Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators




Join us at our celestial Crystal Kite Gala to Open 2020 SCBWI-Illinois interactive! 

The annual SCBWI Crystal Kite Award is a peer-given award to recognize great books from 15 SCBWI regional divisions around the world. This year the winning book for the Mid West Division is JUST LIKE RUBE GOLDBERG, by Illinois colleague and SCBWI-Illinois Interactive faculty member, Sarah Aronson.

Join Lisa Bierman on the red carpet with an array of new books created by our Illinois members. Be there when co-host, Suzanne Slade, announces the 2020-2021 SCBWI-IL Laura Crawford Memorial Mentorship!  Chris Cheng, who first led the charge to establish this peer-chosen award, will present Sarah with the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, Mid West Division.



Sarah Aronson, 2020 Crystal Kite Mid West Division Winner

Sarah Aronson began writing for kids and teens when someone in an exercise class dared her to try. Since then, she has earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and published three stand-alone novels: Head Case, Beyond Lucky, and Believe, a young MG series, The Wish List (Scholastic, 2017-2019) as well as the picture book biography, Just Like Rube Goldberg (Beach Lane Books), illustrated by Robert Neubecker. Look for her next picture book, Brand New Bubbe, in 2022.




Lisa Bierman, Co-Host & Past RA-IL
Lisa Bierman served for five years as SCBWI-Illinois’ Co- Regional Advisor (2009-2014). She has been a committee member organizing the Illinois fall conference since it’s inception. Throw in a few years as an Illinois Network Representative in Oak Park and let’s face it, she’s an SCBWI nerd!  She writes picture books, chapter books and poetry. She’s sold poems to kids’ magazines like Babybug and Boy’s Quest. She was a marketing research analyst for twenty years.





Christopher Cheng, SCBWI International Awards and Publications Coordinator

Within the old (and new) walls of an inner-city Sydney terrace dwells Christopher Cheng. A teacher by profession, he is the author of many fiction and non-fiction children’s books. He especially loves writing picture book texts and then seeing what wonderful art the illustrators create. He has always loved to write (he mostly always carries his notebook and pens) but he never thought he would be a full-time children’s author. He is co-chair of the International Advisory Board for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), a recipient of the Lady Cutler Award for Children’s Literature and presents in schools, conferences and festivals around the world. He also established the SCBWI Crystal Kite Awards.

Christopher is often heard to say that he has the best job in the world!



Suzanne Slade, Co-Host
2020 SCBWI Crystal Kite Mid West Division Finalist &
SCBWI-IL Laura Crawford Memorial Mentorship Mentor 2020-2021

Suzanne Slade is the award-winning author of more than 140 children’s books. As a mechanical engineer who worked on rockets, many of her books are about space and STEM. She also enjoys writing about fascinating historical figures and unsung heroes from her hometown of Chicago. Some of her recent titles include: Swish! The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters, Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon, Daring Dozen: The Twelve Who Walked on the Moon, Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon, Astronaut Annie (read on the Space Station), Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story, Dangerous Jane and The Music in George’s Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue.





We welcome you to attend our Equity & Inclusion Social, during which diverse members and allies can connect, share experiences, and generate ideas regarding future diversity programming and opportunities for SCBWI-IL. No need to register in advance — just join in!  See the SCHEDULE for date/time. More details in the Virtual Folder sent to all attendees this November.

Hosted by our new SCBWI-IL Diversity Committee Chairperson, Jacqueline Alcántara.



Join  our Illustrator’s social to connect with fellow illustrators and share opportunities. Be there LIVE for the announcement of the SCBWI-Illinois Interactive Illustration Contest Winner!  No need to register in advance — just join in! See the SCHEDULE for date/time. More details in the Virtual Folder sent to all attendees this November.

Hosted by our SCBWI-IL Illustration Network Representatives



We welcome you to attend our PAL & Published Social social to connect with fellow PALs and learn about SCBWI opportunities to promote you and your books!  No need to register in advance — just join in! See the SCHEDULE for date/time. More details in the Virtual Folder sent to all attendees this November.

Hosted by our SCBWI-IL PAL & Published Coordinator, Sarah Aronson



When you register you may opt in to this exchange.
—This is a list of the social media of attendees, available to Illinois Interactive attendees and faculty until November 23.
—PARTICIPATION IS VOLUNTARY and is intended to help create a more connected community.
After registration, come back to this page, to enter your social media handles in the link provided below.

Please be prepared to provide the following information in the form below (all that applies):
Your name & email address
YouTube URL
Instagram Account
Twitter Account
Facebook account URL
Snapchat account



Questions about SCBWI-Illinois Interactive Socials?: Email Deborah Topolski