Write a Guest Post and Win Apple MacBook Air


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.


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.


5th of August 2008.


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!


  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

↑ Back to top Tweet itShare on Facebook

Sven is the co-founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. He's now writing at his Conterest Blog, where he focuses on blogs, content strategy and publishing — all in German.

  1. 1

    thanks a lot for the template.

    this is my time to shine! lol XD

  2. 152

    so do i have to be a web designer to have something to say and something to show? what if i am just a graphic designer for print and video? can i still join? thanks!

  3. 303

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    July 26, 2008 2:48 pm

    @dea_tabs (#152): you don’t need to be a professional, it’s enough if you have some fresh and clever ideas!

  4. 454

    Uhm.. does the h1 title count?

  5. 605

    Sorry for not writing a post after post, but does “About the author” part present in the template count for the char limit as well?

  6. 756

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    August 3, 2008 3:37 pm

    @h-a-r-v (#154): the h1-title doesn’t count. And “About the author” section doesn’t count.

  7. 907

    Thanks :-)

  8. 1058

    Awesome idea/contest! Just sent in my entries.

  9. 1209

    Zip file not working for me :( Can I submit in an HTML doc?

  10. 1360

    hi!, wanna win win win !!1

  11. 1511

    There’s a mysterious typo in one of my articles and I’ve sent it already. What should I do? A trivial question, but will you be that kind and correct it, or should I do it myself and resend it with some sort of annotation?

  12. 1662

    how do we know if you actually receive our articles? Is there a notification?

  13. 1813

    @ superxtian:
    I too have the same problem here. I sent it on 5th August early Morning..I am still not sure, whether they received it or not.
    @ Smashing
    – Any idea for the above issue.
    – When is the result date

  14. 1964

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    August 10, 2008 2:46 pm

    @supertxtian (#162), @PrabhakaranG (#163): we have received your articles.

  15. 2115

    @ Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz:
    Kewl. Thankz for the reply.

  16. 2266

    Just curious… have the “finalists” who wrote the 12 articles you’ll be featuring already been contacted? Or will we all be kept in suspense for three weeks? ;)

  17. 2417
  18. 2568



↑ Back to top