Cat Writers’ Association Announces Winners in its International Communications Contest

The 2016 CWA Awards Banquet Program is available as a PDF that can be downloaded at your convenience.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (all images Copr. Jerry Thornton, used with permission, unless otherwise noted)

CHANDLER, AZ: The 22nd annual Cat Writers’ Association Communication Contest drew more than 290 entries from all over the globe, with Catherine Holm taking home the “best of the best” CWA President’s Award for her short story entitled Sideways.

More than $11,000 in prize money and more than three dozen Muse medallion awards were presented in writing, photography and graphic arts categories at the special awards ceremony held at the joint CWA/BlogPaws conference at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Chandler, AZ on Friday.


Contests Chair Arden Moore provided an entertaining presentation event.

“Each year, we set new records for entry submissions and each year, the quality of submission improves,” said Arden Moore, founder of Four Legged, who served at this year’s CWA contest chair. “Some of the most competitive categories were for blog posts – a clear sign of the impact and influence online articles are having on the pet community.”

Among the highlights from the awards ceremony:

  • JaneA Kelley scored the only perfect score among all 290 entrants for her article entitled, “Recessionista.” She scored 100 from each of the three judges.
  • Leslea Newman won both the Books for Children category and the Litter-ary Award sponsored by World’s Best Cat Litter for her book Ketzel: The Cat Who Composed.
  • The most competitive category – online article focusing on health and general care produced a tie. Sharing this category and each winning a coveted CWA Muse medallion were Dusty Rainbolt for her article, “Researchers Study Kitten Mortality” and Kim Campbell Thornton for her article, “Catch It Early.”
  • Kim Campbell Thornton was also recoginzed for her lifelong impact in the pet industry and was named the recipient of the Michael Brim Distinguished Service Award. Fran Pennock Shaw nominated Thornton and noted, “Kim is a professional in every sense of the word – an award-winning editor, author and journalist, an advocate for the betterment of cats and all animals, and a leader within the Cat Writers’ Association.”


CWA 2015 Communication Contest

Muse Medallion Winners


Teresa Keiger (L) receives Muse from Dusty Rainbolt.

Magazine National Circulation

Teresa Keiger – Cat Talk

 Magazine Article/Health & General Care

Fran Pennock Shaw – An Aggressive Foe

Magazine Article/Behavior & Training

Sophia Yin, DVM – Young Cats, New Tricks

Magazine Article/Rescue & Advocacy

Bethany Wynn – Three Mascoteers

Magazine Article – Any Other Topic

Catherine Hess – The Cat’s Meow


JaneA Kelly (L) receives Muse from Dusty Rainbolt.

Magazine Column

JaneA Kelley – Recessionista


Jen Reeder (L) receives Muse from Dusty Rainbolt.

Newspaper Article/Rescue&Advocacy

Jen Reeder – Cat Crusader

Newspaper Column

Ewing, Susan M. – The Pet Pen


Louise Holton (L) receives Muse from contest chair Arden Moore.

Newsletter/Regional Or Membership

Louise Holton – Alley Cat Mews

Newsletter/Health & General Care

Sally Deneen – Can Treats Make Them Pack on Pounds?

Newsletter Article/Any Other Topic

Ramona Marek – Estate Planning and Your Pets

Newsletter Column

Lyn Garson – Technically Speaking


Catherine Holm (L) receives Muse from Dusty Rainbolt.

Short Story

Catherine Holm – Sideways


Linda Mohr (L) receives Muse from Dusty Rainbolt.


Linda Mohr – Morning Visitor


Allia Zobel Nolan – Women Who Still Love Cats Too Much


Contest Chair Arden Moore (L) presents Muse to Jen Reeder.

Opinion Piece

Jen Reeder – Let’s Discuss Pets During Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Humane Education Press Kits

Bernadette Kazmarski – Homeless Cat Management

Books – Fiction

Carole Nelson Douglas – Cat In A Yellow Spotlight

Books for Children

Lesléa Newman – Ketzel, The Cat Who Composed


Kim Thornton (L) presents Muse to Amy Shojai

Books Health & General Care

Amy Shojai – Cat Facts: The A-to-Z Pet Parent’s Home Care Encyclopedia

Books – Other

Dahlynn and Ken McKowen and Margie Yee Webb – Not Your Mother’s Book on Cats


JaneA Kelly (L) presents Muse to Lisa Richman.

Video, CD, DVD or TV Production

Lisa Richman – Our Wish


(L-R) JaneA Kelly, Kim Thornton, Dusty Rainbolt, Arden Moore.

Online Article/Health & General Care (tie)

Dusty Rainbolt – Researchers Study Kitten Mortality

Kim Campbell Thornton – Catch It Early


JaneA Kelly (L) presents Muse to Janiss Garza.

Online Article/Behavior & Training

Janiss Garza – 5 Myths About Cat Walking


CWA President Marci Kladnik (L) receives Muse from Dusty Rainbolt.

Online Article/ Rescue & Advocacy

Marci Kladnik – How One Massive TNR Project Broke My Heart and My Spirit

Online Article/Any Other Topic

Camille Dodero – Corporate Cats Still Suck

Online Column

Phillip Mlynar – Monday Miracle Column


Lisa Richman (L) receives Muse from Dusty Rainbolt.

Blog Entertainment

Lisa Richman — A Tonk’s Tail

Blog/ Any Other Topic

Melissa Lapierre – Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and Meows


Jerry Thornton (L) receives Muse from Kim Thornton.

Color Photograph Single

Jerry Thornton – Jaguar – Wild Cats of the Americas


President Marci Kladnik receives Muse from Kim Thornton.

