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Spoonfuls of Stories®

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A Storybook Ending for Prospective Children's Book Authors
Cheerios® Launches Next Spoonfuls of Stories® Children's Book Contest
to Give Would-Be Authors the Chance for
Cash Prizes and Publisher Review!

Once upon a time, there was a writer with an idea for the greatest children's book in all the land. She had worked on the story, and dreamed of getting it published for children and families to enjoy. But the publisher lived on an island (Manhattan) far, far away and the waters surrounding the island were filled with many unknowns. So she hid away her children's book idea…until now.

Starting April 16, 2008 and going through July 15, 2008, Cheerios invites previously unpublished adult authors to submit their children's book manuscripts in the second Cheerios® Spoonfuls of Stories® Children's Book Contest. The book should be suitable for children who are 4 to 8 years old. For a complete list of rules and to submit an entry online, go to Cheerios will provide cash prizes to up to three winners, and the top winner will have their book evaluated by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing for a potential book deal. A book deal is not guaranteed.

Last year, Cheerios received close to 1,000 entries in the Children's Book Contest, and Shellie Braeuner of Nashville, Tenn., was named the grand prize winner. In addition to her $5,000 prize from Cheerios, Braeuner received a book deal from Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. Her winning story, The Great Dog Wash, is being published and will be printed and available in Cheerios boxes in the spring of 2009. The book also will be available in hardcover on bookshelves in the summer of 2009. Two first prize winners, Alison Anderson of Cumberland, Wisc., and Kate Heilman of Chicago, each received $1,000 from Cheerios, and their stories (The Sleepy Song and Theo the T-Rex, respectively) are featured on
"Winning the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories Children's Book Contest has opened up a whole new world for me," said Braeuner. "I've been writing for many years, working on children's stories and novels alike. The publisher piece of the puzzle has always been a bit of a mystery to me, so I was excited to learn about the contest and enter my story. But it was nothing compared to the excitement when I was told I had won and my story got to a publisher's desk. I am honored to have gotten a book deal, and I can't wait to see my words in print and my book in Cheerios boxes and on bookshelves! The whole experience has been wonderful every step of the way.

"Kids need books; the more books — and the more kinds of books — the better," said Ricardo Fernandez, marketing manager for Cheerios. "Supporting up-and-coming authors goes hand-in-hand with our efforts to get high quality books to kids through our Spoonfuls of Stories program. We hope we can help encourage more new children's book authors each year through this contest."

Amy Stockwell Mercer is a freelance writer living in Charleston, SC with her husband and three sons. An MFA graduate in Creative Writing from Queens University, she writes about art and artist profiles for Charleston Magazine, The City Paper, Charleston Art Mag, and Art Papers. Amy also writes about living with chronic illness, and is finishing a book about women with diabetes for Demos Health. When she needs to get out of her own head, she teaches college students how to write the 5 paragraph essay. You can read more of her writing at her website.

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