The National Book Council (NBC) is once again inviting poets writing in the Maltese language to participate in the sixth edition of the Doreen Micallef National Poetry Contest. The annual contest was first launched by the National Book Council in 2019 with the aim of further raising the profile of poetry in Malta and celebrate the best poetry written in Maltese. Over the past years the Contest has been won by established poets including Therese Pace, Carmel Scicluna, Poet Laureate Nadia Mifsud and also by emerging voices like Klara Vassallo.

The contest represents yet another way in which the NBC aims to foster a healthy literary culture in Malta through various initiatives and events.

The contest is adjudicated by an independent panel of judges appointed each year by the National Book Council. The jury evaluates all poems anonymously according to a set of criteria which consider authenticity, imagination, distinctiveness of voice, and original use of rhythm and figures of speech.

The panel of adjudicators selects the contest’s three top prizes; the winning poem will be awarded with a cash prize of €1,000 and the two runners-up will be receiving prizes of €500 and €200 respectively. The winners will be announced and awarded their prize on Friday 8 November at an official ceremony during the 2024 Malta Book Festival taking place between 6-10 November.

Applicants are required to submit no more than one original and previously unpublished poem in Maltese which does not exceed 36 lines in length. All entrants are encouraged to carefully read the contest regulations available at the National Book Council website in their entirety before applying.

As of this edition, submissions of an unpublished original poem in the Maltese language, signed only by a nom de plume, should be submitted exclusively through the online application form by the closing date of the contest on Monday 22 July 2024 at noon.

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