Dumbarton book fans have a unique chance next month to meet a clutch of well-known authors and personalities at a host of special events staged just minutes from their front doors.

This year's Booked! Festival of Words starts on Saturday, May 7, with an appearance by Gregor Fisher, the actor best known for his role as string-vested Govan philosopher Rab C Nesbitt - who's now the subject of a biography by journalist Melanie Reid.

By stark contrast journalist Erwin James - who served 20 years of a life sentence - will offer a very personal perspective on prison reform when he delivers the Alastair Pearson Lecture at Gartocharn on Monday, May 9.

These are just a couple of highlights from this year's festival, which for the first time in its 14-year history will see at least one event staged in each of West Dunbartonshire's eight libraries.

The busy 2016 programme also includes appearances by journalist and novelist Neil Mackay, who will be discussing his historical epic The Wolf Trial - which centres on murder and superstition in 16th century Germany - and up and coming crime writer Claire McGowan, who will be talking about her Paula Maguire series (currently tipped for TV adaptation).

On May 12 and 13 Orcadian Amy Liptrot recalls her battle with alcohol addiction in her memoir The Outrun, and Brooke Magnanti (whose previous work was adapted for TV as The Secret Diary of a Call Girl) will be introducing her new crime thriller, The Turning Tide.

This year’s Booked! festival will also include a series of special events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Clydebank Blitz.

Leading Scottish artist Tom McKendrick, from Clydebank, will speak about the terrible events of 1941 and how it has inspired his work, while local authors Meg Henderson, Sue Reid Sexton and Cathy Forde will each host events reflecting on the two nights of bombing which caused the greatest civilian loss of life in Scotland of the Second World War.

Week two events include Aberdonian ex-pat Iain Maloney looking at the impact of the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster on a family with his new novel The Waves Burn Bright, and - in a dramatic change of tempo - an evening of music and discussion with Scottish folk legend Jimmie Macgregor.

Education services convener Councillor Michelle McGinty said: “Booked! is growing in reputation and popularity every year, and 2016 will be no exception judging by the fantastic programme our libraries and cultural service staff have put together. There really is something for everyone, and with such a varied range of authors, journalists, poets and musicians I hope as many people as possible will turn out to enjoy it.”

Booked! events are free but ticketed (except for a £5 charge for Rally and Broad cabaret on May 16).

The full brochure is available online at www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/booked2016, and tickets will go on sale at www.wdcbooked.eventbrite.co.uk on Monday, April 25.

You can also book tickets in person at your local library.