Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI-IL Naperville-Bolingbrook Network Hosts Kat Falls

Date(s) - 04/17/2021
10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Make the Impossible Possible:
How to Create a Fresh and Vivid World


Science fiction and fantasy let us wonder what might be by creating alternate realities teeming with mythical creatures or fantastic technology – usually while examining a controversial issue of the day. But no matter the subject or sub-genre, successful speculative fiction writers get their readers to suspend disbelief.

In this workshop, we’ll discuss ways to come up with original ideas within these genres and how to transform the real into the fantastic in believable ways. In other words, we’ll be talking about world building — how to make it feel fresh and how to make it feel real. Any story’s setting should be approached as if it is another character, offering obstacles, commenting on the story’s theme. This is even more true for speculative fiction. Through writing exercises, participants will invent their own fantastical story premises and create alternative worlds that are ripe with possibility.



Network Guest, Kat Falls

In DARK LIFE (Scholastic Press) and its sequel, RIPTIDE, Kat takes middle grade readers on an action-packed adventure under the sea. The series was featured on The Today Show, has been translated into 18 languages, and is in development for film at Disney.

Kat’s young adult novel, INHUMAN, and its sequel, UNDAUNTED, are set after the outbreak of a mutagenic virus that turns people into beast-men. INHUMAN received glowing reviews from Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, VOYA, a starred review from Kirkus, and was featured on the Tome It List for “clean” teen reads.

She teaches at Northwestern University where she got her MFA in Screenwriting. Check out her amazing website and full bio here.

Order one of Kat’s books from the NETWORK booklist at our SCBWI-Illinois Bookstore on Disclosure: SCBWI-IL is an affiliate of and will earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.
Thank you for supporting our SCBWI-IL author, our Region and independent booksellers with your purchase.




Network Hosts, Bolingbrook-Naperville Network Co-Representatives

Catherine Ann Velasco spent 22 years at newspapers in Wisconsin and Illinois covering issues important to kids and families. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and their 15 koi.

Program Content Questions?: Email Cathy Velasco, SCBWI-IL Bolingbrook-Naperville Network Co-Coordinator







Mary & Rich Chamberlin
A social justice loving husband and wife writing team living in Naperville, they’ve traveled the world in search of stories – just not lately. They live in Naperville with their kooky Kooikerhondje dog Janice. 
Visit the Chamberlin’s Webiste








Free event registration is open through Friday, April 16.
Event recording available for a one-time convenience fee to watch through May 17.


— LIVE EVENT is free and open to all to encourage community & outreach.
— Pre-purchase an event recording for a one-time convenience fee for unlimited viewings through May 17
——SCBWI Members $10; Non-Members $15
——Forgot to register?  Click to purchase the recording after the event on-demand through May 17 on our SCBWI-IL Recordings On Demand page


Attendees registered for the FREE LIVE event will be sent a link the day before the event. If you do not receive a link by the morning of April 17, email Deborah Topolski

RENEW or JOIN BEFORE purchasing the event recording at the reduced, member rate.
—Attendees registered for the event recording will receive the recording link by April 18. If you do not receive your pre-purchased recording, email Deborah Topolski
—Click to purchase the recording on-demand any time through May 17 on our SCBWI-IL Recordings On Demand page
—Credit Cards accepted to purchase event recording.

—Questions about your online Registration?  Email the Registrar

Are you a member of SCBWI?

Did you know that SCBWI members always receive a discount on events?

Whether Regional events or the International Conference, all members receive a discount.

Are you a member of SCBWI?  

If so, please log in before continuing with your event registration.

If not, please consider becoming a member.  Click here to learn about membership benefits.

Thank you,

Event Registration

General Information Required Fields*


Ticket Information

LIVE EVENT Registration Free to All -

SCBWI MEMBER: Event recording - $10.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Receive link for event recording only

SCBWI MEMBER: Live event + Recording: - $10.00

This price is only available for SCBWI members.

Receive links for live event and recording

NON-MEMBER: Event recording - $15.00
Receive link for event recording only

NON-MEMBER: Live event + Recording - $15.00
Receive links for live event and recording

The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy
To register for an SCBWI event, you are required to acknowledge our Anti-Harassment Policy.
Scroll to the bottom to read the policy.

You will then be able to click the checkbox indicating that you have read our policy.


The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all of its members and will take any and all necessary steps to address and prevent harassment at events associated with SCBWI. Harassment under this policy may include verbal comments, written comments, displayed images, or behaviors such as intimidation, stalking, body policing, unwelcome photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or advances, and bullying or coercion. 

The SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment or intimidation at any SCBWI Event. An “SCBWI Event” is any event, meeting or activity that is authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager to be sponsored by, or affiliated with, SCBWI. SCBWI events may include, if properly authorized by an SCBWI Regional Manager, the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles, the Annual Winter Conference in New York, regional conferences, meetings and meet-ups. This SCBWI Member Anti-Harassment Policy also applies to “SCBWI On-Line Interactions,” which include Zooms, Webinars, online meetings, communications and content posted on, or directed towards, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts or sent through any of the communication tools available on SCBWI’s website, SCBWI’s Social Media accounts under this policy include the official SCBWI accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.


