a column, and/or excerpts by different authors. Serial works may be nonfiction or fiction and may include real cats or cat characters. For this category, the judging emphasis will be on the quality of editing and the ability of the editor to craft the individual works into a theme. Serial works may be found in newspapers, blogs, websites, magazines, books, and newsletters, whether through traditional print mediums or online sites typically offer ongoing coverage of a narrow topic. Serial works must have a minimum of 3 published articles per year (or in the case of an anthology, at least three collected pieces). Serial works may be judged in their entirety (ex. An anthology in book form) or as a limited series. If an editor enters a limited series, he or she MUST submit links to at least three (3) works from an entered serial (failure to provide these three links might disqualify your entry and forfeit the fees paid on that entry).
E. PERIODICAL/NATIONAL CIRCULATION PUBLICATIONS (print or online)
Periodicals/National Circulation Publications appeal to specific readers by matching their content with an intended target audience’s special interest. Publications may be in magazines, newsletters, or online. An online publication functions like a typical print periodical, i.e., posts/articles from numerous authors, a few regular columns, feature segments, photos, feature stories, ads, etc.
The publication should be professionally designed and formatted; attractive in layout; have a compelling cover page; and depending on genre, be entertaining, engaging, informative, educational, or a combination thereof. There should be obvious evidence that the staff of the publication relates to the topic and shares their readers’ special interest(s). Special-interest cat publications are often subscription-based or found in retail outlets. These publications should give readers the information they can’t find elsewhere. They should have a clear editorial purpose for their existence and not simply be a vehicle for advertising or listings.
Periodical/National Circulation Publications must have cat-related content of 80% or more. Special note: blogs and websites do not qualify for this category.
All books must be to a large extent about, or relevant to, cats (cats being defined as anything related to cats, which can include nonfictional cats and cat characters, domestic cats, pedigree cats, stray cats, rescue cats, feral/outdoor community cats, wild cats, and big/jungle cats). At least two-thirds of a book’s content must relate to, be relevant to, or be about cats. Books that portray cats in a negative, inhumane, or irresponsible manner will not qualify.
In these Categories, digital versions of the submitted book(s) are preferred! Digital books can be submitted in these ways:
- A pdf file of the entire book; OR
- Some means of enabling judges to read the digital book for free, such as an Amazon.com gift card or a coupon code. FOUR (4) digital copies (in the form of a coupon code or Amazon gift card for the price of the book) of these materials must be provided if one chooses to provide digital copies.
To mail paper copies of your books to the Contest Chair: All items must be postmarked by April 30, 2022, and sent in such a manner that they can be reasonably expected to arrive within 7 days. We recommend mailing entry materials via means that may be tracked by the sender. Regardless of delivery method, you MUST specify that the recipient need not be present in-person or sign for the material. It is the entrant’s responsibility to package entries carefully so that materials will not be damaged in transit. CWA will not assume responsibility for items that arrive damaged or do not arrive at all. FOUR (4) paper copies of these materials must be mailed if one chooses to submit paper copies (and not digital). Mail all paper entries to:
Katherine Kern, CWA Contest Chair
PO BOX 142399
Saint Louis, MO 63114
F.1 BOOK: FICTION – MYSTERY
The mystery category should have a realistic but suspenseful plot with a lot of twists, a shocking crime, foreshadowing evidence, false leads, a crime solver, aka the protagonist or detective, an unexpected villain, criminal, or culprit, and a last-minute resolution to the plot. Felines must be integral to the plot and story, rather than incidental characters or walk-ons.
F.2 BOOK: FICTION – SCI-FI/FANTASY
The sci-fi/fantasy category should have imaginative concepts such as advanced science and technology, spaceflight, time travel, supernatural and/or paranormal, and extraterrestrial life. There may also be stories in which animals behave as human beings in that they experience emotions, talk, and have the ability to reason. Felines must be integral to the plot and story, rather than incidental characters or walk-ons.
