CONTEST: 2011 Cheerios New Author

19 May

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

The chances of winning a writing contest may be as slim as being picked up out of publisher’s ‘slush pile,’ but a competitive nature and a ‘what if’ mentality can give you the confidence to enter.

For those imaginators who are 18 years of age, a legal US citizen/resident and are unpublished (have never been paid or written work), I urge you to enter the 2011 Cheerios New Author Contest.

Since March 22 and until July 15th, Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program will be accepting electronic submissions of original picture book manuscripts (text only) of up to 500 words.  Please note that information is available in both english and espanol. It’s nice to see that applicants can enter manuscripts in espanol as well. For more specific rules please consult their website.

There is no entrance fee, and the grand prize s $5,000 with a possible contract with Simon and Schuster, with two runner-up $1,000 prizes. The chance of having a mini-version of your book placed in boxes of Cheerios is too good to pass up. But contestants beware.

The key phrase, “No limit on number of entries per person” may distinguish yours fears, but just keep in mind that each manuscript entered into the contest is a sort-of ‘exclusive submission.’

For example, If I feel one of my stories fits the mold for this contest, can I still send it to an agent or editor? I recommend using caution. For example, if you submit a manuscript to a publisher, typically you’ll wait up to 3 months before it’s understood they aren’t interested. Consequently, if you enter the contest in July, if you are a winner you will have to only wait 3 months (October 15th, 2011).

So should you send all of your manuscripts? I say choose 1 to 3 that you feel fit the needs of the contest, and if you don’t hear anything on October 15th, give the manuscript(s) another round of editing and then send to multiple editors and agents.

Judging from past winners, I would keep it short, cute, poetic, and universal. This has to be a book that all demographics could appreciate and identify with.

Special thanks to fellow imaginator Christine Cassello for reminding CraveWriting about this wonderful contest!

Good luck to all you imaginators out there!

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