The 2021 Doreen Micallef National Poetry Contest will receive submissions between 14 June – 23 August 2021.

The Doreen Micallef National Poetry Contest is the most prestigious prize for a single poem contest in Maltese. Each year the contest is judged by a new set of judges appointed by the National Book Council.

The jury evaluates all poems anonymously according to a set of criteria which consider authenticity, imagination, distinctiveness of voice, and original use of rhythm and figures of speech. 

Contest winners will be announced and awarded their prize at an official ceremony during the 2020 Malta Book Festival. The jury reserves the right not to issue the awards if it deems submissions not to have reached the required standard.

Three Prizes

First Prize: €1,000
Second Prize: €100 in book vouchers
Third Prize: €50 in book vouchers

How to apply

Contest entries, including a completed application form and four copies of an unpublished original poem in the Maltese language, not exceeding 36 verses in length, are to be sent by post to the National Book Council, Central Public Library, Prof. Joseph J. Mangion Street, Floriana FRN1800

Entries should reach the National Book Council offices by the application period deadline of Monday 23 August 2021 at 12.00pm (noon). Please also submit a scanned and signed copy of your application and poem by email to: [email protected]

We recommend all entrants read the rules carefully before entering.


First prize: Klara Vassallo for Dokumentazzjoni tal-minuti mnikkra fik
Second prize: Louis Briffa for Tgħix Irridek
Third prize: Jesmond Sharples for F’Posti


Dr. Immanuel Mifsud
Nadia Mifsud
John Aquilina


First prize: Nadia Mifsud for ‘Varjazzjonijiet tas-Skiet’
Second prize: Louis Briffa for ‘NES Qaqqari’
Third prize: Ritianne Frendo for ‘Preludju mħarbat’


Dr. Claudine Borg
Prof. Charles Briffa
Antoine Cassar