F.3 BOOK: FICTION – OTHER
This category includes fictional books about cats or cat characters that don’t fit into the specific categories of mystery and sci-fi/fantasy (see category descriptions F.1 BOOKS: FICTION – MYSTERY and F.2 BOOKS: FICTION -SCI-FI FANTASY for reference). They might be a romance novel, an adventure story, a fictionalized memoir, just to name a few possibilities. Felines must be integral to the plot and story, rather than incidental characters or walk-ons.
F.4 BOOK: NONFICTION
This category features books that appeal to the general cat-owning/cat caregiving population and may offer a broad, comprehensive base of information on felines or a narrow topic specific to cats. These books may be reference books, how-to, or other nonfiction books. They may also be a breed-specific book or something else of a nonfiction nature.
F.5 BOOK: FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS – ILLUSTRATION-FOCUSED
This category may be fiction or nonfiction and provides the reader with a visual experience through illustrations or photographs. A picture book for children includes images that are as important (or more important) than the words. The images are designed to tell the story. A picture book may or may not include words. Picture books include images on every page or on one page of every pair of facing pages. (Note: the submission should be by the author. The illustrator can enter in the Illustration category.)
F.6 BOOK: FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS – WRITTEN WORD-FOCUSED
This category may be fiction or nonfiction. A written word-focused book tells a story primarily through prose, rather than pictures, although written word-focused books may contain illustrations, photos, or cartoons to support the narrative. Written word-focused books may be fictional, nonfictional, or include cat characters. In any instance, the book must be age-appropriate in the subject matter.
F.7 BOOK: SPECIALTY-BOUND MATERIAL (POEMS, GIFT BOOKS, PHOTO BOOKS, CALENDARS, AND OTHERS)
This category includes books or other bound-material that entice a reader to “pick up” and flip through. Topics may be humorous or lighthearted, entertaining, educational, advertising, a call to action, or other. These works may be for entertainment, amusement, information, or education about felines. Entries in this category could be coffee table in nature (a comprehensive, coherent package of any combination of art, illustrations, graphic design drawings, paintings, photos, and text in some combination), a collection of poems, a calendar or other stylized writing. Layout and graphics should draw the reader to the topic.
G. VIDEO OR TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS
Productions may be entertaining, enjoyable, lighthearted, humorous, or a combination. They may be presented in scripted, creative, educational, documentary, live, or other styles, as appropriate. Pieces can range from lighthearted (even using fictionalized cats), to educational and informative. Entries must focus on felines (content is at least 80% about cats). In all instances, if the reader is to be educationally informed, the information should be fact-checked and accurate. Appropriate quotations and citations from credible sources must support research and factual information the entrant found elsewhere. Photos and graphics (if used) should be relevant, enhance the piece and be specific to the topic at hand.
Entrants must provide “run time” (in minutes) for each Produced video Entry, to submit that Entry in the correct length subcategory (short or documentary-length). Webinars are included in the live video category.
Entries for these categories must be submitted in their original audio/visual form. Written transcripts of radio or television programs or videos are NOT acceptable. Actual audio or video recordings or links to actual recordings must be submitted. Entries must be submitted in the name of the program host; guests are not eligible to win.
For each of these video categories, one MUSE award may be awarded for each of the following three sub-categories:
- Best documentary-length produced video (over 20 minutes)
- Best short-length produced video (20 minutes or less)
- Best live video (including webinars)
G.1 VIDEO OR TELEVISION PRODUCTION: EDUCATIONAL/INFORMATIVE
Videos or television programs in this category should focus on educating or informing people about cat-related topics (including health, behavior, lifestyle, and rescue & advocacy). Educational/Informative videos may also include but are not limited to cat-related product reviews, news, interviews, personal feline-lifestyle (such as therapy cats or adventure cats), and stories of life with cats. Information should be fact-checked and accurate. Appropriate quotations and citations from credible sources must support research and factual information found elsewhere.
