BARNSLEY is gearing up to host its first-ever book festival this week.

It’s set to take place in various locations across the borough from Friday until March 23.

The fully packed programme will feature local and national authors, storytellers, artists, and speakers, celebrating the power of literature and our shared love for reading.

Highlights include Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Mama G performing at the Library @ the Lightbox, as well as the Civic’s first-ever ‘zine’ fair.

To celebrate the LGBTQ+ History Month, the festival has several events showcasing diversity and creativity.

These include Reading With Pride, a panel event featuring authors behind LGBTQIA+ books, A Reyt Queer Do in Darfield with poet Tom Juniper, and a launch of Andrew McMillan’s debut novel ‘Pity’.

Coun Wendy Cain, cabinet spokesperson for public health and communities, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring Barnsley Book Festival to our residents and visitors with an ambitious and diverse programme.

“The festival has something for everyone, whether you’re a book lover, story maker, or just curious about the world of stories, and we hope that the festival will inspire, challenge and entertain the audiences.”