The Malta Book Festival had its official opening today at 7:30 pm with the prize-giving ceremony for the Terramaxka Prize 2017, led by Joe Dimech. The ceremony took place at Sir Temi Zammit Hall, Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, presided by the executive chairman of the National Book Council, Mark Camilleri.

Camilleri delivered his opening speech, in which he addressed the issue of the local decline in bookshops, which has had the unfortunate result of forcing some bookshops to transform into virtual stationeries. In his speech, the NBC chairman pointed out a more desirable alternative – the transformation of bookshops into cultural centres, where people come to browse books, read, and meet authors at book launches and other occassions, besides buying books. For this reason, the Book Festival is fulfilling an important role in setting an example for the bookshops to emulate.

The event followed with a reading from Mingu, the winning entry in the category of books for children aged 0 -7 of the Terramaxka Prize 2016. The winners were then announced in order of categories, starting from the youngest age gap, 0-7, up to the eldest, 13 -16.

The winners are listed hereunder:


Category: original works (0-7)

Clare Azzopardi with Il-Qtates ta’ max-Xatt (Merlin Publishers)

Noel Tanti with Fil-kamra ta’ Jonas (Merlin Publishers)


Category: original works (8-12)

John A Bonello with Irvin Vella investigatur virtwali: Il-każ tas-serqiet strambi (Merlin Publishers)


Category: original works (13-16)

Antoinette Borg with Fittixni (Merlin Publishers)


Category: translated works (0-7)

Leanne Ellul with Inħobbok (Merlin Publishers)


Category: translated works (8-12)

Leanne Ellul and Clare Azzopardi with Teresa


Category: prize for the best book production

Merlin Publishers with Il-Qtates ta’ max-Xatt by Clare Azzopardi.


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