G.2 VIDEO OR TELEVISION PRODUCTION: ENTERTAINMENT
Videos or television programs in this category include pieces that entertain the viewer. Entertainment diverts people’s attention from their demanding lives and engages, amuses, delights, or compels them in their leisure time. Includes but is not limited to: an amusing look at cats in our lives and our relationship with them; profiles of the lives and doings of a particular cat or cat family; enjoyable looks at cats in the larger society and culture; interesting perspectives on people who choose to share their lives with cats; cats, or cat characters fictional or nonfictional, in nature.
H. AUDIO/BROADCAST: ANY FORMAT
Radio programs, podcasts, audiotapes/narrations, and DVDs that are at least 80% cat-related. The content may be anything related to felines – fictional, nonfictional cats and characters, domestic cats, stray cats, rescue cats, feral/outdoor community cats, wild cats, big/jungle cats, and the like. Entries for this category must be submitted in their original, audio form. Written transcripts are NOT acceptable. Actual audio recordings or links to actual recordings must be submitted. Entries must be submitted in the name of the program host; guests are not eligible to win.
Blogs/websites should focus on felines*, be attractive and professional in visual content and design, and appeal to the general cat-owning, cat-caring population. Qualifying entries may be on a corporate or nonprofit site or the entrant’s own personal Blog/Website.
Blogs and websites can utilize a variety of mediums, such as articles/posts, photos, videos, cartoons, infographics, and more. Focus can be lighthearted, humorous, creative/artistic, educational, and/or informative. In all instances, any information given should be fact-checked and accurate.
Bloggers must follow FTC guidelines if a blog includes product reviews or sponsored posts (for more information, please see: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/disclosures-101-social-media-influencers).
This category is judged on the collective content of the site in its entirety, including visual design, visual and written content, structure, navigation, functionality, engagement, and overall experience. Photos and graphics (if used) should be relevant, enhance the piece and be specific to the topic at hand.
Sites may vary in nature, as long as at least 51% of the site’s content is dedicated to the category entered (education OR entertainment). A blog can only be submitted in one blog category.
The Publication Date of each Entry MUST be readily apparent/visible to the judges when they view your Entries online. If the publication date is not obvious, your entry may be disqualified and your entry fees forfeited.
There must be a minimum of 2 published mediums per month for the entire contest year. The blog/website is judged collectively, but individuals must submit links to three (3) entities that exemplify their best work as supporting evidence of the quality of the overall site. Failure to provide these three links might disqualify your entry and forfeit the fees paid on that entry.
Sites may vary in nature, as long as two-thirds of the content is dedicated to cats.
*Felines include domestic cats, pedigree cats, stray cats, rescue cats, feral/outdoor community cats, wild cats, and big/jungle cats. Felines may be fictional, nonfictional, or cat characters.
I.1 BLOG/WEBSITE: EDUCATIONAL/INFORMATIVE
Educational/Informative sites are dedicated to educating/informing readers and cat caregivers about a variety of cat-related topics (including health, behavior, enrichment, lifestyle, and rescue & advocacy). Educational/Informative sites may also include but are not limited to cat-related product reviews, news, interviews, personal feline-lifestyle (such as therapy cats or adventure cats), and stories of life with cats. Information should be fact-checked and accurate. Appropriate quotations and citations from credible sources must support research and factual information the writer found elsewhere.
I.2 BLOG/WEBSITE: ENTERTAINMENT
Entertainment sites take an amusing and enjoyable look at cats and our lives and relationship with them. Entertainment diverts people’s attention from their demanding lives and engages, amuses, delights, or compels them in their leisure time. Pieces may be entertaining, enjoyable, lighthearted, humorous, or a combination and use fictional or nonfictional cats.
J. COLUMN/SERIES [WRITTEN BY THE SAME AUTHOR(S)]
A column is a series of articles about the same subject featured in a publication. Columns via newspaper, blogs, websites, magazines, and newsletters, whether through traditional print mediums or online sites typically offer ongoing coverage of a narrow topic or with a humorous theme written by the same author(s) each issue. Cats must be the focus (at least two-thirds of content must be cat-related) of the column/series
Columnists often are responsible for the idea as well as the research and writing. A column/series entered under this category must contain at least 3 published articles in the Contest year. Individuals MUST submit links to at least three (3) of their best columns: submitted as a single Entry (failure to provide these three links might disqualify your entry and forfeit the fees paid on that entry).
