It’s Back! Enter the 9th Eventing Nation Blogger Contest

If you can believe it — I know I couldn’t — it’s been since 2018 that EN has held its famous Blogger Contest, in which we cast a net to the corners of the horse internet, looking for the most desperate creative, eventing-rabid souls who wish to join the insanity and become a part of Team EN.

This year marks the ninth year of the Blogger Contest, which first began in 2011 and has yielded several EN team members, including former Managing Editor Jenni Autry, current Managing Editor yours truly, Leslie Wylie, Tilly Berendt, Maggie Deatrick, and many others.

When people ask how I got started with this gig, it often feels silly to say “well I entered this blogging contest on the internet and then they sort of liked my story about inflatable cross country jumps” — but that’s exactly what happened.

My first assignment after finishing in the top four of the 2013 Blogger Contest (see? you don’t even have to win!) was to venture down to Texas for the American Eventing Championships, where I promptly walked in on Michael Pollard changing, called three people Tamie Smith who were not, in fact, Tamie Smith, and essentially got a baptism by fire as an introduction to the world of event reporting.

Nearly ten years later — five trips to Kentucky, one trip to Tokyo for the Olympics, and plenty of air miles in between — and I’m now looking for more creatives to join myself and our small-but-mighty team of eventing diehards.

The fine print: You should want to write part-time for EN — at least two to three posts per week. This is a paid position, with potential to grow into additional work. This is not a “make a million bucks” position, but it’s a great side gig for someone looking to get a foot in the door and earn some extra horse show/vet bill money.

All are eligible to enter (including previous contestants), and no prior journalism experience is necessary. We recognize that not everyone has had “education” in this field, and we instead focus on creativity, understanding of basic writing, and passion. A personal style and voice of your own is an absolute must. Take risks. Laugh. Entertain. Create something only you can create.

Your Round 1 entries should include a short bio (name, age, background, character-defining qualities, embarrassing tidbits, etc.) and a 300- to 600-word sample of your best eventing-related work. This word count is NOT a hard limit, and we realize that’s a challenge! So don’t feel stuck in a box. And don’t worry: in future rounds, finalists will have many more words to work with! We’ll be publishing tips & tricks as well as Instagram stories with Tilly Berendt, myself, and other members of the team this month to give you a full backstage pass into how our team works and what it’s like to work in equestrian media. Any questions? We’re happy to answer! You can email [email protected] or send us a DM on Instagram.

The EN team will judge by the same standards as the past years (interesting, funny, informative, creative) and factor public opinion into our final decision. Keep in mind that you’re writing for a large audience of well over a million readers, and we’ll be selecting finalists based on the quality of entries.

And remember: when in doubt, add a bit more ridiculousness, and you might be close. We don’t take ourselves too seriously here, and neither should you.

UPDATE: You asked, and we listened! We have learned from some applicants that quite a few people didn’t see this post until late. So, in celebration of the return of our Blogger Contest, we’ve decided to extend round 1 entries until July 22! If you’ve submitted an entry already and would like time to make further review/revisions, you may do so and resubmit your entry by the new deadline of July 22.

We’ll narrow the field down from there and will notify all applicants if they’ve been moved forward or not. Use the Google Form linked here to submit your entry, or you can email it to [email protected].

We are also thrilled to announce that in addition to work opportunities, we’ll be offering a $500 cash prize for this year’s Blogger Contest! The winner of this three round contest will receive $300, and two runners-up will each receive $100.

If you want to peek behind the scenes a bit (there isn’t much to see, but we’ll show you!), head over to our Instagram story beginning Wednesday, June 22 for regular takeovers from EN team members who hail from all walks of life. Some work full-time outside of the horse industry, others are fully immersed in this gig. We’ll be answering questions and showing you some of our work, so be sure to tune in — Tilly Berendt will kick things off on June 22.

Go Eventing!