Russ the Story Bus is no ordinary bus!

Sydney Writers’ Festival is continuing in its planning for the Russ the Story Bus Tour in Term Four, expected to run from 19 October–11 December 2020. All planning is being undertaken with up-to-date public health advice and in consultation with schools. We will continue to review the viability of the Tour ahead of Term Four.

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

Our favourite biblio-mobile, Russ the Story Bus, is back! For eight weeks throughout Term 4 ­– Monday 19 October to Friday 11 December – Russ the Story Bus will be visiting schools across Western Sydney, from Penrith to Campbelltown, Punchbowl to Hinchinbrook, and many stops in between. He’ll be sporting his wonderful exterior, featuring beautiful artwork by Jenny Løvlie from All of the Factors Why I Love Tractors, 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 Felice Arena, Andrew Daddo, James Foley, Oliver Phommavanh, Kate Temple, Reneé Treml, Gabrielle Wang and Sue Whiting.

Some History about Russ the Story Bus

Six 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 benches for kids to read. He was also wrapped with colourful picture book 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 seventh school tour. In 2019, Russ the Story Bus visited nearly 8000 children at 40 schools across Western Sydney.

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 meet the author.

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.


Demand for Russ increases each year, to be included on the waitlist, and ensure you are considered for the 2021 tour please fill out our online expression of interest form. For information on eligibility please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

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::

0468 457 145