Guest post to win a free Apple MacBook Air?!!

Right now Smashing Magazine is holding a contest to it’s readers with a grand prize of a free Apple MacBook Air. All you have to do it write intriguing, original guest posts for them. The requirements are fairly short, 400-1200 characters.
Apple MacBook Air

Please follow the jump to see the entry from Smashing Magazine.

As you may know, we are looking for motivated, talented and professional guest 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 us — 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.

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 price 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 line, 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,
it may be controversial and too 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 properlym,
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 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),
you should be the writer of the article you submit,
send the article to Sven Lennartz using the following e-mail:
sven@[Smashing Magazine domain].
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!

Visit Smashing Magazine to Guest post and enter to win the Apple MacBook Air!