Thursday, November 02, 2017

2017 Storylines National Festival Story Tour reaches 19,000+ children


The new-look Storylines National Festival Story Tour held during 2017 has been a resounding success, says Storylines Executive Officer Gillian Wess, with more than 19,000 children and teens from Northland to Invercargill visited by leading authors and illustrators.

“The Storylines Children's Literature Charitable Trust is delighted that its decision to visit schools and community libraries in six regional areas, replacing festival family days in the main cities, has proved so popular with these smaller communities,” says Ms Wess.
David Hill entertains children at Waiotahe Valley School during the Bay of Plenty tour.
Supported by Creative New Zealand, Foundation North, NZ Book Council and other funders, the 2017 Storylines National Festival Story Tour took teams of 4-5 writers and illustrators to tour the Northland, South Auckland/Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Palmerston North, Nelson/Blenheim and Queenstown/Invercargill regions.  Each team spent five days touring the region, visiting anywhere from 22 to 51 schools, early education centres and libraries.  Evening events for adults were also included.

The writers enthralling children included award-winners Melinda Syzmanik, Tim Tipene, David Hill, Stacy Gregg, Darryn Joseph, Des Hunt and Fifi Colston, along with leading illustrators Gavin Bishop, Scott Tulloch and Vasanti Unka.

“Our grand total was 19,302, with area totals ranging from nearly 2000 to more than 4500,” says Ms Wess.  “The feedback from children and teachers has been phenomenal.”

A typical response by schools came from a Nelson teacher who wrote, “The Storylines Story Bus Tour roared into the Tasman District this week and provided us with four amazing, prize-winning authors of children’s or young adults’ books. Thanks to the Storylines Trust for providing such an inspirational day to many young readers and would–be storytellers.”

The Storylines Children's Literature Trust ran its popular national festival of writers and illustrators annually from 1992, but in 2016 decided on a change of format in response to the needs of its young audiences, with week-long regional tours replacing the family days in the main centres.

In 2018 the Storylines National Festival Story Tour will visit a further six parts of the country. “The generous funding from Creative New Zealand and other funders means that we can continue to offer these visits to schools free of charge”, says Ms Wess.

For more information please contact: Lorraine Steele, Lighthouse PR (on behalf of Storylines), Email:, Tel: 021-859-805,





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