Your book in a box of cereal

You get up in the morning, open up a box of cereal, and out pours a great children’s book, written by you!

It can happen. Recently, I learned that kids in the UK were going to be treated to some Roald Dahl with their morning cereal, and I just found out that Cheerios is doing the same with a New Author Contest. This isn’t for the previously published. Newbies only. Plus they’ve teamed with one of my favorite charities, First Book. Here’s the full story:

Have you ever dreamed of seeing your words in print, turned into a children’s book and read by families across America?  The Cheerios® New Author Contest provides aspiring writers the perfect opportunity to make this dream a reality. One Grand Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize and a possible publishing deal with Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, in addition to having his or her book featured inside Cheerios cereal boxes nationwide.

As part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to nurturing the whole child and connecting families by fostering a shared love of reading,Cheerios invites aspiring authors to enter its New Author Contest now through July 15, 2011.  Entrants must write and submit an original story, in either English or Spanish, suitable for children ages three to eight.  Those who think they have the “write” stuff can visit for more information and to enter.

2009 New Author Contest Grand Prize Winner Laurie Isop, of Renton, Wash., and her book, How Do You Hug a Porcupine?, will be featured inside three million specially-marked boxes of Cheerios this spring. Isop’s story, which was selected from more than 8,000 entries, will also be available in bookstores nationwide as of July 26.  “The Cheerios New Author Contest helped me achieve my decade-old goal of becoming a published author,” said Isop.

Ron Rauss of Warrenton, Va. has officially been named the Grand Prize Winner of the 2010 New Author Contest and will follow in Isop’s footsteps when his winning story Can I Just Take a Nap? is distributed inside Cheerios cereal boxes next spring 2012.