A POPULAR book festival has returned to Carlisle after a year's absence.

The line up of Borderlines Carlisle Book Festival 2021, which started on September 30 and runs until October 3, is featuring names such as Ruth Jones - from popular sitcom Gavin and Stacey - and Carlisle's very own Grace Dent.

The festival, which first started in 2014 with the aim of promoting an annual celebration of writing and poetry in Carlisle, is back for the first time since 2019 after the 2020 event was cancelled due to Covid-19.

Festival Producer, Lee Randall, said he was "excited" to have had the chance to programme and create a line-up that features a range of fiction and non-fiction writers.

He said: "If crime fiction is your passion, we hope you’ll catch up with M.W. Craven and Claire Askew and turn out to hear Alan Johnson talk about his debut thriller.

"Claire’s also running a writing workshop about avoiding crime fiction clichés, which is sure to be full of top tips. There are five more workshops, as well, including one focussing on nonfiction.

"We’re welcoming acclaimed authors Arifa Akbar and Pragya Agarwal, to talk about illness, family dynamics, and the complicated choices surrounding motherhood."

Restaurant critic and television star, Grace Dent will be at the Crown and Mitre Hotel on Saturday October 2 at 8pm to talk about her memoir, Hungry.

Earlier on in the day at 4.30pm, co-writer and co-star of award-winning BBC sitcom, Gavin and Stacey, Ruth Jones will also be at the Crown and Mitre Hotel to talk about her second novel, Us Three.

A slightly more compact version of the usual event, this years Borderlines Festival will be held in a number of venues around the city, including the Crown & Mitre Hotel, Tullie House, the Tithe Barn and Cakes & Ales café.

Events will include talks, panel discussions and workshops.

Selected events will be live streamed.

Head of Collections & Engagement at Tullie House and Festival Chair, Anna Smalley, said: "We’re absolutely delighted to have Tullie House as one of our Festival venues this year.

"The Museum is an inspirational setting for our workshops and events, and we’re looking forward to welcoming audiences back after a year’s absence."

The festival also includes a satellite event on October 10, which will feature award-winning comedian Robin Ince.

This year's Festival Producer, Lee Randall, is responsible for curating the line-up.

For more information and tickets, visit www.borderlinescarlisle.co.uk.