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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.

Awards Link

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? Link

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… Link

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. Link

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,
  • top 10 best GIMP-tutorials.

Restrictions and Rules Link

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,
  • you can submit at most 3 articles (at all, e.g. 2 top-10-lists and 1 discussion article or vice versa),
  • 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 Link

5th of August 2008.

Winners Link

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 Link

  1. 1 /write-for-us/
  2. 2 /contact/
  3. 3 /images/guest-authors/macbook-large.jpg
  4. 4 /contact/index.php/form
SmashingConf New York

Hold on, Tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? Like SmashingConf Barcelona, on October 25–26, with smart design patterns and front-end techniques.

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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

    Alan Campbell

    July 17, 2008 1:10 pm

    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

  2. 2

    youpiii wana get a macbook

  3. 3

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

  4. 4

    Muhammad Siyab

    July 17, 2008 6:11 am

    Wow. I’m on it!

  5. 5

    great, i want the macbook :)

    — first —

  6. 6

    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

  7. 7

    composing has been said!

  8. 8

    I’m in it. Nice contest!

  9. 9

    Alan De Bortolo

    July 17, 2008 6:31 am

    Yeap! Smashing Magazine, the best forever..

  10. 10

    Spencer Hill

    July 17, 2008 6:40 am

    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.

  11. 11

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

  12. 12

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

  13. 13

    Spencer Hill

    July 17, 2008 6:48 am

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

  14. 14

    How many articles can we submit?

  15. 15


    July 17, 2008 6:55 am

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

  16. 16

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

  17. 17

    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

  18. 18

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    July 17, 2008 7:17 am

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

  19. 19

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

  20. 20

    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 ;-)


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