If an article is part of the submission for the “Column/series” category, it may not be submitted individually in any other category. If you are the editor of the column (you did not write all the articles), please enter your column in Category D. (Serial Works Entered by an Editor).
K. SOCIAL MEDIA EXCELLENCE
Social media excellence involves promoting cats via a multiplicity of channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube that quickly grab the reader/viewer’s attention and educate/inform/entertain/inspire about specific cat-related topics with photos, videos, graphics, and compelling copy. Excellence is determined by the overall social effort – the quality and effectiveness of the tweets, photos, posts, graphics, narratives, etc., and the professional branding of the social page(s) – both in content and design. Social media excellence is judged in its entirety, but individuals MUST submit links to six (6) posts that exemplify their best work and as supporting evidence of the quality of the overall social media (failure to provide these six links might disqualify your entry and forfeit the fees paid on that entry). Social media accounts may vary in nature, as long as at least 51% of the social media account’s content is dedicated to the category entered (education OR entertainment). A social media account can only be submitted in one social media category.
Social media entrants must follow FTC guidelines if the entered account includes product reviews or sponsored posts (for more information, please see: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/disclosures-101-social-media-influencers).
Social media categories should focus on a particular theme and may be posted across varying social media channels but must dedicate two-thirds of their content to cats.
For these categories, qualifying entries may either be from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram (or a combination thereof); from social media accounts that represent either a corporate, nonprofit, or the entrants own personal social media page(s).
K.1 SOCIAL MEDIA EXCELLENCE: EDUCATIONAL/INFORMATIVE
Educational/Informative social media accounts are dedicated to educating/informing readers and cat caregivers about a variety of cat-related topics (including health, behavior, enrichment, lifestyle, and rescue & advocacy). Educational/Informative social media accounts may also include but are not limited to cat-related product reviews, news, interviews, personal feline-lifestyle (such as therapy cats or adventure cats), and stories of life with cats. All information presented should be clear, properly cited, and up to date.
K.2 SOCIAL MEDIA EXCELLENCE: ENTERTAINMENT
Entries in this category should take an amusing and enjoyable look at cats and our lives and relationship with them using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Entertainment diverts people’s attention from their demanding lives and engages, amuses, delights, or compels them in their leisure time. Content may be entertaining, enjoyable, lighthearted, humorous, or a combination and use fictional or nonfictional cats.
L. VISUAL ARTS
Entries in this category must focus on cats. Visual arts should adhere to the principles of good design, embody the principles of good artwork, and convey an artistic vision.
Entries in these Categories, including photos and illustrations, may be entered simultaneously as an integral part of a writing entry (for example, as part of a print/online magazine article or a book) as well as an image, or series/collection of images, freestanding, in their own right.
All image Entries (photos, illustrations, cartoons, photographic art) will be judged solely in their original PUBLISHED form, whether printed or online.
If your image Entry was originally published in paper format, such as in a printed book or magazine, you must submit a digital scan of the original printed form of the Entry (so the judges can view it in its originally-published context).
If the image is available for viewing online, include the URL of the online image for the judges’ convenience.
L.1 PHOTOGRAPHY: SINGLE IMAGE
Without the need for words, a photograph tells a story that should delight, move, amaze, and/or stir the viewer. A single image, black & white or color, may illustrate a point in a text or stand alone as with greeting cards, book covers, and posters. On its own, it may enhance a blog/website/social media. The photographic artist has unique challenges using shadow, light, tone, and composition to influence the story and mood in the direction they seek to express.
