Cat Writers’ Association 2012 Communications Contest Awards

“Cookie has parsley eyes”, one of this year’s winners.

I’m pleased to share the news that I’ve won a number of awards for my stories and images published on and originating on The Creative Cat in the 2012 Cat Writers’ Association Communications Contest. In fact, I’m a little shocked by the number of awards…a total of 13. These awards are self-nominated so I chose what to enter. They are judged by a jury of my peers, other members of the Cat Writers’ Association; I am also a judge in this contest for materials in categories I don’t submit.

It’s very gratifying that several of the pieces that won awards were reflective writings that were very personal, about Cookie and Peaches and Mimi and my memories of the felines who shared my life. Also, my personal experiment with daily sketches; it’s easy enough to handpick what I feel is the best of what I do, but that was a public challenge to myself to produce something new by hand nearly every day and present it to you for assessment (you didn’t know that, did you?).

Nominating one’s self for awards in various professional contests is not necessarily an act for the ego; it’s one of those professional activities in which you participate especially when you’re self-employed, but even if not. Participating in contests and receiving awards distributes your work to a further audience and also puts it before other professionals in your field for assessment, a completely different set of judges from those who enjoy or use your work. This raises the value of what you do and helps to give you more opportunities to do even more work. And especially when you work for yourself it’s, in part, a benchmark for how you’re doing, and a pat on the back.

About that “humility” thing…when I talk to other developing professional artists and writers who hesitate to nominate themselves for awards I tell them that we always need to have a good dose of humility about everything we do, but the time for that is while we are producing the work, not after it’s been published or presented. When I first began showing and selling my art, a completely frightening thing to do, I would immediately undercut myself whenever someone complimented a painting, pointing out all of what I felt were its flaws, until I realized what that said about how I felt about my own work. Why would anyone even want to look at it let alone purchase it if I thought it was so flawed? Why had I even shown it? It is a matter of honesty to point out your own flaws, but especially with my commissioned portraits, which I’d created for someone, it made no sense at all to make a practice of it. At one point when I was deeply complimented by someone I simply said, “Thank you.” Describing this to a friend she said, “Congratulations, you’re all grown up now.” I got the lesson. Only after I jumped that hurdle with my artwork did I even dare to start sharing my writing.

Thanks to my Creative Cat readers

Those who read and comment and purchase on The Creative Cat are the first line of peers to judge my work, the audience to whom I write, and feedback in good part determines what I present and also what I entered into the contest. I was actually surprised at the response to a few things by both my readers and the judges, and though the piece was decidedly heartfelt and I did like it I would not have considered, for instance, “What’s the Matter?” to be a winner except by that response.

The Awards

The award letter reads that “the standards for winning a Certificate of Excellence are very high and this award is a recognition of your outstanding work.” Also, winners of the coveted CWA Muse™ Medallion are chosen from among the Certificate of Excellence winners, all of which will be announced at the annual conference in November.

Thanks go to my family of cats, yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s.



The Gift of a Morning, Poem
Certificate of Excellence
(I also recorded this poem with a narrative slideshow, but the award is for the poem.)

An Angel Named Penny”, Online Article on Rescue
Certificate of Excellence

“The Tails of Nine Orphaned Kittens”, Online Article on Rescue,
Certificate of Excellence

“Litter-ary Cats: T.S. Eliot”, Online Article on Any Other Topic
Certificate of Excellence

“The Alchemy of Love”, Online Article on Any Other Topic
Certificate of Excellence

“What’s the Matter?”, Online Article on Any Other Topic
Certificate of Excellence

“Photographs and Memories”, Online Article on Any Other Topic
Certificate of Excellence

“A Therapy Cat For Visitors as Much as Residents”, Online Article on Any Other Topic
Certificate of Excellence


“Mimi in the Mirror”, Black and White Photograph (Single)
Certificate of Excellence

“Parsley Eyes”, Color Photograph (Single)
Certificate of Excellence

“Being Used as a Fort”, Cartoon
Certificate of Excellence

“Purple Cats, Red Blanket”, Illustration (single)
Certificate of Excellence

“Daily Sketches”, Illustration (series)
Certificate of Excellence

You can see this list and awards I’ve won in previous years on my Cat Writers’ Association page. Read more about the Cat Writers’ Association and their annual Communications Contest which includes work published in all media, from books to television to newspapers and magazines—these are the people who write and broadcast about feline health and welfare, reviewing foods and books and products, cartoonists, illustrators and authors of all sorts. If you are a writer, illustrator, videographer, artist or in any way create public communications about cats, please read up on the organization and consider becoming a member!

Congratulations to all the other winners as well!

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


  1. Congrats!! Looking forward to see what writings and photos you create in the future.

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