Applications for the 2022 Malta Book Fund are now open. New to this year, the Malta Book Fund has a total value of €120,000. It still comprises of two main distinct grant areas funding both the publication and the translation of books, but as of this edition the Fund sees the introduction of two new categories funding the translation of book excerpts and the publication of new editions of out-of-print works. 

As part of its vision to take the role of a cultural-agent within society and become a proactive and progressive contributor to the cultural, educational and intellectual development of our society, the National Book Council developed the Fund to foster cultural growth in the local book market, with the objective in mind to counter the effects of its relatively small size, which seriously limits the capital available for quality publications, research and development, translation and marketing.

For the eighth year in a row, the National Book Council is opening the public call for applications for the Malta Book Fund to encourage authors, translators and publishers not to shun projects on the grounds of lack of commercial viability, and to boost confidence in such initiatives and to ensure their fruition, in order to support local authors, translators and publishers who tend to either curtail their more ambitious projects or take the financial risks involved in pursuing them.

The National Book Council is currently receiving applications for four types of grants: Publishing Grants for New Books; Publishing Grants for New Editions of Out-of-Print Works; Translation Grants (divided into two categories: Translation of Maltese books and Translation of books into Maltese); and Book Translation Pitch Grants.

With the aim of supporting the publication of quality literature and/or works of research, the Publishing Grants for New Books are allocated the annual sum of €50,000. Preference is given to ambitious projects of high cultural value and relevance to the target local market, particularly if such projects face difficulties relating to commercial viability. The grants support applications for the publication of original works of literature, including novels, poetry, drama, biographies, literary nonfiction and graphic novels, as well as academic and scholarly books including monographs, edited collections, and critical editions. Books based solely on imagery or photography books are not eligible.

New to the 2022 edition, the Malta Book Fund Publishing Grants for New Edition of Out-of-Print Works, with an annual allocated budget of €10,000, form part of the National Book Council’s strategy to boost the publication of books in the local market by subsidizing the publication of books in Melitensia. This strand of the Fund aims at bridging the gap between the need to read classics and books of considerable cultural, educational and intellectual importance to society and their unavailability in bookshops, with an eye to specifically subsidize the publication of new editions of books that are out of print and were published at least 20 (twenty) years before the launch of the current Malta Book Fund call. The applicant, who must ensure to include as part of the application pack the research outcome performed to identify rights holder of the book, must include an editorial plan for the new edition of the out-of-print work and illustrate the nature of the project, and make a case that the out-of-print book applied for under this Fund should find again its way into the publishing market, hit the shelves and reach as wide an audience as possible.

The Translation Grants within the Malta Book Fund are allocated an annual budget of €55,000 – €40,000 to support applications for the translation projects of Maltese books (published in the Maltese or English language with a Maltese ISBN) into any other language, with the aim of increasing the international exposure of Maltese creative and academic writing. Through a separate funding category, the annual sum of €15,000 is allocated to fund the translation projects of books from any other language into Maltese, thus supporting Maltese language translators in bringing international works of literature and research to a Maltese-reading public.

With an annual allocated budget of €5,000, for a maximum of €500 euro per book translation excerpt pitch application, the new Malta Book Fund Book Translation Pitch Grants supports applications for the translation of excerpts: of Maltese works published in the Maltese or English language in Malta with a Maltese ISBN into any other language; of works originally published in any other language into the Maltese language; of works originally published in any other language which are going to be pitched through an English language bridge translation. Applicants must also ensure to identify the rights holder in their application and must include a letter of agreement from the text’s author or the rights’ owner (or owners) for the text being translated. This identification has to include the book translation pitch.

All of the grants within the Malta Book Fund adhere to the provisions of the Writers’ Charter of Economic Rights. The grants will be awarded to successful applicants following a competitive adjudication process. A specially-appointed adjudication board evaluates each project to ascertain both the value of the project and funding requirements. All grants awarded may support up to 100% of the proposed project up to a maximum of €5,000 for all grants except the Book Translation Pitch Grants, which may support up to a maximum of €500 euro per pitch proposal.

Interested applicants are encouraged to carefully read the guidelines and regulations of the respective grants for information relating to eligibility and the evaluation process before applying. The guidelines and regulations, together with the application form and other relevant information, can be accessed and downloaded from the Malta Book Fund webpage. 

The order of classification of applications submitted will be published within eight weeks from the application deadline.

The call for applications closes on Wednesday 30 June 2022 at noon.

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