Holiday Prep Time! The 2017 Holiday Cheer Project is Here!

It's officially Halloween Month (some may know this as "October"), which means its time to get down to business--holiday business!

Last year, I did this little last-minute thing I called the Holiday Cheer Project. I tried to spread a little cheer by bringing together a bunch of equine small businesses, sharing about their businesses in a blog post, and sharing that blog post all over the place. I had a lot of fun doing it, too!

This year, I'm doing a few things differently: 1) I'm preparing early! 2) It'll be a PDF/digital magazine available for download with some blog posts throughout the end of November and all of December. 3) I'm planning to try out Facebook and Instagram ads to promote it, in addition to using all the various social media outlets I have at my disposal. 

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So, here's everything you'll need to know about this year's project.

Anybody can have their equine blog or business listed in our directory for free. At the back of the PDF/digital magazine, there will be a Small Business Directory focused on the English side of the horse industry. It'll be divided into various categories, including Bloggers, Clothing & Apparel, Accessories, Artists, Services by State (for trainers, photographers, etc.), and Miscellaneous, among others. Listings will include your blog/business name, your name (optional), single sentence summary/blurb, and website & social links. You also have the option to have your blog/business's logo or icon included in your directory listing. 

Additionally, four or five businesses may be chosen for featured interviews right here on the blog. We are especially interested in talking to anyone with a unique or unusual business within the horse industry. 

Ads promoting the PDF/magazine begin running the week of Black Friday. This includes Instagram, Facebook, and potentially Twitter. (I'm not sure on that one just yet.) The download will also be emailed out to the League of Extraordinary Equestrians mailing list.

Bloggers and writers are welcome to submit written works for publication. Submissions must be 500-2000 words in length and topics may vary as long as they relate to the following: a) English riding and b) winter or winter holidays. Works may be fiction or creative non-fiction as long as they are entertaining and enjoyable to read. Submissions may be accompanied by original, high-quality art or photographs, though this is not necessary.

Some ideas for submissions include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Book or product reviews
  • Show or event recaps
  • Winter ROOTDs with original, high-quality photographs only
  • Lessons learned
  • Works of original fiction

Topics that will NOT be considered include:

  • Training tips or advice
  • Politics (industry-specific or otherwise)
  • Industry news
  • Business advice

No proposals will be considered, so please submit your entire, complete, edited work for review. Previously published works will not be considered (don't wanna breach any contracts, y'all), and authors will retain all rights to their works. Please, no affiliate posts!

Photographers are welcome to submit works for publication. Submissions must be original, high-quality pieces. While subject matter may vary, works must relate to the following: a) English riding and b) winter or winter holidays. Photographs may be published alongside written pieces, as full- or half-page title spots, etc. The number of photographs published will depend entirely on content received (will this photo pair well with that written piece?) and quality of submissions.

If you have a series of photos that lend themselves well to a series (like a styled photo shoot), then you may submit those, as well.

You may submit your photo for consideration for the cover. The photograph best embodying the theme of English riding in the winter will be chosen as the cover photo. Photos for cover consideration must be vertically oriented, high-quality, full color, and free of dramatic editing work. We are especially interested in seeing photos of people riding or showing in the winter, and especially in the snow!

The magazine will also include a few sections that accept smaller submissions.

Tell Me Something Good

This section is dedicated to celebrating little wins in your riding and your life. Good news in bite-size chunks. Submissions may include photos, but must be less than 50 words. We accept everything from "I just bought my first horse" to "I just won my first A show" and beyond. This section will be limited to one page. Images must be .jpg or .png format.


Submit your favorite "oops!" moment, whether by story, photo, or both! We all mess up and make mistakes, and sometimes its nice to see that we're not the only ones. Submissions must be less than 50 words. This section will be limited to two pages. Images must be .jpg or .png format.

Artist Showcase

Artists may submit a single piece of work using any medium--from digital art to oil paintings to pencil sketches to mixed media works--for consideration. Artists are limited to one submission per person, and a high-quality image of each submission must be sent digitally via the submission form below. Please include your name, website if you have one, and the title of your piece if you have one. This section will be limited to two pages. Images must be .jpg or .png format.

There will be no financial compensation for publication.

As of right now, this is not a paying publication opportunity, but depending on the success of this endeavor, I'm hoping to make this a quarterly-maybe even monthly-digital magazine and offer paying publication opportunities for equestrians.

What does that mean?

Share like the wind, Bullseye!

Share the PDF/magazine download link when it comes out (as that's what I'll use to gauge interest), but also share this blog post with your fellow equestrians! Participation is also a factor that I'll consider.

Submission deadline is November 7, 2017.

But what about advertising opportunities?

Yes, there will be advertising opportunities!

A small selection of ads will be accepted and published in the PDF/magazine for a small fee.

  • Business card ads: $20 – Send me a copy of ONE SIDE of your business card, or design an ad that would fit on a business card. Must be high quality. Color or black and white.
  • Column page ads: $40 – Ads must fit in a 2.5-inch by 3.5-inch (750 x 1050 pixels) area and must be high quality. Color or black and white.
  • ½ page ads: $60 – Ads must fit in a 4.25-inch by 11-inch (1275 x 3300 pixels) area for vertical ads OR a 8.5-inch by 5.5-inch (2550 x 1650 pixels) area for horizontal ads and must be high quality. Color or black and white.
  • No full-page ads will be available.
  • Ads must be submitted in .jpg or .png format ONLY.
  • All ads MUST be submitted for approval by November 7, 2017.

Once your ad has been submitted, it will be reviewed and you will be notified if changes are necessary. Final, revised ads are due by November 15.

Payments are due IN FULL and must be received by November 15 or your ad is pulled. Invoices will be sent upon approval of your ad.

Ad publishing fees are fully refundable, but requests for refunds must be received by November 15. (This will give us plenty of time to rework the magazine layout to accommodate your ad’s removal.)

If you would like assistance designing an ad, email me at saramariah@writingdressage.com and we'll try to work something out. Additional fees will be charged, but I promise I won't break the bank. I'm only going to accept those I have time to design, so these requests are first come, first serve.

Remember: this is an opportunity for small equestrian businesses who focus on English disciplines. If your business has thousands of followers on social media and you make five or six figures every month, your ads won’t be accepted. We will be vetting EVERY BUSINESS that submits an ad!

We look forward to seeing/reading everyone's submissions! Happy Hallowthanksmas!

P.S. Don't forget to share this post with your friends!

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