Code of Conduct

All participants in SCBWI Events and SCBWI On-Line Interactions, including faculty, volunteers, staff, and attendees, are required to comply with the following anti-harassment code of conduct. The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits harassment, including but not limited to the following behaviors:

  • Intimidation, stalking, or following;
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events;
  • Unwelcome sexual attention or advances;
  • Abusive verbal comments;
  • Quid pro quo– sexual harassment that occurs when one in an authority position requests sex or a sexual relationship in exchange for professional consideration or favors;.
  • Harmful or prejudicial verbal comments, written comments, or visual images related to gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion, socio-economic status, disability, age, appearance, body size, or other personal characteristics;
  • Inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images
  • Unwelcome or uninvited attention or contact
  • Physical assault (including unwelcome touching or groping);
  • Real or implied threat of physical harm;
  • Real or implied threat of professional or financial damage or harm;
  • Body policing, unwelcome photography or recording;
  • Doxing
  • Harassment does not include respectful disagreement or reasonable and respectful critique made in good faith. SCBWI continues to welcome and appreciate presentation of appropriate controversial ideas, free speech, and creative artistic expression. SCBWI encourages members to hold one another accountable to the Code of Conduct as stated in this part of the Policy and to take the perspectives of others seriously when a disagreement arises.

We expect all participants at SCBWI activities, meetings, and networking events to abide by this Anti-Harassment Policy in all venues, including sanctioned events, ancillary events, unofficial events, and social gatherings.


Reporting Procedures

Any person who believes there has been a violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy can report the offense in one or all of the following ways:

  • Certain SCBWI Events, including the Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles and the Annual Winter Conference in New York, will designate one or more Safety Team Members who will be available during the conference to provide a safe space for members to report an incident. The Safety Team Member will report directly to the conference director or regional advisor in charge.
  • A complainant may submit a complaint under this policy to the Director of Community Marketing and Engagement, the Director of Illustration and Artist Programs and/or your Regional Manager.
  • SCBWI has a dedicated email address for reporting any potential incident of harassment under this policy. Anyone who chooses to report an incident can find the Anti-Harassment Report Form on the SCBWI website (About > Anti-Harassment) or use the following link: Reports should include the substance of the complaint, date, and whenever possible, a list of witnesses or a reference to the relevant URLs, if the offense occurred through an SCWBI On-Line Interaction.

SCBWI will investigate all complaints subject to the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy. If the policy applies, SCBWI will investigate the matter and take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to prevent a recurrence and protect the environment at SCWBI Events. If a complaint is made anonymously, please note that SCBWI will not be able to follow up on an anonymous report with the complainant directly, as SCBWI will not have contact information for the anonymous complainant. Moreover, anonymous complaints may hinder SCBWI’s ability to investigate the complaint.  SCBWI will take steps to protect the confidentiality of the complaint, to the extent possible.  However, complete confidentiality may not be possible in all circumstances.  SCBWI will make every attempt to respond to a named complainant in a timely fashion.

If appropriate, SCBWI may report the incident to local authorities.



The SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits retaliation against a member of the SCBWI community for reporting harassment, intimidation or discrimination, or for participating in an investigation relating to any complaint made under this policy. The sanctions for retaliation are the same sanctions available to address any other violation of the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy.



SCBWI takes all allegations of harassment seriously. Complaints will be investigated by SCWBI if they fall within the scope of SCWBI’s Anti-Harassment Policy. Depending on the results of the investigation, SCWBI will determine whether a sanction is appropriate.

Sanctions for faculty, speakers, volunteers, staff or board members may include any of the following:

  • warning the party involved that the particular behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
  • immediate removal from a particular event;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a temporary or permanent basis;
  • withholding of a contracted honorarium;
  • prohibition from future speaking engagements;
  • prohibition from future faculty appointments;
  • expulsion from SCBWI; and/or
  • removal from the Board of Advisors or Board of Directors, when appropriate.

Sanctions for attendees, members, and guests can include any of the following:

  • warning the party involved that specified behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;
  • immediate removal from a particular event, without refund;
  • denial of access to SCBWI spaces and venues on a permanent or temporary basis;
  • termination of SCBWI membership, without refund; and/or
  • prohibition of future SCBWI membership.

If the conduct at issue involves one of SCBWI’s employees, SCBWI will utilize whatever corrective action is appropriate based on the result of the investigation and subject to SCBWI employment policies and practices.



SCBWI will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations into allegations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of all parties and witnesses. Notwithstanding the above, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate business reason to know and be informed of the allegations will be so informed. Parties to the complaint should treat the matter under investigation with discretion and respect the reputation of all parties involved.


If you wish to file a complaint or an anonymous complaint, CLICK HERE to access the Anti-harassment Report Form.

If you have questions regarding this policy, you may send an email to Please include the words "Anti-Harassment Policy" in the subject line. 


I have read and accepted the SCBWI Anti-Harassment policy.