Write a Guest Post and Win Apple MacBook Air

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As you may know1, we are looking for motivated, talented and professional writers and authors. And we are paying each author $100-300 per post — depending on the quality of the delivered article. If you think that you are one of them contact us2 — we want you, we need you, we can’t live without you and we would really be happy to have you in our Smashing team.

And to spark your interest for writing we’ve decided to announce a guest author contest — write a small guest article for Smashing Magazine and win one of dozens of attractive prizes waiting for you.

Awards

Best guest articles will be published on Smashing Magazine with the link to the author’s site. The best guest post will be determined by the editorial team and will be awarded with Apple MacBook Air, a compact, ultrathin 13.3″ laptop (1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 2 GB RAM, 80 GB Hard Drive) released by Apple few months ago.

MacBook Air3

Apart from that the places 2-5 will be awarded with attractive designer laptop sleeves and bags. And the places 6-10 will be awarded with design and web-development related books. We also have a pretty nice special prize for the most unusual guest post. However, we are not revealing it yet.

What are we looking for?

The main idea behind the contest is not to get as many guest articles as possible, but to find talented guest authors who will want to work with us after the contest and get properly paid for their work. If you would like to write for us beyond the contest — drop us a line4, we’ll figure something out.

So what are we looking for and what are we expecting? As a guest author you have two options to choose from.

Authors who have something to say…

We are looking for a short discussion article which would manage to spark a conversation in the comments and involve many readers of our magazine in a discussion. Your article should meet the following guidelines:

  • it should have between 450 and 1200 characters (yes, characters, not words; space characters and HTML are not included in 450-1200 characters),
  • it may be controversial and subjective, but it should not be boring,
  • it may present some idea, approach or remark about recent developments, but you need to argue well and explain your position properly,
  • it should have a valid HTML-markup.

In this case we are interested in guest authors who have original ideas and a good writing style (please read it again: original ideas are important). We will select best discussion articles and publish them in the magazine.

Here are some examples (please don’t use them for your discussion articles):

  • designers should work with at least 3 displays at the same time,
  • reasons why I hate becoming a designer,
  • arguments why Fireworks is much better than Photoshop.
  • one can actually live without Google (how?).

…and authors who have something to show.

Alternatively, you can submit a top-10-list instead of a discussion article. We are looking for the masters of lists (if your name is Yoda, consider you already got some bonus-points). We expect useful and beautiful top-10-lists. Your top-10-list should meet the following guidelines:

  • an exciting and eye-catching headline,
  • a quick yet attractive introduction (usually 2-4 sentences),
  • 10 list items with a brief description (usually 1-2 sentences) and with links if necessary,
  • at least 2 images or screenshots (if it is impossible to make screenshots or find images for your topic ignore this condition),
  • it should have a valid HTML-markup.

In this case we are interested in authors who are original, possess knowledge and experience and have some good sources to find images, links etc. We will select best discussion articles and publish them in the magazine.

Here are some examples (please don’t use them for your top-10-lists):

  • top 10 most beautiful wallpapers with ladybugs,
  • top 10 best WordPress-themes with yellow background,
  • top 10 reasons to fire your web designer,
  • top 10 best tricks to search on Del.icio.us,
  • top 10 best GIMP-tutorials.

Restrictions and Rules

Please follow the following guidelines when sending your articles:

  • all files should be packed in a .zip and include all images which occur in the article,
  • an archive with an article written by John Doe should be titled john-doe.zip,
  • you can submit at most 3 articles (at all, e.g. 2 top-10-lists and 1 discussion article or vice versa),
  • please use our template5 for your article or/and top-10-list if possible,
  • you should be the writer of the article you submit,
  • the article should not be published already (updated).
  • send the article to Sven Lennartz with the subject “[Guest Author Contest] Aritcle_title”, using the following … contest is closed for submissions now.

Deadline

5th of August 2008.

Winners

Best discussion articles and top-10-lists will be published on Smashing Magazine. We will carefully observe the reaction of our reader in our comments. Depending on the number and quality of the comments we will assign some score to every article. Once the scores are assigned we will announce the articles with the highest score and award their authors with prizes and awards.

Get creative, folks. And good luck!

