The Malta Book Festival, held yearly, is the most important book event in the Maltese calendar. The event currently has an attendance rate of 30,000 people and the participation of more than 40 exhibitors. Its cultural programme features well over 50 events in book launches, book presentations, poetry readings, meetings with authors, conferences and seminars.
The Malta Book Festival is held at what used to be the old hospital, the Sacra Infermeria of the Knights of St John, now the Mediterranean Conference Centre, in the first and second week of November. It evolved from the Malta Book Fair, which was first held in 1979, into a festival that celebrates the book culture and seeks to represent the book in its entirety – not just as any object of consumption but as something that involves the reader beyond the confines of the book. For this reason, the event was rebranded as the Malta Book Festival in 2013. You can read more about the history of the Festival here.
As a direct result of this rebranding, the Festival expanded in scope both in terms of participation and as a cultural event. The cultural programme of the Festival now features a wealth of activities, including dramatisations of literary texts, discussions and conferences on literary themes, and expert readings of passages from novels or poetry. Weekday mornings are reserved for school children and students and a special programme of events is prepared for them.
Among the many participants in the Festival, visitors will encounter practically all the publishers, authors and literary agents active on the island. Recently, the international flavour of the Festival has come to the fore with the inclusion of foreign participants, including foreign publishing houses, bookshops, libraries and foreign authors.
Moreover, the Malta Book Festival is one of a series of very important components of the Government’s plan to make Valletta a European Capital of Culture in 2018 and, in this respect, it is fully supporting the Council in developing and enhancing further this event.
Download an application form for participation in the 2017 edition: Malta Book Festival 2017 Application Form