With the participation of guest authors, publishers, and those working in the field of books and writing, the Malta Book Festival annually puts up a rich programme of events and activities. Literary Speed Dating is a new opportunity for all those of you interested in the world of publishing to get to know these people better, ask the questions you’ve been meaning to ask, or establish new professional relationships.

You will have the possibility to engage in conversation with your favourite author, pitch your project to a local publisher, or discuss ways to make inroads in the book industry with an established professional.

The format is a 15-minute one-on-one meeting with an author or industry professional of your choice. Throughout the Festival, publishers, proofreaders, local and international writers, illustrators, proofreaders and more will be dedicating an hour to a literary speed-dating session which will be taking place at the Authors’ Hub, Sacra Infermeria Hall.

Please make sure to book your meeting in advance! Follow the links below to book your meeting with this year’s participants.

Wed 6 November

17:30-18:30U.S. writer Kali Wallace

Kali Wallace studied geology and earned a PhD in geophysics before she realized she enjoyed inventing imaginary worlds more than she liked researching the real one. She is the author of the young adult novels Shallow Graves and The Memory Trees and the middle grade fantasy City of Islands. Her first novel for adults, the science fiction horror-thriller Salvation Day, was published by Berkley in 2019. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, F&SF, Asimov’s, Tor.com, and other speculative fiction magazines. After spending most of her life in Colorado, she now lives in southern California

Thur 7 November


17:30-18:30Publisher Audrey Cassar (BDL , Malta)

After practicing law in the United States, Audrey Cassar returned to Malta in 2017 and has wholly immersed herself in Book Distributors Ltd. taking care of the daily management and constantly looking for ways to bring the next great publication to the general public.  Audrey is also a fan of digital reading and as director at Octavo MT she is currently involved in their next educational project offering levelled Maltese readers to primary students in Malta.



18:30-19:30Printing professional Franco Portelli (Gutenberg Press, Malta)

Franco Portelli is Head of Business Development at Gutenberg Press Ltd., a leading European printing company and the largest printing press in Malta with over 35 years’ experience offering printing services.



20:00-21:00UK writer Jon Courtenay Grimwood

Jon Courtenay Grimwood was born in Malta and christened in the bell of a ship. He grew up in the Far East, Britain and Scandinavia. He has written for The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian and The Independent. Felaheen, the third of his novels featuring Asraf Bey, a half-Berber detective, won the BSFA Award for Best Novel. So did End of the World Blues, about an on-the-run British sniper running an Irish bar in Tokyo. He’s been shortlisted for numerous other awards including the Arthur C Clarke, the British Fantasy Award, the John W Campbell & Le Prix Montesquieu. He writes spy novels, literary novels and SSF.



Fri 8 November


17:30-18:30Publisher Joanne Micallef (FARAXA Publishing)

Joanne Micallef is the Founder and Director of FARAXA Publishing, established with the aim of publishing literary and non-literary translations, while not excluding other genres of writing.

FARAXA has published translations in the Maltese language of the works of renowned authors such as Baum, Camus, de Maupassant, Fournier, Reza, Schmitt and Weiss, among others and introduced major Maltese authors onto the global market with publications in the English, Maltese, German, Italian and Spanish languages.


19:00-20:00Publisher Sarah Davis-Goff (Tramp Press Ireland) – Booked up!

Sarah Davis-Goff (Ireland) launched Tramp Press together with Lisa Coen in 2014 with the aim of finding, nurturing and publishing exceptional literary talent.

Tramp Press is committed to finding only the best and most deserving books, by new and established writers and have subsequently published critically acclaimed authors including Thomas Morris, Sara Baume, Joanna Walsh, and Mike McCormack. She is also the author of the post-apocalyptic novel Last Ones Left Alive (Tinder Press, 2019).

Sat 9 November


10:00-11:00Publisher Gordon Pisani (Kite Group, Malta)

Gordon Pisani is the co-founder and Director of Kite Group Publishing.

Kite publishes its own titles which aim to be contemporary and provide readers with high quality reading material and also also offers its services to publish prepared material in close co-operation with its clients.


17:00-18:00Printing professional David Camilleri (Gutenberg Press, Malta)

David Camilleri is Head of Commercial at Gutenberg Press Ltd.





