The 2022 Malta Book Festival’s cultural programme features more than one hundred major events aimed at the general public, children and their families, and publishing industry professionals: book launches, book presentations, dramatic performances, workshops and conferences. A number of events target the main stakeholders of the National Book Council (NBC) – publishers, authors, translators, editors, illustrators, graphic designers. The NBC aims at strengthening professional networks while increasing opportunities for the creative community. All events are free of charge, but some of these sessions require a registration.

Literary Speed-Dating: book your slot

The Literary Speed Dating event on Saturday 26 November will give a unique opportunity to book for a fifteen-minute one-to-one meeting with a number of industry professionals publishing professionals in a private setting. Whether you are looking for advice to take the first step to publishing, or whether you are looking to pitch a book with a publisher, this event will appeal to you.

The professionals available for an individual meeting include John Boyne’s agent Simon Trewin; book editor Elizabeth Cortis; poet laureate Nadia Mifsud; illustrator and art-director Gattaldo; co-founder and publisher at Praspar Press Kat Storace; literary translator Jen Calleja; and prize-winning author and translator Antoinette Borg. Registrations are now open and you can register through this link.

A hotspot for illustrators and graphic designers

At the centre-stage of the Malta Book Festival, alongside the exhibitors’ stand, will be the exhibition From Illustration to Book, a collaboration between the National Book Council  and Arts Council Malta (ACM). The exhibition provides a showcase for illustrators and graphic designers working in and around the publishing industry, where visual arts and literature work hand in hand.

As part of the exhibition programme, ACM will be organising a number of Meet the Artist Sessions. The first session will be held on Wednesday 23 with author Trevor Żahra, followed by another on Thursday 24 with the Malta Community of Illustrators. On Saturday 26, publishers Chris Gruppetta (Merlin Publishers) and Joseph Mizzi (Klabb Kotba Maltin) will be ACM’s special guests, while on Sunday 27, it will be illustrators Marisa Attard and Matt Stroud’s turn. The Malta Community of Illustrators will also be organising their first official meetup event and launching their second volume of their Annual. More details can be found here.

Self-publishing: contribute with your publishing experience

Some self-published authors have chosen to be at MFCC among the exhibitors showcasing and selling their books. A discussion will be held targeting this segment of the publishing world, titled Self Publishing: A Focus on Quality. Writers who decide to self-publish often think they have to do everything on their own. For a self-published book to be taken seriously, it needs to meet the same high standards held by traditional publishing houses. This panel will discuss the route to self-publishing and how industry professionals can ensure a high-quality publication. Author John Bonello will be moderating the discussion with editor Elizabeth Cortis, proofreader Dwayne Ellul, and illustrator and designer Julian Mallia.

Book production

Authors and industry stakeholders will also have the chance to get to know better the process which leads to the production of a book. Representatives from Gutenberg Press will show how a book is made and the full process of book manufacturing – from the design aspect through to the production process and finally the finished bound book.

Confessions of a Literary Agent: is Malta ready for one?

Veteran literary agent Simon Trewin will hold a keynote reflecting on the role of the agent in maximising an author’s potential from a creative and a business perspective. The transition the global publishing world has gone through since the early 1990s will be looked at, with an idea in mind to gather local perspectives to help establish a literary agency in Malta.

Having worked with a host of international bestselling authors, including John Boyne, across books, film, theatre and digital Trewin is well placed to talk about the agent’s role and to answer questions from prospective authors, published authors or individuals looking to embark on a career in publishing. Attendance is by registration on this link.

Live illustration workshop for children

Gattaldo, the illustrator of this year’s Malta Book Festival poster and the author of the children’s book Fearless, will give a one-off one-hour illustration workshop session for children aged 7 to 12. Since the number of participants is limited to twenty, register for a spot here. All materials will be provided.

Travelling Maltese poetry

During the award-giving ceremony of the Doreen Micallef National Poetry Contest on Friday 25 November, the National Book Council will announce the details of its collaboration with Modern Poetry in Translation, the UK poetry magazine that showcases the best of contemporary world poetry. Through this collaboration, a focus section in the 2023 issue for Maltese poetry in English translation will be published.

More details on submissions, regulations and deadlines will be outlined during the event, whose details can be found here.

The Malta Book Festival is the largest and most extensive celebration of the book culture in Malta.It runs between 23-27 November at the following opening hours: on Wednesday and Thursday from 9am-1pm and 5:30pm-9pm; on Friday from 9am-1pm and 5:30pm-10pm; on Saturday from 9:30am-10pm, and on Sunday from 9:30am-8pm.

The full programme of events for the 2022 Malta Book Festival is available online here. For the latest updates, please follow the NBC website, and the NBC Facebook page and Malta Book Festival 2022 Facebook event page.

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