Tooting our own horn doesn’t come easily to us but I have to tell you! Dash Kitten has won important prizes at the annual Cat Writers’ Association Communication Awards.
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I received a much-desired Muse® Medallion and a truly special surprise, the Kuykendall Image Award. Both of these consolidate the blog’s work towards helping bloggers and pet lovers take fantastic pictures of their pets and products.
What is the CWA Communication Awards?
The awards celebrate the work done by CWA members at the highest level. They acknowledge work done throughout the previous year in a range of categories including:
- Journalism, Novels, Children’s books and Online Publishing.
- Art in the form of painting, drawing, cartoons, and photography.
- Social Media Excellence on a channel such as Instagram or Facebook.
- Video and audio presentations including full-length films, short videos and podcasts.
The awards began in 1994 with 5 contest categories and 10 Special Awards. Recent revisions to the CWA creative categories are embracing the importance of social media in our lives, and the popularity of broadcasting.
The CWA Hosts a Virtual Awards Ceremony
The persistence of the Covid-19 virus meant that the CWA reluctantly but wisely cancelled their annual celebration. The gathering usually allows many cat creatives to meet up, and also to introduce themselves to the many amazing sponsors that support the organisation.
Then the CWA went virtual with their Glammies to Jammies awards online. Everyone was thrilled to be able to celebrate with the Facebook event (or Zoom if it worked) and I am guessing you can imagine the excitement. Deb Barnes (President) and her team created an event everyone could enjoy and they deserve our congratulations for all what I know is a lot of hard work.
How are the CWA Awards Judged?
Certificates of Excellence (CoE) are judged by professional members of the CWA according to an objective standard of excellence, not against each other. A certificate is only awarded for an average score of 90 or higher.
This means work has to reach a very high standard and impress three professional judges with its quality. CoE winners then become eligible for (but are not guaranteed) a Muse medallion.
The Special Awards are judged by experts in their fields who are not CWA members.
The Muse Medallion was designed by cat artist the late Karen Kuykendall (who was also the first recipient of a Muse).
My Muse® Medallion And A Special Award
Winning a CWA Muse® Medallion
Here is what it means for me, as a cat creative and a photographer.
When I joined the CWA my aim was to be part of an organisation where I would learn a lot and also share my own knowledge with fellow ‘cat creatives’. The thought of winning Muse medallion was a goal I worked towards ‘at some time in the future’.
The 2019 awards are the first time I have had the confidence to submit photographs and I won three Certificates. The photo of Dot, which you can see below, Chenzou, and Tiger Lily and Richelle at the Cat Cafe.
When the list of 23 Certificate winners in my category was displayed at the presentation ceremony, I could see I was standing with the best, and I held my breath.
Then I won the Muse medallion.
I rushed into Paul’s office to let him know. I could hardly choke out the words. He thought something terrible had happened to one of the cats until I was able to get my wits together and let him know. I got a celebratory hug and took a breath and returned to the virtual event as I had more friends to cheer on.
If you are interested in joining the Cat Writers’ Association check them out here.
I was able to celebrate wins by some of my favourite bloggers with well-deserved Muses for a year’s worth of hard work.
The Special Awards from the CWA began.
I cheered as artist Beverley Garland won for her video about Jugg. Beverly is painting Dot’s portrait later this year. (Check out the short video it’s so great.)
By the time the next award came up, I was still cheering other winners, and forgot that I had entered one of the special awards myself…….
Then the winner of the Kuykendall Image Award was announced and I nearly fell of my chair.
It was me.
The Kuykendall Image Award
Let me quote you the Cat Writers’ description of the Kuykendall Award.
“Sponsored by the CWA, this award is presented for the outstanding “image” entry featuring cats – whether photography, illustration, drawing, painting, or graphic art.
This may be a single piece or series entry, including, but not limited to, photos/artwork published in a magazine, newspaper, newsletter, book, pamphlet, calendar, poster, greeting card, or commercial online publication.
This award consists of $500 and a commemorative item.”
The image that won was the much admired one of Chenzou at the Cat Cafe.
Judge’s Comments on Chenzou at the Cat Cafe
Me, Right Now
You can imagine how much an award like this means.
My skills continue to develop and my goal to create a blog that encourages pet owners to take better pictures no matter what their camera, is in my sights. Look out for ‘New Beginnings’.