19:00-20:00 Maltese proofreader and translator Kevin Saliba

Kevin Saliba is a writer, translator and researcher. In 2006 he published Ħbula Stirati with four other poets while some of his translations appeared in literary magazines Il-Malti (Akkademja tal-Malti) and Leħen il-Malti (Għaqda tal-Malti). In 2015 published a collection of Maltese translations of several poems of Syrian poet Maram al-Masri with title Nisa Bħali. Next year will publish a translation of the play Huis Clos (Bil-Bieb Mitbuq) by Jean-Paul Sartre. His research interests include Continental Philosophy, Existentialism, the Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Language, Translation studies and the Biblical translation work of Peter Paul Saydon.

17:30-18:30Journalist and writer Teodor Reljic (Malta)

Born in Belgrade (1985) but raised in Malta (1992-present), Teodor Reljic is a writer of fiction, a freelance feature and copywriter, and culture editor and film critic at MaltaToday. His debut novel, Two, is published by Merlin Publishers. He has previously been published in Weird Fiction Review, Le Monde N’Est Pas Rond and Filmkrant. He is currently busy scripting MIBDUL, Malta’s very first serialized comic, which will be illustrated by Inez Kristina and launched in 2019 through Merlin Publishers. He read English and obtained his Master’s degree from the University of Malta in 2010.




17:30-18:30Book editor and proofreader Elizabeth Cortis (Proofreading Malta)

Elizabeth Cortis is an English language proofreader and book editor and owner of Proofreading Malta. In her role as proofreader, she provides proofreading and editing services to university students, academics, government agencies, and corporations. In her role as book editor, she gives writers candid and objective feedback on their writing and advise them on how to transform their manuscript into a book that sells. She has edited a substantial amount of books of varying genres including children’s literature, non-fiction (philosophy, business, self-help) and fiction.


18:30-19:30 Graphic designer Marco Scerri (Malta)

Marco Scerri is a graphic designer based in Glasgow, Scotland. He was first introduced to graphic design through his father and grandfather. After graduating in graphic design from the Edinburgh College of Art, he studied photography and visual communication at the Glasgow School of Art. His work includes the design of a number of prestigious art books.


20:00-21:00Publisher Tony Ward (Arc Publishers, UK)

Tony Ward is Managing Editor / Director of Arc Publications. He founded the Press in 1969, and set about introducing new work to an eager readership, initially through a series of hand-produced pamphlets and later through full collections. Fifty years on, Tony Ward runs the press, now a limited liability company, with fellow director Angela Jarman and an Editorial Board of three, producing upwards of 25 new titles a year. He still adheres to his founding principles: to introduce the best of new talent to a UK readership, including voices from overseas that would otherwise remain unheard in this country, and to remain at the cutting edge of contemporary literature.

Arc Publishers have recently published a selection of Immanuel Mifsud’s poetry in English under the title The Play of Waves.



19:00-20:00Irish writer Dave Rudden

Dave Rudden (Ireland) is the award-winning author of the KNIGHTS OF THE BORROWED DARK trilogy, as well as the Doctor Who anthology TWELVE ANGELS WEEPING. He has spoken in over 500 schools and libraries over three continents, and enjoys cats, adventure and being cruel to fictional children.













12:00-13:00Graphic designer Steve Scicluna (Malta, Spain)

Steven Scicluna (1984) is a graphic artist that operates in the space between fine art, illustration and graphic design. His work is defined by a continuous conversation between the inner and the outer worlds, finding graphic parallels between personal spiritual exploration and the cultures, architectures, climates and natural forms that surround us collectively. He is currently based in Valencia, Spain.


18:00-19:00Maltese writer Loranne Vella

Loranne Vella is a writer, translator and performer. Between 2007–2009 she co- wrote the three volumes of the Fiddien Trilogy with Simon Bartolo – each of which won the National Book Prize. Rokit, her first novel for adults, was published to critical and public acclaim in March 2017, and won the National Book Prize in 2018. She lives in Brussels, where she directs the interdisciplinary performance art group Barumbara Collective. Their latest performance – Verbi: mill-bieb ‘il ġewwa – was based on Vella’s collection of short stories mill-bieb ‘il ġewwa, due for publication in November 2019 by Ede Books.

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