The Washington Post Magazine invites Washington area amateur photographers young and old to compete in the Magazine's third annual photography contest. Winning entries will be announced and most published in the Oct. 7 issue of The Magazine. This year entries will be accepted in four categories: color photographs, black-and-white photographs, "instant" photographs, and photographs taken by persons under 16 years of age. All entries must be received by 5 p.m. July 31, 1979.

A first prize award of $100 will be presented to winners in each category. There will also be three $50 second prizes awarded in each category. Other entries of particular distinction will be recognized by certificates of honorable mention.

Judges for the contest will be a panel of experts in the visual arts drawn from inside and outside the staff of The Washington Post.

In order for your entries to receive proper handling and judging, please read and carefully follow these rules:

1. Amateur photographers of any age may compete in the color, black-and-white, and instant categories.The youth category is open only to photographers under 16 years of age on July 31, 1979. An amateur will be considered to be someone who has not sold one or more photographs for a total of more than $25 from July 31, 1978 to July 22, 1979.

2. Contestants may submit up to three entries in each category for which they are eligible. Photographs must have been taken between July 31, 1978 and July 22, 1979.

3. Entries may be mailed to The Washington Post Magazine Photography Contest, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071, or delivered to the security guard's desk in the lobby of The Washington Post, 1150 15th Street NW in an envelope marked "washington Post Magazine Photography Contest."

4. Black-and-white entries must be glossy or matte-finished prints no smaller than 5" x 7" and no larger than 11" x 14" including mounting, if any. No negatives.

5. Color entries may be positive transparencies or glossy or matte-finished prints no smaller than 2 1/4 x 2 1/4" and no longer than 11" x 14" including mounting, if any.

6. Instant photography entries (from cameras such as Kodak's Colorburst or Polaroid's SX-70) must be in color and should not be "manipulated" in any way. Entries should be submitted exactly as they are ejected from the camera. Enlarged or reduced instant photos will not be accepted for this category but may be submitted in the other categories.

7. Each individual point print or slide must be marked on the back with the contestant's name, address and category.

8. Contestants wishing their entries to be returned must include a stamped self-addressed envelope of sufficient size with the submission. The Washington Post cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage of entries, although all reasonable care will be taken with them. Entries will be returned only by mail. Photos not clearly marked with the contestant's name and address will not be returned.

9. To be considered, entries must be received no later than 5 p.m., July 31, 1979.

10. Employes of The Washington Post, its subsidiaries and members of their families are ineligible to compete.