3 Tips on How to Win a Forbes.com Guest Blogging Contest

Susannah Breslin
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Are you a journalist with passion? Are you between the ages of 18-25? Oh yeah, are you also a guy? Then Susannah Breslin, a Forbes.com blogger, wants to hear from you.

Earlier this week, Breslin announced she was offering a young male journalist $100 to write a guest post on Pink Slipped, her Forbes blog. But you better hurry up and send her your pitch soon — the deadline is tomorrow, Thursday, July 14, at 5 p.m. EST. She’ll announce the winner on July 15.

(On Monday, we spoke with Lauren Orsini, the young female journalist who won a similar contest Breslin ran last month.)

The pitch can be about any topic you want, just keep it under 200 words. (For more rules, check out Breslin’s post.) So far, however, Breslin is less than impressed with the quality of pitches she’s received. In fact, the Forbes.com blogger said she is “underwhelmed.” So what does it take to win over Breslin?

1. Be a fabulous writer
Breslin said she could care less if the young men entering her contest went to journalism school or not. What’s important is the quality of their writing. You don’t have to be the next David Foster Wallace — although it wouldn’t hurt — but make your prose sing when you pitch Breslin.

“The main thing I’m looking for is can this person write?” she said. “Does this person have that talent, this gift. That’s something I would like to nurture — that natural talent.”

2.  Don’t be boring
“I love a rogue agent,” Breslin said, mentioning that Orsini stood out because she included a picture showing her in fuzzy cat ears and a maid’s costume.

But it’s OK if you don’t have a picture of yourself in a similar costume. Just make sure you pitch something that will engage Breslin. Write her something funny or thought provoking.

“Do you make me want to respond?” she said. “I hate boring.”

3. Have passion
Ultimately, Breslin is looking for someone who is passionate about journalism and whose pitch comes out swinging. There aren’t a lot of lucky breaks in journalism and Breslin is looking for someone who won’t waste the chance to have their writing seen by thousands of Forbes.com readers.

“I’m always looking for that person who you give them the ball and they’re just off down the field,” Breslin said. “Somebody who is willing to work for their opportunity.”

Interested in pitching Breslin? Email her at susannahbreslin@gmail.com. And don’t forget to keep us updated if you do end up sending her something!