This morning at 9:00 am the Minister for Education and Employment, the Hon. Evarist Bartolo, and the Executive Chairman of the National Book Council, Mark Camilleri, held a press conference to announce the 2016 edition of the Malta Book Festival at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta. The festival will be open to the public from 9th to 13th November, mornings and evenings. Weekday mornings are reseved for young readers and schoolchildren and special activities have been prepared for them, including drama and adventure activities. There will be other child-oriented activities in the evenings as well. The festival will feature a good number of conferences on a wide variety of topics, book launches and presentations, meetings with the authors and an exhibition on book-binding. As is now customary, a number of authors of international renown will make an appearance at the festival and participate both in conferences and in events dedicated to their lives and work.

The participants for this year include virtually all local publishers, major bookshops and book distributors, public entities and NGOs. In particular, Malta Libraries has taken a very active role in this year’s edition of the festival, working with both the National Book Council and the National Literacy Agency to set up activities meant to encourage the young to read more. This is in keeping with the Ministry’s mission to raise the level of literacy and reading among local communities.

Foreign languages are also represented with the  very active participation of the Italian Cultural Centre, the Spanish Embassy and the French Embassy, whose stand will be host to Librairie ‘La Boucherie’ Paris and Biblionef, an NGO that distributes books in over 66 countries.

The winner of last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, poetess Maria Grech Ganado, will have an event dedicated to her work and life. This is a unique opportunity for members of the public to meet the poetess in person, and also to listen to her poetry being recited by professional readers.

Utmost care has been taken  both to publicize the event and to make sure the public benefits from all possible amenities. In fact, there will be a shuttle service running from next to the Independence monument in Floriana to the Mediterranean Conference centre all day at the weekend.

The Ministry for Education and Employment, together with the organising body of the festival, The National Book Council, invite all members of the public to attend and make the most out of this festival, which is without doubt a major highlight in the cultural calendar of the island.

Download the full programme of events from this link: mbf-2016-programme-eng-for-web

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