Support Sydney Writers' Festival


Russ the Story Bus

A magical celebration of books and storytelling 

Each year, Russ the Story Bus visits over 8,000 children in Western Sydney and regional NSW. Russ the Story Bus has been visiting schools since 2014.

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 shelves inside Russ. 

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. 

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.

Expressions of interests for a visit from Russ the Story Bus are now open. Russ will be travelling throughout Greater Western Sydney in Term 4, 2024. Expressions of interest close on Friday 5 July

For information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Submit Expression of Interest

Some history about Russ the Story Bus

Ten 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 – which includes an author or illustrator talk and a book for each student to take home and keep (for free!) – helps foster that lifelong connection with books that begins in childhood.

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

Russ the Story 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

Russ the Story Bus is supported by