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Christopher Cheng: From Oral Stories to Picture Books

Sep 04, 2024

Online event

It is our enormous pleasure to announce the extraordinary Christopher Cheng, award-winning author of more than 40 children’s books, will be speaking to Midsouth SCBWI members on September 4 about his creative process. Registration is required to attend this virtual event. The talk will NOT be recorded for later viewing, so be sure to register today!


This event is exclusively for Midsouth members who live in Kentucky and Tennessee. Registration is required to attend this virtual event, and it will NOT be recorded.

The cost for Premium Midsouth members is $15. The cost for non-Premium Midsouth members is $25.

Have you ever heard a story that you thought would make a great book? Christopher Cheng’s upcoming book was inspired by his family and their quest for safety in the midst of war.

“Way back at a family reunion that we hold every five years in Hong Kong, one of my Uncles (and I have many) first revealed a brief story about what happened to our family early in World War 2. I was thunderstruck! A few years later when we caught up, I asked him to tell us more and when he started chatting, Bini (my beeutiful wife) said, ‘This is the story you want!’ Two hours later, I had recorded his story of the family trek as they became refugees in their own country while escaping the invaders. About 30 seconds of that conversation will soon be released as the lusciously illustrated picture book Powerful Like a Dragon.”

Ready to get started? During his presentation, Christopher Cheng will share his process for adapting family stories and oral tales into a children’s book. He’ll lend insight into how to know which stories to adapt, as well as offer advice and a story or two of his own, so you’ll walk away feeling inspired to turn your own passed-down histories into books.


Christopher Cheng is the award-winning author of more than 40 children's books in print and digital formats. His first book was published late last century. Since then he has written many fiction and non-fiction books including the novel New Gold Mountain, and the picture books One Tree, The Imagineer, Wombat and Old Fellow, and the multi-published Bear and Rat (published as Will We Always Hold Hands? in the USA). He is co-chair of the International Advisory Board for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and a recipient of the Lady Cutler Award for Children’s Literature (NSW Australia). He presents in schools, conferences and festivals around the world and he established the international peer-voted SCBWI Crystal Kite Awards. Christopher is also an Ambassador for the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature.


“Reading is your entrance to new worlds, or old worlds, or worlds unknown. Reading opens your mind and your eyes to our world, and to worlds imagined. Reading gives you courage when all you want to do is shiver. Reading gives you knowledge when you just don’t know. Reading is a friend when no one else is around."

See more about Christopher Cheng here:

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Powerful Like a Dragon

Powerful Like a Dragon (Roaring Brook Press, 2025)