A magical celebration of books and storytelling 

Russ is heading North this year!

The Russ tour is expanding. In Terms 3 and 4, 2023, Russ the Story Bus will be spreading their love and visiting schools from North West Sydney, through regional NSW, upto the Northern Rivers region. We will be reaching out to schools that have not had a Russ visit before and have been affected by recent major weather events. 

Some history about Russ the Story Bus

Eight 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 books and comfy benches for kids to read. He was also covered in colourful picture book illustrations.

Russ was created to support children at the very beginning of their reading journey and spark a lifetime love of storytelling, reading and creativity. We hope that a visit from Russ the Story Bus – complete with an author or illustrator talk – helps foster that lifelong connection with books that begins in childhood.

Each year, Russ the Story Bus visits over 8,000 children. Russ the Story Bus has been visiting schools since 2014.

A school visit

As part of a Russ the Story Bus visit, students can:  

  • talk to the visiting children’s book author or illustrator 
  • discuss their favourite books with Festival staff and volunteers 
  • choose a brand-new book to take home and keep forever from the Book Fair. 

Students will also enjoy taking part in an interactive talk presented by a children’s book author or illustrator. The speaker will share their love of books, discuss their craft, answer questions, and inspire children to think creatively about reading, writing and storytelling. 

Western Sydney Leg:

(Weeks 14, 28 August22 September)

  • Kristin Darell
  • Carla Fitzgerald
  • Samera Kamaleddine
  • Charmaine Ledden-Lewis
  • Matt Stanton

Northern Rivers Leg:

(Weeks 511, 16 October1 December)

  • Sarah Armstrong
  • Tristan Bancks
  • Laura Bloom
  • Kelly Canby
  • Zanni Louise
  • Samantha Turnbull


What teachers say...

‘Each student gained a rich learning experience and created a happy memory.’ Gillian Maugle, Teacher Librarian, Wiley Park Public School

‘The joy of the children’s faces when they realised they actually were getting to keep the books was priceless.’ Kate Martin, Teacher Librarian, Riverbank Public School

‘We try every day to instil in our kids a genuine love of reading … so to be supported by you in that endeavour is so lovely.’ Darren Denmead, Teacher Librarian, Bathurst West Public School  

A visit from Russ the Story Bus is free for schools and is suitable for primary school children. Up to 250 children are able to take part in a Russ the Story Bus 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.

2023 expressions of interest are now open.

For information, 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. If you would like to learn more about supporting the Festival, visit our Support page





For more information, please contact us.

02 9256 4209