An opening cabaret, debates on Scottish independence and the future of newspapers, a host of popular authors and a new series of creative writing courses are all part of this year's Glasgow book festival.

The eighth Aye Write! festival, which will open on April 12 with music and song in a special cabaret evening, will feature authors and personalities including Sandi Toksvig, Darcey Bussell, Jeremy Vine, Gavin Esler, Tracey Thorn, Louise Welsh, Alasdair Gray, Mark Millar, AL Kennedy, Val MacDermid and James Naughtie.

Tomorrow's edition of The Herald, which is media partner of the event, will include this year's programme for the festival, which runs until April 20 and is based at the Mitchell Library.

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There will be a celebration of 40 years of BBC Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, with Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden; a night celebrating the work of The Herald's former editor Arnold Kemp; and a Scottish independence debate featuring contributions from James Boyle, Alasdair Gray, Pat Kane, Zinnie Harris and Libbie MacArthur.

For the first time, the festival begins with a musical event aimed at a younger audience, as well as the traditional literary audience: the Cookie Cabaret on opening night will feature music from the lauded Scottish band Admiral Fallow, live DJ sets and live art as well as readings from Denise Mina and William Letford.

Also on the opening night, Sandi Toksvig will talk about her novel Valentine Grey, the BBC's Art Editor Will Gompertz will discuss modern art, and Tracey Thorn, singer in Everything But The Girl, will talk about her memoir of life in the pop world.

The Creative Writing sessions involve Glasgow University, Strathclyde University and Glasgow Caledonian University and will hope to inspire new writers, poets and authors.

Tickets for the festival go on sale tomorrow at

Tickets can also be bought by calling 0141 353 8000 or in person at the Mitchell Library, the Royal Concert Hall Box Office and the City Halls Box Office.