Russ the Story Bus is no ordinary bus!

All aboard the magical bus with a belly full of books!

Our favourite biblio-mobile, Russ the Story Bus, is back! From 21 October to 13 December, Russ the Story Bus will be visiting schools across Western Sydney, from Penrith to Campbelltown and many stops in between. He’ll be sporting a shiny new exterior, featuring beautiful artwork by a leading children's book illustrator, and his bookshelves will be filled with the latest, greatest and most in-demand new books for children.

Joining Russ to make his literary expedition even more special are the children’s book authors and illustrators Deb Abela, Mick Elliot, Jules Faber, Leigh Hobbs, Remy Lai, Gavin Aung Than, Frances Watts and Samantha Wheeler.

Some History about Russ the Story Bus

Five years ago, Sydney Writers’ Festival transformed an ordinary bus into Russ the Story Bus: a bright and colourful creative space full of bookshelves (stocked with children’s books) and comfy spots for kids to read and listen to stories. He was also wrapped with colourful illustrations.

The concept behind Russ the Story Bus is the creation of a welcoming and inspiring place for children that celebrates storytelling, reading and creativity. We hope that a visit on Russ the Story Bus – complete with an author talk – helps foster the lifelong connection we have with books that begins in childhood.

Russ the Story Bus has been visiting schools since 2014, making this his sixth school tour. In 2018, Russ the Story Bus visited over 5000 children at more than 55 schools in NSW, and the ACT.

A Russ the Story Bus School Visit

On Russ the Story Bus students are encouraged to:

  • browse the library full children’s books
  • discuss their favourite books with Festival staff and volunteers
  • chat to the visiting children’s book author or illustrator
  • leave a message for Russ on the whiteboard
  • choose a brand-new book to take home and keep forever.

Students will also enjoy taking part in an interactive talk presented by a children’s book author or illustrator. The author will share their love of books, discuss their craft and inspire children to think creatively about reading, writing and storytelling. There is also an opportunity to ask the author a question and get a book signed.

Booking Information 

A visit from Russ the Story Bus is suitable for primary-aged children. Up to 220 children can take part in a full day visit, which includes two, 45-minute presentations and ample time to visit Russ the Story Bus to browse and select a book to keep. Sydney Writers’ Festival is able to offer some flexibility in the schedule for each school visit, as we understand that school timetables are not the same everywhere.

TO BOOK: Sydney Writers’ Festival selects schools to take part in the Russ the Story Bus tour based on a combination of factors. To ensure that you are in consideration, please fill out our online expression of interest form. 

Russ the Bus would not be possible without the vital support we receive from donors to our Education Program. 

For more information, please contact Head of Children's and YA Programs, Amelia Lush::

(02) 9256 4200

amelia@swf.org.au