StoryBoard is a Byron Writers Festival initiative aimed at getting young people excited about literature, literacy and creativity whilst giving them the tools to create their futures.
Bringing leading authors and illustrators into schools, StoryBoard inspires young people to create stories, fosters creativity and literacy in our communities, and serves to move kids out of disadvantage.
Our workshops come at no cost to the teacher or school; all of StoryBoard’s programs are free of charge. StoryBoard will visit over 100 schools in Northern Rivers, NSW in 2017.
StoryBoard is a regional adaptation of the wonderful work of the Sydney Story Factory, in turn inspired by work of author Dave Eggers and his ‘826’ creative writing centres in the USA.
Free activities, a project-based approach, adult support for students through volunteer tutors, and publishing participant’s work are the principle ideas which StoryBoard will also follow. And of course, the key ingredient, as Dave Eggers says, is to “Keep it weird”.
All these centres are based in weird and wonderful shop fronts, such as the Martian Embassy in Sydney and The Pirate Supply Shop in San Francisco. StoryBoard aims to raise money for a bus to carry the Storyteller and volunteer tutors directly to schools. The StoryBoard bus – which will be a work of art in itself– and our workshop approach will create the ‘weirdness’ to inspire children, teachers and schools across the Northern Rivers of NSW.
StoryBoard will go to both primary and secondary schools, with a focus on under-resourced and disadvantaged school groups between ages 8-18. Our goal for 2017 and onwards is to reach 3000 kids per year.
Our vision is to ignite every child with the inspiration to write and tell their story. We hope to achieve that by creating a fun and imaginative space in which children can discover the joys and the value of writing.
“This extraordinary project will give stories, and the power of stories, back to the children who most need them. It may make them better readers; encourage them to find ambitions and further education; imagine what they and Australia may become and give them tools to get there. But, before all that, it will give them joy and confidence. Never underestimate the power of story.”
– Jackie French, Australian Children’s Laureate 2014-2015, Senior Australian of the year 2015
StoryBoard runs monthly masterclasses at Lismore City and Ballina Library. These masterclasses offer StoryBoarders the chance to develop their creative writing skills and stories with support of an author and volunteer tutors.
For more information, please contact our Project Manager:
Tristan Bancks is a children’s and teen author with a background in acting and filmmaking. His books include Two Wolves (recognised as an Honour Book in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards, as well as winner of the YABBA and KOALA Children’s Choice Awards), the My Life series (weird-funny-gross short stories featuring Tom Weekly) and Mac Slater, Coolhunter. His short films as writer and director have won a number of awards and have screened widely in festivals and on TV. Tristan is excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create.
Kate Forsyth is the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books, including The Witches of Eileanan and Rhiannon’s Ride fantasy series for adults. She completed a doctorate in fairytale retellings and the novels that have come out of this fascination include the winner of the 2015 American Libraries Association Prize for Historical Fiction, Bitter Greens, The Wild Girl and the forthcoming The Beast’s Garden. Her books have been published in seventeen different countries, including Japan, Poland, Spain, Russia and Turkey. Kate has also written series for children of all ages and the contemporary novel Dancing on Knives.
Author & Program Lead
Jesse Blackadder finally had enough of people asking if she was related to Rowan Atkinson. She travelled to Scotland to find the origins of her surname and discovered the ruins of Blackadder House on the banks of the Blackadder River. The Raven’s Heart grew from there. Born in Sydney, Jesse now lives near Byron Bay. She is an award-winning short story writer and freelance journalist, fascinated by landscapes and belonging. Her first novel was After the Party. She is writing her next novel about the first woman to reach Antarctica.