Announcing the 2008 OSNews Article Contest

Regular OSNews readers will notice we’ve had a drop-off in original articles over the past year or so. That’s something we’d like to change. We’d like to encourage OSNews readers to submit articles by staging a contest wherein the best articles will be judged by OSNews staff and readers, and the winners will receive valuable prizes. All submitted articles that meet our submission guidelines will be published at OSNews. In addition to wanting articles to publish, this is also a talent search of sorts. We’re hoping to identify talented OSNews readers to fill the ranks as editors and regular contributors. If you think you have the skills and desire to be a part of OSNews, please enter the contest, or just contact us. Read more for details on the contest.
The contest officially begins today and will continue for 30-45 days, depending on how many submissions we receive. Submissions will be edited and published as soon as possible, with the goal of having one published each weekday. We’ll keep our readers posted about how many submissions we’ve received

The quantity of the prizes will vary, but will include a mix of cash value (i.e. Amazon Gift Certificate) and merchandise prizes. We hope that there are enough submissions to merit a total prize value of over $1000. We reserve the right to substitute prizes in the case of winners in countries where it’s too expensive to ship a heavy merchandise prize. We’re currently soliciting prize contributions, so if you work for a company that makes a product that would be of interest to OSNews readers, contact us if you can donate one, and we’ll make sure it gets a lot of exposure when we announce the prizes.


The only type of article that we’d discourage participants from submitting is an opinion piece. Although we do publish opinion stories and editorials, we’re looking for substantive reporting, not rants. You are free to opinionate, but we’ll warn you that if your submission is just a rant, it’s likely to be rejected.

If you have an idea for a story, but you’re not sure whether we’d like it, let me give you some advice I wish someone else gave me when I started college: it’s not cheating to get the person who’s going to be judging your work to pre-judge it before the deadline. If you have an idea or a rough outline, send it in with the subject “contest entry outline” or “contest entry idea” and we’ll be happy to tell you whether we think it’s a good one, and even help you flesh out your idea. We’re all in this together!

The major categories of articles we publish are:
Reviews (software, hardware, book, etc)
In-depth news reporting (covering a release, event, or industry trend)
Interviews (with developers or company heads and spokespeople),

So review the latest version of your favorite OS or computing device. Or review the latest computing-related book you read. Been to an interesting trade show in the past couple of weeks? Let’s hear about it! Do you admire someone in the OS world? Send them an email and ask for an interview! Do you have some ideas on where computing is headed or where it is now? Flesh that out to feature-length!

We will be judging completely subjectively based on many factors, including: quality, depth, readability/clarity, grammar, and uniqueness. If the articles are worthwhile and different enough, we may accept similar stories, for example, two reviews of the same OS. We’ll also have at least one “people’s choice” prize, based on how may “recommend” votes it gets.

Here are some of the specifics:

  • Your article must be written in English.
  • We reserve the right to edit any submissions for clarity. If we feel the need to do major editing, we’ll get your approval first.
  • The work must be original work written expressly for OSNews. Articles previously published elsewhere, including your blog, are not eligible.
  • Articles must be submitted to osnews-crew at osnews dot com and your subject line must contain the words “contest entry” (although more words are acceptable, or even preferable.)
  • A complete list of contest winners will be available at the completion of the contest.
  • Screenshots, photos, and other art are encouraged (JPG or PNG only, please) and may be bundled with your article into a ZIP file or a tarball (tgz, tar.gz). IF you must create thumbnails (required only if the original PNG/JPEG/GIF picture is more than 600 pixels wide), make sure that these thumbnails are in JPEG format and exactly 160 pixels wide.
  • If you have any connection to a project that you’re writing an article about- you’re a developer or contributor, etc – that’s fine! In fact, it’s encouraged. No one has better insight into your project than you! Please disclose your relationship, however.
  • Multiple submissions are allowed. You may submit as many articles as you want, and you are eligible to win multiple prizes. We’ll warn you that we’re unlikely to give all the prizes to one person, no matter how superior your writing is.

Please read the appropriate sections of our Style Guide (PDF Link) before submitting your work. Because we only accept entries in plain text with minimal HTML markup, we recommend using a text editor rather than a word processor, desktop publishing app, or WYSIWYG editor.


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