BRADFORD Literature Festival, celebrating the written and spoken word, gets underway tonight with an all-female comedy line-up.

Over the next 10 days, the festival will present 200 events featuring 350 writers - all in one city.

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and last year's winner of the BBC's Great British Bake Off, Nadia Hussain headline a glittering array of guests at events across the city centre.

Tonight's comedy session, at Theatre in the Mill, is hosted by Maureen Younger and the line-up includes Isma Almas, setting out to dispel myths about Muslim women "while creating twice as many". Drawing on her Bradford council estate roots, Isma's comedy is described as intelligent, warm, challenging and honest. Also hitting the stage are Barbara Nice, aka comedy actress Janice Connolly who was in Channel 4's Phoenix Nights, and comic and actress Julie Jepson.

Also tonight, the University of Bradford hosts an event looking at 'How To Be A Feminist', while at Bradford College Bollywood Jazz takes a journey through cinematic sounds. The life of Islamic scholar, novelist and religious leader Marmaduke Pickthall is explored by his great, great niece Sarah Pickthall at the Midland Hotel.

Tomorrow sees family fun, with a Superheroes Day in City Park featuring a screening of The Incredibles, the Justin Credible Superheroes Show and workshops in Kung Fu, gliding and mask and costume-making.

Emma Vieceli, the illustrator behind the latest Alex Rider graphic novel, will be at the university revealing how she works her magic on the page, offering the chance to have a go. The Midland Hotel sees a digital storytelling masterclass themed around "Your Stories of Bradford", and also at the Midland, Poppy Jaman, chief executive of Mental Health First Aid, hosts "a workshop that could one day save your life".

Other events tomorrow include a discussion on Muslim Women and Political Life, with Bradford West MP Naz Shah and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi; a short story workshop by Thornton writer Michael Stewart; a panel on women's involvement in comics; "Manga Shakespeare", re-working the Bard's works with a futuristic twist; a journey through the history of the Bradford Irish; and Lost Heritage: The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan, examining photographer Amardeep Singh's travelogue.

Over at Impressions gallery, there's a discussion on the work of Maud Sulter, poet and photographic artist of Scottish-Ghanian descent who, in her short but influential career, reinvented the visual imagery of black women and highlighted the longstanding connections between Africa and Europe.

Poet Jo Bell explores '52 Ways to Write a Poem', which made the journey from blog to book, and contemporary black British short stories are discussed by four writers featured in the Closure collection.

The impact of the Syria conflict on the works of writers is explored in discussion, reflection and powerful poetry, while Islamicate Science Fiction sees four writers talking about their own work and other Arabic sci-fi authors.

At Bradford College tonight, Carol Ann Duffy headlines Lyrical Mehfil, an evening of spoken word and performance poetry, featuring a diverse line-up. The event is inspired by traditional Mehfils, entertainment in South Asia performed in the homes of Muslim nobility.

The festival's Fairytales strand gets going in City Park on Sunday with a screening of Disney's Peter Pan and workshops on crown, sword and wand-making. Other events tomorrow include Roma storytelling; a 'Manorexia and Bullying' panel event looking at eating disorders among men; Adoption and Care, with writer Lemn Sissay leading a panel discussing negative myths around life in care; 21st Century Wonder Woman, looking at superheroines in popular culture; a panel of Muslim women discussing The Hijab: Politics Vs Fashion; photographer Tim Smith talking about his book India's Gateway, revealing extraordinary stories of Gujurat and Mumbai; a Jewish heritage tour of Bradford; and a talk by journalist Anita Anand on Sophia Duleep Singh, born into 19th century royalty and a female suffrage fighter.

Author Les Vasey, deputy director of Bradford Police Museum, will be launching his book Chains Charlie: The Ghost of City Hall, and Boyd Tonkin, chair of the Man Booker International Prize, will celebrate this year's longlisted authors.