Color Photographs Series

Marci Kladnik – How One Massive TNR Project Broke My Heart and My Spirit


Kim Thornton (L) presents Muse to Christine Booras.

Photographic Art

Christine Booras – Me, My Ferals And I


Stephanie Piro – Dream

Illustration Single

Bernadette Kazmarski – Snowy Morning

Illustrations Series

Ewa O’Neill – I Want A Cat: My Opinion Essay



AAFP Cat Friendly Award – Sponsored by the American Association of Feline Practitioners. Winner: Nancy Peterson for “One More Reason to Book Your Cat’s Next Vet Checkup Today.”


Deb Barnes (L) is presented with the Adopt A Shelter Award from Dusty Rainbolt

Adopt a Homeless Cat Award – Sponsored by AdoptAShelter.Com. Winner: Deb Barnes for “Oct. 16 – National Feral Cat Day: Any Cat Can Be Feral…Even Yours.”


Amy Shojai (L) is presented with the Dr. Jim Richards Cornell Feline Health Center award by Contest Chair Arden Moore.

The Dr. Jim Richards Cornell Feline Health Center Veterinary Issues Award – Sponsored by Cornell University’s Feline Health Center. Winner: Amy Shojai for “Cat Facts: The A-to-Z Pet Parent’s Home Care Encyclopedia.”


Lea-Ann Germinder presents the Human Animal Bond Award from

Human-Animal Bond Award – Sponsored by GoodNewsForPets.Com. Winner: Ramona Marek for “The Strength of the Human-Animal Bond.”


JaneA Kelly accepts one of three gorgeous Hartz awards on behalf of the winner.

Hartz Every Day Chewable Vitamin Award – Sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation. Winner: Deborah Camp for “Cats Are Subject to Mental Changes.”

Hartz Glamour-Puss Award – Sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation. Winner: Debbie DeLouise for “Brush Your Cat for Bonding, Beauty and Better Health.”

Hartz Milk Replacement for Kittens Award – Sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation. Winner: Valerie Sicignano for “The Cats On My Block.”


JaneA Kelly (L) presents the Kari Winters Rescue and Rehabilitation Award from TICA to the CWA President Marci Kladnik

The Kari Winters Rescue and Rehabilitation Award – Sponsored by The International Cat Association (TICA). Winner: Marci Kladnik for “A Blind Kitten Finds a Friend and Eventually, a Home.”

The Litter-Lifter Litter Box Awareness Award – Sponsored by Preferred Merchandizing. Winner: Phillip Mlynar for “Why Do Cats Act Weird When It Comes to Litter Boxes?”

The Litter-Lifter Newcomer Responsibility Award – Sponsored by Preferred Merchanizing. Winner: Leslie Goodwin for “Cat Skills: Loving Care for Cats.”


Michelle Mullins (L) presents the PetSafe Lori Huston Health Award to Andrea Dorn. Accepting on Andrea’s behalf is Deb Barnes (R).

The Lorie Huston Health Award – Sponsored by PetSafe. Winner: Andrea Dorn for “Don’t Let Plants Be Pet Killers.”


Contest Chair Arden Moore accepts the Sleepypod Traveler Award for Nancy Peterson.

The Sleepypod Traveler Award – Sponsored by Sleepypod. Winner: Nancy Peterson for “8 Tips to Make Sure Your Cat Is Prepared for a House Fire.”


Nancy Schmid (L) presents the Smart Cat award to Janiss Garza.

The SmartCat All Natural Litter Training Award – Sponsored by Pioneer Pets. Winner: Janiss Garza for “5 Myths About Cat Walking.”

The World’s Best Cat Litter-ary Award – Sponsored by World’s Best Cat Litter. Winner:  Lesléa Newman for “Ketzel: The Cat Who Composed.”

The Kuykendall Image Award – Sponsored by CWA.    Winner:Amy June Bates, Illustrator, for “Ketzel: The Cat Who Composed.”


Amy Shojai (L) presents the Shojai Mentor Award to Carole Nelson Douglas (not pictured). The winner was nominated by Dusty Rainbolt (C) and accepted by President Marci Kladnik (R)

The Shojai Mentor Award – Sponsored by Amy Shojai, co-founder of CWA. Winner: Carole Nelson Douglas.


President Marci Kladnik (L) and Teresa Keiger from CFA (R) present the Michael Brim Award to Kim Thornton (C).
The Michael Brim Distinguished Service Award – Sponsored by CWA. Winner: Kim Campbell ThorntonCatHolm-MarciKladnikCat Holm (L) receives the President’s Award from Marci Kladnik.

The CWA President’s Award – Sponsored by CWA and chosen by CWA president Marci Kladnik. Winner: Catherine Holm for the short story “Sideways.”



Thanks by Stephanie Piro

Original artwork from CWA member Stephanie Piro

Angel CWA Thanks

Angel-CWA pendant design by CWA member Wendy Christensen (Image courtesy of Amy Shojai)


Amy Shojai (L) surprised with retirement honors by CWA President Marci Kladnik.

Amy Shojai retirement bracelet

Retirement gift from CWA Council, designed by CWA Secretary and artist Wendy Christensen. (Image courtesy of Amy Shojai)

Amy Shojai retirement bracelet

This custom commemorative sterling charm bracelet includes Amy’s recent book covers, charms with her pets’ names, typewriter, cello, paws, Muse Medallion, CWA logo and more! (Image courtesy of Amy Shojai)

5 comments to “Cat Writers’ Association Announces Winners in its International Communications Contest”
5 comments to “Cat Writers’ Association Announces Winners in its International Communications Contest”
  1. I think we’re all proud of the CWA winners. Kudos to Wendy Christensen for designing such a sparkling, tribute bracelet…so much like Amy!

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