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September 20, 2021

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Writers, artists, Writers Festival staff, politicians and school students mingled for the launch of the StoryBoard Bus. Photo Jeff ‘Bussy McBusface’ Dawson
Writers, artists, Writers Festival staff, politicians and school students mingled for the launch of the StoryBoard Bus. Photo Jeff ‘Bussy McBusface’ Dawson

Byron Writers Festival has launched its StoryBoard Bus, a travelling creative writing program bringing authors and illustrators into schools across the northern rivers of NSW. The bus was unveiled on Friday April 28 at Byron Bay Public School by special guest, Leigh Hobbs, Australia’s 2017 Children’s Laureate.

The striking artwork, which wraps the entire bus, was created by Victorian artist and animator Justine Wallace.

Writers Festival director Edwina Johnson said the launch of the bus marks the realisation of a long-held ambition for the Festival team.

‘Three years ago Byron Writers Festival set out on a journey to inspire, nourish and excite our region’s youth – the readers and writers of the future – by developing a free mobile creative writing program bringing leading authors, illustrators and storytellers plus volunteer tutors direct to schools,’ she said.

‘The launch of the bus means we can expand our reach further into the northern rivers, with tours planned for later in 2017 to schools in Yamba, Maclean, Grafton, Kempsey, Port Macquarie, Casino, Tabulum, Bonalbo and Urbenville.

‘We are immensely grateful to Create NSW and the Australian government’s Stronger Communities program for funding the bus and to the Catalyst program which supports the ongoing delivery of StoryBoard.’

Delight

In his official launch speech, Leigh Hobbs said, ‘If a child delights in drawing, let them draw. If a child loves to write poetry, encourage them to do it. And as for reading, let them read for the pleasure of it.

‘The StoryBoard workshops are going to be a marvellous way for schoolkids to be given the chance to read, write, create and to tap into their own creative impulses.’

StoryBoard will run more than 100 free school visits and masterclasses each year for the next three years, with authors including Tristan Bancks, Samantha Turnbull, Lucas Proudfoot, Zanni Louise, Sarah Armstrong, Oliver Phommavanh, Jesse Blackadder and others still to be announced.

Byron Writers Festival encourages any northern rivers schools interested in a free visit from StoryBoard to contact project manager Coralie Tapper on 6685 5115 or email [email protected] For more information visit the StoryBoard webpage.


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