The National Book Council is pleased to announce that applications for the National Book Prize 2017 (for books published in 2016) are out, as well as those for Terramaxka – The National Book Prize for Children and Adolescents. This prestigious award selects and awards publications of the year before (in this case, 2016) that meet a set of very high standards, both in terms of literary value and in terms of quality of publication.

In addition to prizes for publications, the National Book Prize will also feature the Lifetime Achievement Award for Contribution to Literature, which last year was awarded to Mario Azzopardi. Previous winners of the Award include Prof. Gottfried Wettinger in 2014 and Maria Grech Ganado in 2015. The Award is awarded to scholars, writers or poets who have left their mark in the history of Maltese scholarship and literature. Apart from the prize, the winner is honoured in an event set up during the Malta Book Festival of the following year.

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Another prize which is not related to a particular publication is the Prize for the Best Emerging Writer. Last year’s prize was awarded to Leanne Ellul, who was also the winner of the Literary Contest ‘Novels for Youth’ 2013-2014 with her novel ‘Gramma’.

With reference to the prizes for publications, there are in total seven categories for books for adults and six categories for the Terramaxka Prize. Every category is allowed more than one prize so long as the books submitted exceed the 90% mark. This is meant to ensure that the most prestigious book prize in our country does not degenerate into a competitive contest in which a low-quality work could win if it is even slightly better than the rest. The adjudication process is based on a system of detailed criteria that target literariness as well as style, originality and design. Changes have been made to the translation criteria with the aim of making them more tailored to the evaluation of translated texts.

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Nominated books will be announced before the National Book Festival and lists of both nominated and winning books will be advertised via several media channels in an extended publicity campaign that covers and goes beyond the period from the publication of the shortlist to the announcement of the winners. The National Book Prize ceremony, during which the names of the winners are revealed, will be held in December at Auberge de Castille under the patronage of the Prime Minister.


Press this link to access the regulations and criteria on the National Book Council official website:

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