SOMEWHAT in the shadow of its illustrious big brother in Hay-on-Wye, the second book festival in Blaenafon whirs into action next Tuesday.

Featuring local writers Barbara Erskine, Phil Rickman, Jasper Fforde and Rebecca Tope, this year's programme offers a wider, richer range and increased daytime events.

The ex-mining town secured Objective One funding from Europe to develop the festival, which is well worth supporting - see for full details or call 0870 7601093 for a brochure.

The festival runs from March 1-6 and includes a free programme of early evening live acoustic music.