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.
“Each year, we set new records for entry submissions and each year, the quality of submission improves,” said Arden Moore, founder of, 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.”
  • Jane A 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.
  • 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
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
Magazine Column
JaneA Kelley – Recessionista
Newspaper Article/Rescue&Advocacy
Jan Reeder – Cat Crusader
Newspaper Column
Ewing, Susan M. – The Pet Pen
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 – Sideways
Linda Mohr – Morning Visitor
Allia Zobel Nolan – Women Who Still Love Cats Too Much
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
Books Health & General Care
Amy Shojai – Cat Facts: The A-to-Z Pet Parent's Home Care Encyclopedia
Dahlynn and Ken McKowen and Margie Yee Webb – Not Your Mother's Book on Cats
Video, CD, DVD or TV Production
Lisa Richman – Our Wish
Online Article/Health & General Care (tie)
Dusty Rainbolt – Researchers Study Kitten Mortality
Kim Campbell Thornton – Catch It Early
Online Article/Behavior & Training
Janiss Garza – 5 Myths About Cat Walking
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
Blog Entertainment
Lisa Richman – A Tonk’s Tail
Blog/ Any Other Topic
Melissa Lapierre – Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries and Meows
Color Photograph Single
Jerry Thornton – Jaguar – Wild Cats of the Americas
Color Photographs Series
Marci Kladnik – How One Massive TNR Project Broke My Heart and My Spirit
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
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.”
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.”
Human-Animal Bond Award – Sponsored by GoodNewsForPets.Com. Winner: Ramona
Marek for “The Strength of the Human-Animal Bond.”
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.”
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,
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.”
The Lorie Huston Health Award – Sponsored by PetSafe. Winner: Andrea Dorn for “Don’t
Let Plants Be Pet Killers.”
The Sleepypod Traveler Award – Sponsored by Sleepypod. Winner: Nancy Peterson for “8
Tips to Make Sure Your Cat Is Prepared for a House Fire.”
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:
Leslea Newman for “Ketzel: The Cat Who Composed.”
The Shojai Mentor Award – Sponsored by Amy Shojai, co-founder of CWA. Winner: Carole
Nelson Douglas.
The Michael Brim Distinguished Service Award – Sponsored by CWA. Winner: Kim
Campbell Thornton.
The CWA President’s Award – Sponsored by CWA and chosen by CWA president Marci
Kladnik. Winner: Catherine Holm for the short story “Sideways.”