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/how-to-become-a-smashing-magazine-author/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/contact/index.php/form
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/images/guest-authors/macbook-large.jpg
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/contact/index.php/form
  5. 5 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/template/post-template.zip

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Co-Founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. Sven is now writing Science Fiction Stories and looking for a publisher ...

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  1. 1

    youpiii wana get a macbook

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  2. 2

    Cool!, what a challenge…….i’ll be workin on it.First!

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  3. 3

    Wow. I’m on it!

    1
  4. 4

    great, i want the macbook :)

    — first —

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  5. 5

    YEAH !
    That’s what I like – a new Mac is what I need – my old one just thinks he is a toaster, made for being “hot” and a “freezer” at the same time.

    Well, I already have my topic – so I am writing it as soon as possible and sending it in.
    I hope I can handle it with my poor english. Yep – I’m german.

    But, let’s see how far I come :D

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  6. 6

    composing has been said!

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  7. 7

    I’m in it. Nice contest!

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  8. 8

    Alan De Bortolo

    July 17, 2008 6:31 am

    Yeap! Smashing Magazine, the best forever..

    0
  9. 9

    Hey wow this is so awesome. I have always been around here, lurking in the dark corners. Thanks for the great oppurtunity. I am very excited.

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  10. 10

    Wow that is quite the prize list! Will have to think about this :)

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  11. 11

    I want one too, keep on doing what you do! :o)

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  12. 12

    I don’t have any experience writing articles, so this should be interesting. Thanks.

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  13. 13

    How many articles can we submit?

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  14. 14

    omfg…. mac i`d write about THE 10 Most Boring Smashing Magazine Articles EVER!

    0
  15. 15

    When you say valid HTML, do you mean based around this site or on our own or original site?

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  16. 16

    David, biologeek

    July 17, 2008 7:15 am

    I collect all your propositions, just send it by email, I plan to write “Top 10 guest posts submitted” :p

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  17. 17

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    July 17, 2008 7:17 am

    how many? please only one – your best ;-)

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  18. 18

    Hah, sounds like you guys are going to get plenty of submissions!

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  19. 19

    Yippie, i am in (is contribution from europe welcome?)

    Top 10 (legal) ways of getting a Mac Book Air for free:

    1. write a small guest article for Smashing Magazine
    2. Have Steve’s Job
    .
    .
    .

    please add ;-)

    0
  20. 20

    This is cool. I’m on it.

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  21. 21

    Ralph of ForTheLose.org

    July 17, 2008 7:43 am

    This is a great competition. I have a great article in mind, and I know exactly what I want to focus on.
    Can’t wait.

    0
  22. 22

    whaa great contest! i’m joinin’

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  23. 23

    Hi Smashing Magazine
    Two questions:

    1.) What about HTML?
    I assume writing an article in f.e. MS Word incl. images which I send you via mail.

    2.) 1200 characters incl. or excl. space characters? (I know that even spaces are characters but first of all this is a normal question regarding articles and secondly 1200 incl. spaces are imho extremely little)

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  24. 24

    Kai Spriestersbach

    July 17, 2008 8:31 am

    Ich würde gerne einen Artikel schreiben, glaube aber dass mein Englisch nicht gut genug ist.
    Is it possible to write an article in german and someone else translate it to proper english?

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  25. 25

    The scoring system seems flawed to me. It would be quite easy for an author to get a bunch of friends to write some quality comments and skew the results.

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  26. 26

    @Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    Don’t the rules say “You can submit at most 3 articles (at all, e.g. 2 top-10-lists and 1 discussion article or vice versa)”

    So really we can submit three but you would prefer just one good one. Is that correct?

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  27. 27

    Game On!

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  28. 28

    this sound really cool as there are so many talents out there that are not being noticed,

    anyway, unfortunately I’m not taking part as i’m going on holyday, but hope that this is not the last opportunity of this kind.

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  29. 29

    this is quite interesting

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  30. 30

    iei.macbook.nice.

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  31. 31

    Hello again,

    I propose about 2000 characters incl. spaces ?
    1200 seems to less after a first idea of mine.

    Thank you.

