An award-winning journalist and podcast host, Jenn White has worked in public radio since 1999. White hosts 1A, a nationally syndicated daily news program from WAMU and NPR. 1A is NPR’s fastest growing weekday show. White previously host WBEZ’s local two-hour midday show, Reset with Jenn White. She is also a familiar voice on several WBEZ podcasts, including Making Oprah, Making Obama and 16 Shots, which chronicled the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald and the trial of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke.

Stories Matter Foundation presents the 6th Annual CHIRBy Awards, a virtual fundraising ceremony honoring the “literary gold” writers of Chicago.

Join us for a night of cocktails and fundraising, with special host Jenn White, an award-winning journalist and host of 1A, a 2-hour national daily talk show from WAMU and NPR.

Though we wish we could be celebrating together, we’re excited about the offerings we have this year online. Starting Sunday, December 5, we’ll be posting short excerpts on Instagram from the nominees reading from their work. That all leads up to Thursday evening, December 9 at 7pm Central when we’ll host our live awards ceremony on Zoom! See below for ticket information and our list of nominees.

All donations from the evening will go to support the Chicago Review of Books

Stories Matter Foundation is the parent organization of StoryStudio Chicago, the Chicago Review of Books, and Chicago Stories Project. We build communities of storytellers trained to question, explore, celebrate, and change their worlds using the power of story.

A ticket to our virtual CHIRBy Awards can be acquired by a suggested donation of $10, but our different tiered amounts can be found below. 100% of the donations at this event will go toward supporting the CHIRB contributors.

Tier One: $1-$5 General Admission

If you’d just like access to the Thursday evening live awards ceremony, any donation between $1-$5 will get you link access. Suggested donation is $10 but we appreciate any support!

Tier Two: $15

A donation of $15 or more will get you:

  • access to the live event
  • your name considered for a chance to win a prize

Two winners will receive a $50 gift certificate to Volumes Bookcafe.

Tier Three: $100 Golden Ticket

A donation of $100 or more will get you:

  • access to the live event
  • your name considered for a prize
  • a single-session class of your choosing at StoryStudio Chicago
  • thank-you shout-out during the event and your name posted on the CHIRB website


  • Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala
  • Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara
  • The Upstairs House by Julia Fine
  • The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson 
  • How I Learned to Hate in Ohio by David Stuart MacLean


  • Written After a Massacre in the Year 2018 by Daniel Borzutzky
  • Wolf Lamb Bomb by Aviya Kushner
  • Mother/land by Ananda Lima
  • Dopplegangbanger by Cortney Lamar Charleston
  • Asked What Has Changed by Ed Roberson


  • Three Girls from Bronzeville by Dawn Turner
  • Blow Your House Down by Gina Frangello
  • Love is an Ex-Country by Randa Jarrar
  • Refugee High: Coming of Age in America by Elly Fishman
  • The Most Fun Thing: Dispatches from a Skateboard Life by Kyle Beachy


Adam Morgan Literary Citizen Award

Named after the Chicago Review of Books‘ founder, Adam Morgan, the Adam Morgan Literary Citizen Award is given to a person who has made outstanding contributions to Chicago’s literary scene. For 2021, Adam was honored to name Kathleen Rooney for her work with Poems While You Wait and Rose Metal Press.