Two sports-themed books from Maltese authors will feature in Italy’s ‘Premio Invictus’, which will be taking place this year on 12 September at the Palazzo Caetani in the city of Latina. 

Carmel Baldacchino’s Goal and Mark Vella’s translated work L-aħħar sajf ta’ Berlin (from the original L’ultima estate di Berlino by Federico Buffa and Paolo Frusca) will be featured in this fifth edition of the Prize, which will be welcoming international titles for the first time this year. 

Speaking at a press conference on 18 June in Rome announcing the shortlist for this year’s edition of the Prize, Maria Buttigieg, First Secretary of the Embassy of Malta in Italy, acknowledged the “honour” of being “the first country to launch the internationalisation of the prize”. 

“Our Ministry for Youth is very focused on spreading culture through literature, so being partners in events like the Premio Invictus is very important for the goals we aim to achieve,” Buttigieg added. 

The National Book Council – Malta (NBC) facilitated the submission process for the Maltese titles, working in collaboration with the EU International and Policy Development Directorate within the Ministry for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation. The NBC will also be supporting the participation of the local authors at the Prize. 

Mark Camilleri, Executive Chairman for the NBC, highlighted the importance of Maltese authors participating in such events, stressing how internationalisation remains a key priority that the NBC will continue to foster going forward. “Our aim is to ensure that Maltese literature gains exposure beyond our shores, through initiatives such as the Premio Invictus,” Camilleri said, adding that internationalisation will be one of the key pillars of the NBC’s forthcoming five-year strategy document, currently being devised in collaboration with business consultancy firm KPMG

Notably, the Premio Invictus will be among the prizes chosen to represent Italy at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year, where the country will also be invited as its annual guest of honour. 

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