A magical celebration of books and storytelling 

Sydney Writers’ Festival is continuing in its planning for the postponed 2021 Russ the Story Bus tour, which will now be occurring in Term 1, 2022 and expected to run from 14 February1 April 2022. All planning is being undertaken with up-to-date public health advice and in consultation with schools.  

Term 1, 2022 Tour  

For our Term 1 tour, our favourite library on wheels, Russ the Story Bus, will be taking a break from visiting schools but the tour lives on! For seven weeks throughout Term 1 (Monday 14 February to Friday 1 April), the Russ the Story Bus team will be visiting schools throughout the Greater Sydney area with some of Australia’s most loved children’s book authors and illustrators. The team will be setting up a very special Book Fair at each school for students to browse through and select a book of their very own to keep.  

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. 

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  

Some history about Russ the Story Bus

Seven 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. Bringing this magical library on wheels to life are the children’s book authors and illustrators who come aboard the tour each year to share the joy of creativity and stories. 

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

Each year, we visit up to 8,000 children. We have been visiting schools since 2014, making this our eighth school tour.  

We hope to see Russ the bus back in action for our Term 4 tour!  

Expressions of interest are now closed 

A visit from the Russ the Story Bus team is free for schools and is suitable for primary school children. Up to 220 children are able to take part. Each school visit  includes two 40-minute presentations and ample time for students 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. 

Expressions of interest are now closed for the Term 1, 2022 tour but to ensure you are on the waitlist for the Term Four, 2022 tour, please fill out our online expression of interest form. For information on eligibility and more, 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 Head of Children’s and YA Programs, Amelia Lush:

02 9256 4209


Authors attending the Term 1, 2022 tour (to be announced)