Cover Stories: Cheltenham Festival of Literature; Man Booker Prize in braille

More than 400 writers - from Martin Amis to Robert Winston, Kate Adie to Claire Tomalin - will be appearing at this year's Cheltenham Festival of Literature, from Friday 10 to Sunday 19 October. The Independent (the festival's media sponsor) has five "Golden Tickets" to give away. Each one will allow the bearer to claim a maximum of two free tickets for each event (excluding children's events, workshops, walks, lunches or sold-out events). To apply for a Cheltenham Golden Ticket, simply send a postcard with your name, address and daytime telephone number to: Golden Tickets, Books Desk, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, to arrive by Wednesday 1 October. The winners will be chosen at random and all normal Independent competition rules apply: see www.

Lots of good things seem to be flowing from this year's Man Booker Prize, beyond a shortlist that features a record number of women (four) and two small publishers. Another first is funding from the Booker Prize Foundation to produce all six titles in Braille by the end of this month, two weeks ahead of the prize ceremony. Usually, it takes around four months to produce a book in Braille. The new initiative is a partnership between Man Booker and the National Library for the Blind, which has persuaded publishers to provide digital files for direct conversion to Braille.