L.2 PHOTOGRAPHY: SERIES
Without the need for words, a series of photographs tells a story that should delight, move, amaze, and/or stir the viewer. A series, black & white or color, may illustrate a point in articles or books, blogs, websites, magazines, or as a series of photos in an annual publication, such as a calendar. The photographic artist has special challenges using shadow, light, tone, and composition to influence the story and mood in the direction they seek to express.
L.3 PHOTOGRAPHIC ART
Photographic Art starts on film or digital media and uses various digital or manual techniques to alter the photo (including photo editing software, apps, or mixed media). Photographic art may include (but is not limited to) a combination of images, montage, collage, adding or changing background, adding or changing colors, adding overlays or special effects, colorization of black and white images. Photographic Art creates a moment in time and freezes it there. A single image, without the need for words, tells a story. Photographic art may illustrate a point in a text or stand-alone. You may find photographic art on greeting cards, a book cover/back, posters, or a photograph on a blog/website or social media.
A cartoon is a drawing that may portray a real-life situation, fictional or nonfictional character or place, and is often executed in an exaggerated, satirical, or humorous light.
Cartoons have many styles ranging from stylized shapes using simple line drawings to more detailed and illustrative work, with or without color. The result is always the same: capturing an idea, a trending topic, or telling a story.
Cartoons often stand alone as a short story in miniature or an illustration of the text.
L.5 ILLUSTRATION (SINGLE)
An illustration is an image created with traditional or digital art media that does not fall into the category of photographic art.
An illustration may exaggerate one or more elements to tell a story or direct attention to a particular point. It may portray things that do or do not exist in the real world, illustrating text or standing alone. Some uses for illustration are books, book covers, blogs, online publications, newsletters, social media posts.
L.6 ILLUSTRATIONS (SERIES)
Illustrations are images created with traditional or digital art media and do not fall into the category of photographic art. A series of illustrations all relate in some way to the same subject.
Illustrations may exaggerate one or more elements to tell a story or direct attention to a particular point. They may portray things that do or do not exist in the real world. They may be used to illustrate text or to stand alone. Uses for a series of illustrations include books, blogs, online publications, newsletters, social media posts, and annual publications, such as a calendar.
L.7 GRAPHIC DESIGN
Graphic design is the art and practice of visual communication to captivate, inspire, and inform a target audience. The designer skillfully merges visual elements such as typography, line, and color, photography, and/or illustration to create layouts for a wide variety of applications. These include (but are not limited to) magazine layouts, newsletters, book covers, calendars, infographics, posters, brochures, logos, web design, marketing, promotional materials, and more.
M. FINE ART
This Category differs from all other Categories in several ways. “Fine Art” is defined, for purposes of the Contest, as work, either in two or three dimensions, that is produced/created primarily as a form of personal artistic self-expression, rather than as a supplement or accompaniment to another published work, such as a book or magazine article.
Fine Art pieces stand alone as self-contained works. Fine Art works can be original paintings, sculptures, fiber art pieces, ceramics, handcrafted jewelry, fine-art clothing, and similar works.
Works of Fine Art that qualify for the Contest must be devoted to and feature the CAT (wild or domestic, realistic or abstract!) as primary inspiration and subject matter. Works must have been created during the Contest period (calendar year 2021) and adhere to the principles of good design
Since Fine Art is generally not “published” in the usual sense, for purposes of the Contest, the requirement for Fine Art entries to be “published work” will be modified by a requirement that such works will have been displayed and/or offered for sale to the public during the Contest period, either in a physical or online gallery or on a sales site such as Etsy, eBay or similar site.
Because of the nature of Fine Art, entries should be composed of a set of full-color photographs or scans of the work, clearly showing the overall work as well as close-up details. For 3D work such as sculpture, photos should show the work from several different angles.
Entries must include supporting documentation of the work’s display and/or sales in a gallery or shop (physical or online), including relevant links so judges can view the work online if they wish.
To access these Category-specific Rules & Descriptions in Google Doc (and printable) form, please visit: 2022 CWA Communications Contest Category-specific Rules & Descriptions.