Get ready for the much-anticipated Malta Book Festival, a celebration of literature that goes outside conventional boundaries, taking place from 18 to 22 October at the MFCC, Ta’ Qali.

The festival is set to enrich the visitor experience with an array of collaborations and special events involving key cultural entities. Among these, ‘VII/Fidwa,’ an hour-long concert headlined by the acclaimed musical duo The New Victorians and organized by Teatru Malta and the National Book Council, is poised to captivate the audience. The concert weaves a musical narrative around the historic Sette Giugno riots while adding a multi-sensory dimension to Ninu Cremona’s literary classic, Il-Fidwa tal-Bdiewa. Book your tickets here.

The National Book Council’s commitment to nurturing an appreciation of the Maltese written word shines through in ‘Il-Malti: Il-Mixja sal-Għarfien Uffiċjali’, presented by Heritage Malta and l-Akkademja tal-Malti and offering a compelling journey through the evolution of the Maltese language.

While celebrating Maltese literature is at the heart of the festival, it also provides an international dimension, maintaining a strong connection to the Maltese context. One notable event is the launch of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in Malta, featuring Constantia Soteriou, the 2019 prize winner from Cyprus. Soteriou will engage in a captivating interview with poet Elena Cardona, marking the beginning of an exciting opportunity for Maltese writers to submit their work to this prestigious prize for the first time in Maltese, thanks to a partnership with the National Book Council.

The Gibraltar National Book Council will also engage in conversation with its Maltese counterpart, in what is bound to be a fruitful discussion as representatives from both countries compare-and-contrast their literary contexts. The Plaza Prizes Award-Giving Ceremony will feature readings from previous winners of this prestigious award, hosted by the Festival’s special guest Sam Blake, while Istituto Italiano di Cultura and the German-Maltese Circle will also host a number of events aimed at Italian and German-speaking visitors. 

The visual aspects of book production and presentation also take center stage at the festival. The second edition of ‘From Illustration To Book,’ a collaboration between the National Book Council and Arts Council Malta, pays homage to Malta’s contemporary book illustrators and designers, while honouring pioneers in the field, and includes a section of artwork selected from the Malta Community of Illustrators’ 2023 Annual. Simultaneously, the Interactive Mural, led by artist Matthew Demarco and organized in collaboration with The Malta Community of Illustrators, invites active participation from the public, demonstrating that illustration can be a powerful tool for positive change.

Publishers such as Praspar Press, Kite Group, Kotba Calleja and Inanna Publishers will be delivering tailor-made events catering to varied audiences.

Other notable collaborations include those with Inspire Foundation and APS Bank (who have set up the Sensory Friendly Room), the Energy & Water Agency (EWA), Gutenberg Press, Ġemma, San Anton School, the National Literacy Agency, while renowned theatre performer Simone Spiteri will be proving entertainment for primary school children with a performance inspired by award-winning Maltese books for younger readers.

As the 2023 Malta Book Festival approaches, it promises to be an exceptional journey into the world of literature, art, and culture. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the boundless possibilities of storytelling and creative expression. Join us at the MFCC, Ta’ Qali, from 18 to 22 October, and allow us to take you #beyondbooks.

Entrance to the Festival is free of charge. Some events require free online registration. VII/Fidwa is the only ticketed event in the programme (book here). Please follow the NBC website, and the NBC Facebook page and Malta Book Festival 2023 Facebook page.

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