Friday, July 19, 2024
authorsawardcat writers association

I Am Honored

tortie cat with parsley
"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 you, my readers

Those of you who read and comment and purchase here on The Creative Cat are the first line of peers to judge my work. You are the audience to whom I write, and your feedback in good part determines what I present here, 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.


From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

24 thoughts on “I Am Honored

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  • Bernie110

    Congratulations Bernadette. I have known from the time I first time met you that you are an extraordinary person. You truly have many unprecedented talents.

  • Congrats again, Bernadette — your creative output amazes me, and you raise some very important points about the artist and her work.

    • Tammy, thank you. My cats gave me my art, my art gave me my life, I consider them both constantly.

  • Susan Mullen

    Bernadette, what a gorgeous photo of Cookie! I’m so happy for you, too, that you received so many awards. I hope you receive many more!

    • Susan, thank you! Cookie knew that would be a prize winner! I’m thankful to all of them.

  • B, what fabulous news – congratulations! Love that photo of Cookie!

  • All 13 certificates were won because of your excellent work, Bernadette, and you are justly proud. Being judged “excellent” by peers has a special bonus of joy attached. Congratulations!

  • Sharon

    Dear Bernadette,

    I am so happy for you! You really deserve the awards for all that you do. Your website and postings brighten everyday for me.
    When I saw that you won the award for “An Angel Named Penney” I just cried. I read the article again and know why you won this award. I still think of Penney often. If she wouldn’t have come to my home, I wouldn’t have found your website and all the work that you do. I was always a dog person but she and you changed the way that I feel about cats now.
    For your readers, the story did have a happy ending. She stayed at the Humane Society for about a month before she was adoped by a nice couple. She had a respiratory infection I found out but had taken medicines and got better. I started to volunteer at the Humane Society and one of the days I was there was when Penney got adopted and I got to see who was adopting her. When I went to see Penney in her cage she was sleeping but I woke her and she recognized me. The couple that adopted her said they picked her because she was so alert and playful.
    I would recommend the Humane Society highly to adopt a pet or to render a pet if you cannot find a home. They take extremely good care of all the pets. I know because I worked there.
    Congratulations again, you don’t know how much I love your postings and website and I think you and your kitties should have a big party now for all lucky 13 awards!!!
    P.S. That is the most beautiful picture of Cookie above and my favorite

    Take Care,


    • Sharon, I was going to e-mail you about that particular award, but I knew you’d read about it. Thank you for sharing your story! Without you reaching out to me I never would have had that opportunity, or been able to share in such a wonderful circle of events. This reminds me, I should link the update to the original story. And I still think it was all meant to be for you–Penny coming to you, being at the shelter when she was adopted. And I’m so happy you are volunteering and supporting the Humane Society. They took good care of Penny, just as they try to with all the animals they take in.

      Thanks for being a faithful reader, and I’m so glad you discovered the love of cats as well as dogs. Some day, though, Snoopy will find you another canine companion.

      Cookie was the best. I look for opportunities to feature her.

  • Congratz! And what a wonderful photo of Cookie.

    • Cynthia, thanks so much for reading, and it’s been great to know Nekoka and Sassafras and Merlin and Bandit!

    • Layla, thanks–and I’m getting your posts again and catching up. Sometimes I just look at your photos!

    • Thanks, Vicki! So glad we met for BlogPaws and keep in touch.


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