“If I win, Buckingham Elementary gets a year’s supply of free books, and my book gets published. Pretty cool all around,” said Andrea Bowland, Berlin resident, mother of two, and our very own Shorebread Executive Editor.

In September, MeeGenius, an online publisher, began searching for the next great children’s book author by extending an invitation to aspiring writers to submit an original story to the Author Challenge 2011. Bowland took a chance and entered two of her original stories into the contest on November 28th.

The contest, which results in many great prizes, closes on December 18th. The winning author will receive a publishing contract, $1,500 cash, and a MeeGenius library donated to the school of their choice.

“You will also be helping Buckingham Elementary, my son, Adon’s, school, get a year’s supply of free books if one of my stories wins,” explained Bowland, “Education funding continues to be cut, and this national contest offers a way to bring stories, both new and the classics, into the classroom for these children to enjoy.”

MeeGenius is a reading application that digitizes children’s stories and adds interactive features for use on the iPhone, iPad, iTouch, Google TV, Google Chrome, and the general web. MeeGenius boasts a plethora of children’s stories with exciting features like word highlighting and audio playback. By entertaining children and making books interactive, MeeGenius can educate and stimulate little imaginations simultaneously. The MeeGenius products appeal to children and parents who are technology-savvy and are interested in the enhanced features of digital devices.

Additional books from well-known authors and publishers are being added on a regular basis. The modern family on-the-go can use this interactive app to store all of their books in one place – on their tech-products.

Currently, the contest’s leading author has 1,059 votes. There are 400 individual entries in this round; there are two ways to move onto the next round. To advance in the contest, a story must gain popular vote or become a staff favorite.  Bowland’s story, Little Green Monsters Are Real!, is ranked 65th right now. Her second story, is a little further behind.

In Bowland’s story, Little Green Monsters Are Real!, a little boy learns at bedtime that little green monster are in fact, real. The boy goes on a quest for evidence, and with his mother’s guidance, finds out something surprising about little green monsters. With an exciting tone and an adventurous plot, this story has won Bowland a lot of ‘Likes’.

Next to each story on the contest website there is a ‘Like’ button. Visitors can press this button if they really enjoyed a story. The stories that get the most ‘Likes’ from online social networking communities will go on to the next round.

In addition to the books ‘Liked’ and chosen by the online community, staff favorites will be selected by MeeGenius employees. Those selected will also move on and enter the finalist round of the contest.

“I have also written another children’s book in the challenge called Fressa the She-Ro, the Fairy Princess Super Hero,” explained Bowland. In that story, the heroine, Caroline, decides she doesn’t like princess stories because the princesses are always the ones that need saving. Caroline imagines she is a super hero, a she-ro named Fressa, who jumps into a tough situation and saves the day.

“Both of these stories were inspired by real-life adventures with my kids,” said the author. Bowland has a son, Adon, and a daughter, Luca, who both enjoy story-time with their mother. Bowland hopes that her stories win so she can share the illustrated, edited, and published books with her children.

“My cousin, Christina, suggested that I enter into this contest,” said Bowland, “and now I’m hoping that the local community will help by voting.”

Voting is simple and takes just a few seconds. If you’d like to vote for Little Green Monsters Are Real! or Fressa the She-Ro, the Fairy Princess Super-Hero, check out the other stories, help support Buckingham Elementary get free books, or learn more about MeeGenius, go to their website. To vote, click the ‘Like’ button next to the story of your choice. There is also a Facebook page dedicated to Bowland’s entries in the contest.

To read and vote for Shorebread’s Executive Editor's books, follow these links:

Remember to click ‘Like’! Best of luck, Andrea!