HUNDREDS of events and special guests feature in this year's Bradford Literature Festival, which begins today.

The festival runs until May 29 and will include contributions from authors, poets and filmmakers.

It is a celebration of the arts, history and the world of words, not just in book form but also on the stage and screen, in performance poetry, on the pages of comics and in cultural debates.

2016 guests include Great British Bake Off national treasure Nadiya Hussein, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, socialist Harry Leslie Smith and Egyptian feminist Mona Eltahawy.

A spokesman for the festival's organisers said: "As Yorkshire folk, we're passionate about our county's wider literary life too, so across the festival people will be able to walk in the footsteps of Charlotte Brontë, look for ghosts at City Hall and hear triumphant verse on the theme of death and dying from local poets.

"The festival is about looking out as well as within, so we have plenty of international flavours.

"A great example is our Lyrical Mehfil, a poetry event based on a fusion of traditional South Asian poetry symposiums and European tapas dining.

"We're keeping the international theme going with events including artistic reactions to the unfolding events in Syria, and a workshop with world renowned calligrapher Haji Noor Deen Mi Guang Jiang.

"For families we have a huge range of free events including live wizard duels set in the Harry Potter universe, open air film screenings, craft workshops and storytelling sessions, with fancy dress very much encouraged."

The festival is being presented in association with Provident Financial.

Peter Crook, chief executive of Provident Financial Group, said: “We're delighted to support the festival as it grows in size and stature.

"This year’s programme once again promises to reach across the communities of Bradford, demonstrating an international vision, and offering inspiration to young readers."

The full programme and tickets are now available. Visit or follow the festival @bradfordlitfest on Twitter and Facebook for more details.