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Storylines National Festival Story Tour

Apply now for the Storylines National Festival Story Tour 
to visit in 2017.

Storylines National Festival Story Tour

In 2017, Storylines builds on its strong and respected role in the New Zealand literary community as an advocate and promoter of New Zealand children’s literature with a revamped and re-focused programme for 2017 and beyond. The new Storylines National Festival Story Tour celebrates and promotes writers and illustrators of New Zealand children’s literature, and extends Storylines’ reach to more metropolitan and regional centres.

The Storylines National Festival Story Tour has travelled to Northland, South Auckland, Waikato and Manawatu so far and has proved to be a dynamic and exciting interactive tour of presentations, storytelling and performances that weaves its way around New Zealand from May to September., as these images show:

Adult evening event Feilding Library MST 2017-283-738 Gavin Bishop MST 2017 b-606 Darryn Joseph and Gavin Bishop a MST 2017-102
Michel Mulipola and Spiderman at Rototuna High School-289 Sally Sutton c MST 2017-684 Tessa Duder at Feilding Intermediate School MST 2017 -718

About the Story Tour

Each year as part of the Storylines Festival, Storylines Story Tours have brought New Zealand writers and illustrators into schools, homeschool groups, early childhood centres, community groups and libraries. The Storylines National Festival Story Tour will, as in the past, be provided at no cost to schools, early childhood centres and community venues. 

This is a rare opportunity for students to meet their literary heroes and to get insights and answers to some of those burning questions: Where do their ideas come from? What was the inspiration? How did they know they wanted to become a writer or illustrator? How did they make their dream a reality?

Schools, homeschool groups, early childhood centres, community groups and libraries are invited to apply for a visit or to be a host for the Storylines National Festival Story Tours. There is already high demand for Storylines National Festival Story Tour visits, so make sure you make an early application.

Please read 'What happens on the Story Tour?'  before completing the online Storylines National Festival Story Tour application form to register your interest. 

What happens on the Story Tour?
The aim of Story Tours is for 'under fives' and school pupils of all ages to meet the creators of books they've read and enjoyed, learn something about books and publishing, and to inspire students to undertake their own artistic, literary and dramatic efforts.

The Story Tour Coordinator plans the itineraries to maximise the time visiting authors and illustrators can spend with students and members of the public in a district (e.g. by spending a full day in Tauranga). We welcome and are grateful to schools or libraries prepared to host children from two or three neighbouring schools or early childhood centres. The Coordinator aims to match the guest authors and/or illustrators to the interests and age group of the audience. 

Suitable venues within a school may be the library, the school hall or a classroom, depending on numbers. Or there may be a community hall or library in your area able to host the visit.The authors are appreciative of teachers' efforts to prepare the students for their specific visiting author (names of their books, some biographical information etc).

Depending on the schedule, a school may be asked to provide morning tea or light lunch for the authors and illustrators and their supporters (usually driver and navigator).

2017 Storylines National Festival Story Tour programme

Northland Story Tour
  • Monday 8 May - Friday 12 May 2017
  • Applications closed
South Auckland/ Waikato Story Tour
  •  Monday 19 June (Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau)
  • Includes an ECE/ Pre-schoolers/ NE/ Yr1  AM session 
  • School years 4-6 PM session - Applications have now closed as this session is now fully booked.
  •  Applications closed
  •  Tuesday 20 June - Friday 23 June 2017 (Waikato)
  •  Read more here about the Story Tour at Vodafone Events Centre, and here about the tour to South Auckland and Waikato.
  • Two of the participants in the South Auckland and Waikato Story Tours held in June were interviewed on Radio Waatea's breakfast show . Listen to the interviews here:
    Zak Waipara with Dale Husband
    David Riley with Claudette Hauiti
Bay of Plenty/ Tauranga Story Tour
  • Monday 7 August - Friday 11 August 2017
  • Applications closed
Palmerston North Story Tour
  • Monday 21 August - Friday 25 August 2017
  • Applications close 24 July
  • Applications closed
Nelson/ Blenheim Story Tour
  • Monday 11 September - Friday 15 September 2017
  • Applications close 21 August
  • Apply here
Queenstown/ Invercargill Story Tour
  • Monday 25 September - Friday 29 September 2017
  • Applications close 4 September
  • Apply here

Need more information?

Do you want us to visit you but would like more info? Please contact the Story Tour Coordinator. 

Background: Changes to Storylines' Festival programme in 2017

For 23 years, the Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand has delivered its annual national Festival of New Zealand’s Children’s Writers and Illustrators through six Festival Family Days (Northland, Auckland, South Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin) and two Story Tours (Auckland/South Auckland and Northland). Over this time hundreds of thousands of young people and their families have engaged in interactive programmes that allowed children and young people to meet their literary heroes, celebrated and promoted New Zealand children’s writers and illustrators, and encouraged a lifelong love of books.

After the 2016 Festival, Storylines Trustees and management decided that it was timely to refresh and rejuvenate the format of Storylines’ annual programmes for the benefit of young readers, writers and illustrators, and the wider literary community, in order to better meet the changing needs of our audiences and stakeholders. 

In replacing the previous Festival format with a National Story Tour, Storylines will expand into new regions and continue to promote Storylines' aims of:
•    nurturing a love of reading and writing by young people of all ages in a range of genres: fiction, non-fiction, graphic, oral and digital;
•    supporting  the work and professional development of New Zealand’s writers and illustrators of books for children and young people;
•    developing an appreciation of the power of children's literature in supporting the development of cultural identity and literacy in children and young adults throughout New Zealand.  

Building on the success and appeal of the current Story Tours, the Storylines National Festival Story Tour will extend the Storylines Auckland/South Auckland and Northland Story Tours across New Zealand. The Story Tours have been particularly well received over many years, as they take activities that promote young people’s active engagement with children’s literature directly into schools and community centres where our young people are based, in partnership with other organisations and Storylines’ collaborative networks in the field of literature and literacy.

The new National Festival Story Tour will be linked to Storylines’ established events and programmes such as Storylines Margaret Mahy and National Awards Day in April, and the Betty Gilderdale Award presentation in November, creating a comprehensive annual calendar of children and young people’s literary events, all connected to the Storylines National Festival Story Tour. Participating children’s writers and illustrators will include celebrated Storylines Notable Books and Storylines Awards winners.

The new Storylines national tour will visit community venues and facilities in metropolitan and regional centres, smaller cities and towns in both the North and South Islands, extending Storylines’ regional reach to communities that have not previously had access to the central city-based Storylines’ Festival Family Days. 

The programme of events on tour in each region will include interactive presentations, storytelling and performances by local and touring writers and illustrators, together with evening workshops and panel discussions for adults. Programme content will be developed directly with the communities we visit to reflect cultural diversity and te reo Maori. It will also include a digital component to enable young people to engage with and participate in the tour online.  

Storylines is seeking a collaborative partners to design and produce accompanying and supporting digital materials, as well as local and national support for other elements of the programme to complement its currently well-established partnerships with publishers, booksellers and other commercial sponsors and funders, as well as engaging volunteers in each region to engage and galvanise their local community.



The Storylines Trust and Foundation together comprise New Zealand's only national organisation working year-round specifically to promote children's and young adult literature through an annual Festival in six regions, author awards, publications, advocacy and other activities ... 



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Storylines welcomes support for all its activities and events. Whether as sponsors or as volunteers for Festival events or task groups, your contribution (large or small) towards helping children grow up to love books and stories will be hugely valued ...