The 2024 Campus Book Festival kicks off tomorrow morning at the University of Malta Quadrangle. Students and the general public will be treated to a packed three-day programme of

literary events being held between Wednesday 20 and Friday 22 March 2024. Organised in collaboration with local publishers, University of Malta Departments and student organisations,

the programme features book presentations, topical discussions, and workshops, on topics as diverse as the Maltese language debate, the rise of AI in the arts, the importance of book illustration, and much more.

This year’s edition welcomes Irish children’s book illustrator Karen Harte, whose participation is made possible through the support of the Embassy of Ireland in Malta. Harte will be leading a workshop on her trajectory as an illustrator, offering up tips to aspiring artists on how to find their own individual voice as prospective creators in the genre. The following day, Harte will join local practitioners in a roundtable discussion on the process of becoming a children’s book illustrator. Meanwhile, visitors keen to sharpen their writing skills in particular can participate in ‘Writing About Writing’ — a workshop led by veteran local journalist Victor Calleja.

True to a literary event situated at the heart of University, the Campus Book Festival will also host to engaging discussions on both perennial and burning topics. ‘Tkellem Bil-Malti!’ and ‘Il-Kliem fit-Teorija’ will both advocate, each in their own way, for an expanded use of the Maltese language in different contexts, while illustrator Audrey Degorgio will confront the thorny subject of the increasing use of AI-generated imagery and its implications for practicing artists. The roundtable discussion ‘L-Aċċess u s-Sostenibbilita’ will confront a key concern for the book industry: the use of digital distribution patterns for public material, which can run the risk of financially endangering local publishers. Meanwhile, the Department of English Students Association (DESA) will be hosting a book club session on Kamila Shamsie’s award-winning novel Home Fire.

Writers David Samuel Hudson and Donna Darmanin will be launching their debut novel and poetry collections, respectively, while historian William Zammit will participate in a Q&A on his award-winning book Slavery, Treason and Blood. Meanwhile, Wayne Farrugia will talk about his short story collection L-Aħħar Petala u Novelli Oħrajn, marking Malta University Distributor’s debut participation at the Campus Book Festival.

Poeżija Slam and ‘Literary Dramatics’ will exploit the performative element of the written word, while ‘Aqra Film’ invites filmmaking duo Abigail Mallia and Carlos Debattista (Take//Two) to delve into the ‘hidden language’ of film and TV.

The Festival is made possible through the enthusiastic and fruitful collaboration between the NBC and student organisations and departments from both University of Malta and MCAST, who round out the Festival which will be completed by the participation of important publishers in the field, including: Faraxa Publishing, L-Għaqda tal-Malti, SKS Publishers, Ede Books/Kixott, Midsea Books/Klabb Kotba Maltin, Kite Group, Malta University Press, Horizons, Malta University Distributors and Kotba Calleja.

Entrance to the 2024 Campus Book Festival is free. Opening hours are 9am-4pm on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21, and 9am-6pm on Friday 22. For more details visit, the Facebook page of NBC and the Kampus Kotba event page. Download the full programme of events from here

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