It has become a respected fixture on the literary calendar, attracting big-name authors from all over the UK.

The Aye Write! book festival began yesterday in Glasgow with a diverse, confident programme incorporating music, sport, history, fiction and erotica, and with special events commemorating the late, great Iain Banks and Nelson Mandela's visit to Glasgow. In a city renowned for the spoken and written word it has become a wonderful celebration of both, and The Herald is proud to be its media partner.

Aye Write! does not require audiences merely to sit and listen, but encourages participation: this year, it incorporates workshops on writing in a wide range of different forms, including poetry, historical fiction, sketches and soap opera scripts. It will not be a referendum-free zone, but even that great debate is having to take its place among equally important issues, from the day-to-day battle for equality of the sexes to the drive to improve health in Scotland. As always, there will also be a clutch of celebrity names, including Al Murray and Frankie Boyle.

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Aye Write! is no niche festival, but broad in its scope, offering something for all. Long may it continue.