The support of Creative New Zealand and other funders means there is no charge to the schools.
Each five-day tour features four presenters (authors, illustrators, poets, storytellers). They are chosen by a six-member Storylines panel, including the Story Tour Manager and three who have personal experience of tours. Two are authors with considerable knowledge of the children’s/YA writers’ community; three are children’s/YA librarians familiar with what is being published and read.
The panel aims for a well-balanced team to visit the wide age-range of schools, early childhood education centres, libraries and community groups within each region we visit..
A team can comprise writers of fiction (junior or YA), non-fiction, plays or poetry, along with authors/ illustrators of picture books or graphic novels. They can be published by mainstream or independent publishers, or be self-published. Experienced storytellers are sometimes included.
In addition, for maximum appeal to schools, the panel aims to
Once a team is confirmed, the Story Tour Manager ensures that as far as possible the appropriate writer or illustrator goes to the schools (from early childhood through to secondary), libraries and community groups who have requested a visit.
The panel considers various factors for selection, based on Storylines’ many years’ experience working with early childhood centres, schools, libraries and community groups and running ‘author talk’ events.
The panel looks for presenters with:
The panel acknowledges that the tours should provide Story Tour opportunities for newer writers or illustrators, and aims to be seen as casting its net widely and fairly among both well-known and newer presenters. Those who have appeared on the Storylines Notable Books lists, won a Storylines manuscript/illustration award, appeared in the Book Trust awards and shortlists, are always considered.
Normally if a newer writer has only one or two books, and little or no presenting experience, they are unlikely to be selected.
The regional touring format (the tours having replaced the Storylines National Festival Family Days that ran in the main centres for 23 years), the Storylines Story Tours are developing their unique identity in the author, educational and literary calendars.
There are some misconceptions about the Trust’s purpose in running these regional tours.
Storylines Story Tours are NOT seen by the Storylines Trust as:
The selection panel keeps an extensive database of all children’s writers and illustrators currently or recently published in New Zealand, or winning/shortlisted for awards. It does not, therefore, invite applications.