Applications are open for the 2021 edition of National Book Prize and Terramaxka Prize – the National Book Prize for children and adolescents. As always, only books published the preceding year (2020 for this year’s edition) are allowed to compete. 

These local publications, in English or Maltese, must fall under one of the accepted categories of both the National Book Prize and for the Terramaxka Prize.

New to this edition, the category for poetry, previously split into Maltese and English, now will comprise of works in either language. In addition, the Translation category, previously exclusive to works of fiction, has been broadened to include works of non-fiction, poetry and drama in Maltese translation. There is now a total of eight categories for the National Book Prize for adults: Novel, Short Story, Poetry in Maltese and English, Drama, Literary Non-Fiction, Translation, General Research, and Biographical and Historiographic Research. The six categories for the Terramaxka Prize for children and adolescents are: three categories for original works for children and adolescents (0–7, 8–12 and 13–16 year olds), and another three categories for translated works for children and adolescents, again one per age group.

A prize may be selected from each and every category, and no more than one prize is to be allocated to each category. The prizes award the authors of those publications that are judged to have high literary and cultural or academic merit. The marks for the winning book in each category must exceed the 90% mark, which ensures that works not reaching this threshold do not get awarded if even slightly better than the rest. It is not excluded that no winner is chosen for a given category if the required standard is not achieved by any of the entries in that category. An independent board, appointed specifically and solely for the purpose of adjudicating the Prize, will evaluate the submissions according to a set of criteria. These criteria, along with the application form and regulations, can be downloaded from the National Book Prize page on

The prize value allocated to all categories in the Prize (including the special categories Best Emergent Writer, Lifetime Achievement Award, Poet Laureate and Best Book Production) is €4,000, while the prize money is €2,000 for the translation categories of the Terramaxka Prize. The Poet Laureate Award will be assigned to the writer who, being the recipient of the National Book Prize for poetry, has previously won the National Book Prize for Poetry. The prize sum will be paid in four equal instalments on a yearly basis on the condition that during that year the poet writes a substantial amount of poetry to be published, after or within four years, as a single collection.

Submissions are to reach the National Book Council by not later than Monday, 26 April 2021 at noon, together with a filled-out application form and four copies of the submitted book or books. It is important that the applicant indicates the right category for each submission.

Please send the application to the following address:

National Book Prize 2021

National Book Council

c/o Central Public Library

Professor Joseph J. Mangion Street

Floriana FRN 1800



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