Malton is ready and raring to go with its first ever Literature Festival this weekend.

Twenty venues in the market town will be hosting 34 literary events in which writers, playwrights, poets and lyricists will be taking part.

As well as a wide range of readings, story-telling for children, writing workshops and plays, there will also be several events focusing on Charles Dickens, who was a regular visitor to Malton.

His works will feature at a lunchtime reading by Dickensian actor, Brian Oxberry, of York, run by The Dickens Society in Malton, on Sunday at noon and 1.30pm at the Counting House Café in The World Wide Shopping Mall. Tickets are £7.50, from the mall.

An exhibition celebrating the work of Herbert Read, the Ryedale poet, writer, academic and anarchist, is being held at Malton Library.

And at 8.30pm on Friday there’s an Erotic Poetry RoadShow, upstairs in The Kings Head.

The offices in Chancery Lane, where Dickens set his classic A Christmas Carol, will be open to the public 10am-4pm on each of the three days.

A musical children’s story-telling by Pied Piper is taking place in Malton Library, 11am-noon and Miles Caine and Oz Hardwick will be appearing in a music and prose event for teenagers at Norton Library on Saturday at 10.30am.

There’s Cooking Up A Storm with Sophie Legard, a cookery demonstration and foodie literature at 2.30pm on Saturday in Malton Relish, and at 3pm-5pm, there’s a drop-in at Ambiente on book collecting with tips on building up a book collection and book valuation with Richard Todd. Faust the Musical is being staged at Suddaby's Festival Hall at 5pm on Saturday and Rural Arts is running workshops for three-to-six year olds, while Allie Spencer is to lead a workshop of readings and romantic comedy at Tuis Restaurant Yorkersgate on Sunday at1pm.

Author Suzanne Marshall will be signing copies of her historical novel The Mill Children, and poet Bob Jackman, his book of Diverse Verses at Hoppers in Malton from noon on Saturday.

Malton town ambassador Sarah Lally-Marle said: “We have tried to ensure that the festival has something for everyone, from toddlers to adults.”

Programmes, ticket prices and booking information are available from Malton Tourist Information Centre or visit l Eight town criers from all parts of the country, will be taking part in the first Town Criers Championship to be held in Malton and Norton.

They will don their impressive uniforms at The Old Lodge Hotel on Saturday morning then parade to Norton to start their cries at The Derwent Arms car park at 11.30am and then head to Malton to shout in the town centre from 2.30pm.