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  32. 32

    if i win this. something impossible happened.

    and thats impossible

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  33. 33

    Matthew Pennell

    July 17, 2008 9:41 am

    450-1200 characters? Seriously? Are you sure you don’t mean words – 450 characters is about 10 sentences, maybe three lines of text!

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  34. 34

    I’m with Matthew Pennell–don’t you mean 450-1200 words? I hope so!

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  35. 35

    And again Smashing Magazine is about to bring the web development scene one step further. Thank you so much, guys, you deserve respect.

    0
  36. 36

    Nice initiative. :)

    0
  37. 37

    This is amazing.
    Even if i never won in the past in here I must say that this contest is WOW! I rush in to post something and take my chance after i saw this on your feed.
    (register to smashingmagazine.com feed guys!)

    Good luck everyone with this contest.

    0
  38. 38

    Wow, hopefully going to get one…

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  39. 39

    hey Apple MaC we like u ,
    {
    DesiGn wiTh u is mUCh BeTTeR,
    HarD and SoFt { Yes : ‘realy GOOD’ },
    { ViruS : ‘you never found one’} ,
    media : {‘high’}
    };

    WIN = ‘is not impossible so I try like every one';

    0
  40. 40

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    July 17, 2008 11:07 am

    @Eric B.: valid HTML-markup means that it should have no syntax errors and pass the W3C Validation test.

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  41. 41

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    July 17, 2008 11:22 am

    @Julian L. (#23): the article should be written in HTML, not in MS Word. But if you have any problems with sending the HTML-version, please send your Word-version. And regarding characters: space characters do not count, so it is 1200 characters without spaces.

    @Kai Spriestersbach (#24): please try to write in English, you need to submit the article in English as otherwise we won’t be able to publish it in the magazine.

    @Kevin Cannon (#25): we will do our best to monitor the timing and activity of our readers. We have a large user base and we’ll try to make sure that the diversity of readers is represented in the comments.

    @Ian (#26): the comment at the top was written by Sven. You can submit up to 3 articles, but of course, you should rather focus on writing a really good one than three average ones.

    @Julian L. (#23): fair enough.

    @Dan (#34): we want all participants to get right to the point. Since we won’t be able to award all participants, we don’t want to impose 2000 words or so on them. E.g. you can briefly sketch your ideas in a short discussion post and after the contest send a large version of it which we would pay you for, of course. That would be fair. But we need to agree on topics first, of course.

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  42. 42

    Very very very interesting. Do you accept also non-English mothertongue?
    I’m Italian but I like to speak and write in English. It could be a stronger challenge for me!
    You will get my articles soon!

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  43. 43

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    July 17, 2008 11:38 am

    @Lauryn (#42): the articles should be written in English. Otherwise we won’t be able to consider them because we won’t be able to publish them.

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  44. 44

    Sounds like a decent idea honestly. I have a pretty lengthy list of topics that I have been working on for my own site visual28.com I could easily contribute an article or two in hopes of winning some great new swag.

    Clarification: The rules state “it may be controversial and too subjective, but it should not be boring,” Is this an incomplete sentence? and is it supposed to read: “it may NOT be controversial and too subjective” Or is controversial and subjective encouraged?

    Thanks.

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  45. 45

    Man, I think you’ve got your winner right here…in this comment section. Nothing would get more replies than people who don’t understand instructions. I’m a huge fan of SmashingMagazine and visit it daily, but have never felt the need to comment on any articles, usually just enjoy it in silence. But this one…I HAD to reply telling these folks to please read the instructions first before asking silly questions, and when you’re finshed reading and have a question, read it again to see if the answer is not in the instructions! That’s what’ll get the most hitts! Anyone agree? Here’s my entry right here…

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  46. 46

    I am on, for a while I was wondering write an article. Now there is this great, rewarding opportunity.

    :)

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  47. 47

    This is the best website. I am subscribed to the feeds and I read it daily.

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  48. 48

    In your example list, you list “reasons why I hate becoming a designer,”. I was just curious if you had read the same post that I had read last month on this same topic. It is worded almost exactly as your example and appeared on Digg last week… here

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  49. 49

    Guys! – As several commenters have said, surely you mean 450 – 1,200 words.
    Best correct that soon or you’ll be getting some really poor entries.

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  50. 50

    Wow. Nice initiative. You are amazing!!. Thanks guys

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