The Malta Independent 20 May 2024, Monday
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The 2023 Malta Book Festival programme of events is out

Sunday, 17 September 2023, 08:30 Last update: about 8 months ago

The National Book Council released the programme of events and the promotional video for the 2023 Malta Book Festival during a press conference held at the National Library of Malta in Valletta. The Minister for Education Clifton Grima and the NBC Executive Chairperson, Mark Camilleri, addressed the audience.


Going #beyondbooks

The programme of events of the 2023 MBF includes about 100 events over five days between Wednesday 18 and Sunday 22 October. The events - free of charge and held in designated halls at the Malta Fairs & Conventions Centre (MFCC), Ta' Qali - range from shows and activities for the family and students, to book launches and discussions, writing workshops, performative readings, and professional meet-ups between the public and book industry stakeholders.



This year's edition of the festival carries the theme #beyondbooks, highlighting the medium's potential to transcend the written word and manifest itself in various media - from illustration to audio, theatre to film adaptation. A quick glance at the programme reveals this philosophy in action: boasting some 50 exhibitors and a series of events featuring high-profile local and international guests, the Festival continues to serve its mission as the most prominent book event of the Maltese islands.


Access the full programme of events here.


Nurturing local talent through international collaboration

Every year, the NBC invites a host of international guests who transport the local reading community beyond Malta's borders. With the aim of nurturing Maltese talent and widening its possibilities, this year the MBF will offer opportunities for writers, editors, translators, illustrators and publishers to attend workshops and discussions on writing held by our esteemed guests throughout the Festival.


The NBC is proudly welcoming bestselling author Sam Blake, three-time shortlistee for Irish Novel of the Year. Her publications include her seventh bestseller The Mystery of Four (Corvus, 2023), and her YA debut Something Terrible Happened Last Night (Gill Books, 2023).

The NBC will also be hosting writer and children's books editor Charlie Castelletti. He is the author of The Manor House Governess (Alcove Press, 2023) under the pseudonym C.A. Castle, a picture book author for young children, and a poetry anthologist with Macmillan.


Literary agent and publishing consultant Simon Trewin, agent of bestselling authors such as Sam Blake and John Boyne, as well as Praspar Press editors Jen Calleja and Kat Storace, publishers of the annual Maltese-writing-in-English anthology Scintillas: New Maltese Writing, are joining the 2023 MBF guest list to share their expertise with the Maltese audience. Local author Clare Azzopardi is also accompanying our international invitees to take part in an event related to her novel Castillo (Merlin Publishers, 2018) and its upcoming film adaptation.


In his speech, Mr Camilleri observed that in line with the Festival's theme, this year the NBC is collaborating with various entities to draw up a cultural programme that truly offers an experience of storytelling #beyondbooks. The collaborations mentioned include: the From Illustration to Book exhibition curated with Arts Council Malta; the sensory-friendly room for children on the autism spectrum with Inspire Foundation; the concert VII/Fidwa with Teatru Malta and The New Victorians; the exhibition Il-Malti: Il-Mixja sal-Għarfien Uffiċjali with Heritage Malta and L-Akkademja tal-Malti; theatre shows for children based on Terramaxka Prize-winning books with playwright Simone Spiteri; an interactive mural with the Malta Community of Illustrators and Arts Council Malta; a book-to-screen discussion with the Malta Film Commission; and reading sessions for children with the Energy and Water Agency.


Mr Camilleri added that this year's international guests will be offering the local literary community various writing and editing workshops as well as sharing their knowledge of the foreign market. Collaborations with international entities such as the Commonwealth Foundation and the National Book Council of Gibraltar were also announced.


Curating a rich experience for all readers

Additionally, many of the exhibitors will be organising their own events, catering to a rich variety of audiences and literary niches, which would be taking place both at individual stands and the themed halls reflecting this year's theme: Is-Sala tal-Qarrejja, Is-Sala tal-Kittieba, Is-Sala fil-Pjazza and It-Teatru.

During the press conference, Hon. Grima thanked the National Book Council for its work in the crucial field of literature, which includes efforts to promote a culture of reading. "Despite the world being increasingly dominated by digital media, we should never dismiss the wealth of information that a book can hold. Reading is one of the key pillars of education, and it is our responsibility to foster the habit of reading from an early age. It is for this reason that I encourage students to participate in the various activities organised in our schools," Hon. Grima said.


The 2023 Malta Book Festival will be held between 18 and 22 October at the MFCC. Ta' Qali. Please follow the NBC website, and the NBC Facebook page and Malta Book Festival 2023 Facebook page.

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