Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI-IL Crystal Kite Gala

Date(s) - 11/13/2020
7:15 pm - 7:45 pm


You’re invited to our celestial Crystal Kite Gala to Open 2020 SCBWI-Illinois Interactive!


Join us on the red carpet as Lisa Bierman and co-host, Suzanne Slade, kick off the night with an array of new books created by our #ReadLocalILLINOIS members.

Then be Illinois-proud, as Christopher Cheng, who first led the charge to establish this peer-chosen award, comes to us all the way from Australia to present Illinois colleague and SCBWI-Illinois Interactive faculty member, Sarah Aronson with the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, Mid West Division

The annual SCBWI Crystal Kite Award is a peer-given award to recognize great books from 15 SCBWI regional divisions around the world. Sarah Aronson’s JUST LIKE RUBE GOLDBERG (Robert Neubecker, illustrator) is this year’s winning book for the Mid West Division.



— Everyone is welcome to attend this free online premiere! No registration necessary.
Visit SCBWI-IL #ReadLocalIllinois to find #kidlit creators in your Illinois city & school district
Shop #ReadLocalILLINOIS books online via the SCBWI-IL Bookstore
Disclaimer: SCBWI-IL is an affiliate of and will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
— Questions about the SCBWI-IL Crystal Kite Gala?: Email Co-RA SCBWI-Illinois 


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
Co-Regional Advisor, IL 2009-2014 & SCBWI-Illinois Interactive Committee Member

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 its 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, Crystal Kite Creator
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.