Thursday, March 28, 2019

We're Winners! The 2018 CWA Annual Contest Was a Big Surprise For Us!

When I was writing our look back at 2018 I was pleasantly surprised at just how much content I was able to generate last year. I think that quite often bloggers crank out content without realizing they’re writing top notch posts. Sometimes we’re on autopilot, with the goal of sticking to our schedule or making sure we’re getting up a post on a weekly basis. Well, at least that’s how it is for me.



Writing has been quite a journey for me, and it’s not something I had ever intended to do. I just sort of fell into it. My blog was intended for a totally different purpose, and then it veered me in a different direction. When that happened my mindset, and my entire life, totally changed. I’m grateful I went with the flow and ended up where I am today. 

When I entered the Cat Writers' Association's Annual Communication Contest in 2015 and did not make the finals in any of my categories, I pushed myself to learn more and improve where I needed to. In 2016 I was ecstatic that I was a finalist for the first time in two categories and won two Certificates of Excellence. I thought to myself, “Wow, I’m really making it in this business if I’m a finalist amongst such talented, professional writers.” In 2017 I won one Certificate of Excellence. Attending the annual conference last year inspired (and pushed) me to work even harder. And that’s just what I did. 



I submitted 13 or 14 entries this year (I forget the exact number.) Some I believed were certificate worthy, and some I entered on a whim because “hey, you never know”, and by entering the contest I’m also supporting the organization. Anxiously awaiting the announcement of the finalists, I ran to my inbox when I saw another blogger post that the email was out. 


The contest had a great turnout this year, with 310 total entries. The number of certificates awarded was also impressive. I thought to myself “Uh oh, the competition was tough this year. Don’t be disappointed”. Scrolling down and reading the names of the finalists I found myself saying things like “Wow!” “YES!” “Oh my God!”  “Huh?” “What?!?” and “You’ve got to be kidding me!” I read through the winners several times and wrote everything down just to be sure I wasn’t seeing things. I won ten Certificates of Excellence! I just couldn’t believe it, and still can’t. To be honored by writers, my peers, that I admire and look up to, a group I fell into totally by accident, leaves me speechless. 

Here are the entries that made it to the finals: 

1.  Lola on the Road Series
2.  Hiring a Pet Sitter is Good for Your Cat - And You! 
3.  5 Top Household Poisons for Cats
4.  Kits Bond With Cats Through Books - Paws to Read at Tabby's Place



5.  Summer Safety Tips for Cats Series
6.  Why Lexy Writes to Save Lives - #RememberMtThursday 2018



7.  Lola on the Road: Brooklyn Cat Cafe
8.  Catnip Nation Series



9.  Lola The Rescued Cat  (in Blogsite/Website: Rescue & Advocacy)
10. Kitten in a Cat Cafe (in Photography: Single) 




The last entry surprises me the most, because my photography skills are, ummm, not that great. Thank you, little kitten, for walking towards me at that exact moment. (This was one of the entries I submitted on a whim, not thinking it would actually win a certificate.)

Of course there are feelings of pride attached to this, but the emotion that tops the list right now is gratitude. I’m grateful for so many things; for Lexy and Lola choosing to adopt me and setting us on this journey together, for the new skills I have learned, for the friendships I have formed, for the dedicated (albeit small) followers and commenters on the blog, and for where it all began – the Facebook cat community. Everything started with this post I wrote in Lola's voice on our Facebook page on January 15, 2011:

"I’m going home tomorrow! Everyone at the hospital is fussing over me and hugging me and telling me how happy they are for me. The hospital even posted about me on their Facebook page. I know I need my beauty sleep so I can look good for my new mom tomorrow, but I’m so excited I won’t sleep a wink!"


There are so many talented writers and bloggers who did not enter the contest this year, and I wish you did. The "Best Blog" categories should be overflowing with entries because so many are high quality. It’s easy to be intimidated – I totally get it. But just do it! I hope next year you’ll throw caution to the wind and enter your content (and your blog!) that you’ve worked so hard on. You all inspire me. 

Dawn

We're joining Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop. Hop on over there to see what others are thankful for today. 





23 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I'm so excited for you - you did so well! I wish you could come to the conference so I could see you twice in one year!

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  2. How super wonderful, big congrats from all of us and thanks for joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

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  3. Congratulations, Dawn! That kitten photo is adorbs!

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  4. Congratulations on your well deserved awards.

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  5. You absolutely DOMINATED the list of certificate winners and you totally DESERVE it!!! Paws crossed for a Muse or two, dear friend!

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  6. Congratulations on all your well deserved certificates. I love the photo of the kitten.

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  7. This is wonderful to see your work recognized. You deserve this!!

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  8. Congratulations! All that hard work paid off!

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  9. A very BIG congratulations!!! I am so excited for you!

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  10. We love reading your blog and are so happy for you. An excellent example of hard work paying off. We love and support Tabby's Place too. Dad says he will be visiting in the spring
    Timmy and Family

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  11. Congrats! Well-deserved :)

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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  12. Many congratulations and very well deserved!!! WOO HOOO! XOX

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  13. Hooray! We're SO proud of you, Dawn! This recognition is so well-deserved. We hope to see you soon. :)

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  14. Oh Miss Dawn, how EXCITING! I'm doing a lil' skip and a dance for you! I hope you display your awards purr-oddly in your home, 'cause you did GRR-EAT!

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  15. Concatulations on your Certificates ! Well deserved ! Purrs

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  16. I am super thrilled for you! I remember reading that CWA email announcing the winners and the stats caught my eye - "1 winner earned 10 certificates" and I remember thinking "that's pretty darn impressive!" I'm so thrilled it was you! I have to say it's so well deserved, I can see you did really crank out a ton of good quality content. Sticking to a schedule is hard enough, but keeping up the quality is even harder! You sure have earned it. A huge congrats! xx

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