Society of
Children's Book Writers
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Christina Soontornvat and Don Tate win Golden Kite Awards for nonfiction

Don Tate author headshot

Don Tate

Huge congratulations to Don Tate and Christina Soontornvat, 2021 Golden Kite Award winners! Don won the Nonfiction Text for Younger Readers category for William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad, and Christina won the Nonfiction Text for Older Readers category for All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team.

Author photo of Christina Soontornvat, leaning against a white wall

Christina Soontornvat

The Golden Kite Awards, presented in seven categories annually by SCBWI, are “the only children’s literary award judged by a jury of peers.” This year, the winners were announced on February 19th at an online gala event as part of the SCBWI Winter 2021 Conference.

Don says: “I was so excited to learn I was a finalist, but I could not believe when my book actually won! My first response in an email to SCBWI was: Cover of 'William Still and His Freedom Stories,' featuring an African-American man in a suit writing with a quill pen at a desk against a blue backdrop with floating facesDoes this mean I won? It is so cool to win such an award alongside of my Austin colleague and pal, Christina Soontornvat. I had to prepare my speech and red carpet interview during the week of the big Texas ice storms and power outages. It was great to celebrate with peers from around the world at the end of a scary and exhausting week! Thanks to so many Austin writer friends who inspired, nurtured, and encouraged me along my journey.”

And Christina says: “This award means so much to me because it comes from mCover of 'All Thirteen' features a dark green cave scene on top, a picture of rescuers with helmets in a forest pulling on something, and a picture of many flip-flops on a dark rocky surface; four round literary award stickers adorn the cover.y peers and our writing community. I definitely would not be where I am now if it hadn’t been for our super supportive Austin SCBWI chapter. Everyone in our group was on my mind the night I was accepting the award. Even more so because our city had just been through such a rough week with the winter storms. I kept checking in on Don Tate (who also won a Golden Kite for his fantastic book!) via social media, and seeing him shoveling snow to boil into water made me wonder how in the world we were going to attend a ‘gala’ event! But it all came together and I felt fortunate and grateful in every way that night.”

Congratulations to Don and Christina for sweeping the nonfiction text categories at the Golden Kite Awards and making the Austin chapter proud!