The National Book Council would like to announce that it has just published both winning novels in the 3rd edition (2012) of The Literary Contest of Novels for Youth organized by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ in conjunction with the National Book Council (NBC). The winning titles are ‘Ħabib fil-Bżonn’ by Tony C. Cutajar and ‘L-Ewwel Darba li Ħassejtek…’ by Charles Casha; both of which are novels ideal for youths between the ages of thirteen and sixteen.


The novel ‘L-Ewwel Darba li Ħassejtek…’ deals with various themes including death, problems in the family, criminal behaviour and drug use in youth culture. The protagonist is a young man on the brink of a crisis brought about by a newly discovered truth concerning his dad’s death who up until then was believed to have died from an accident on the work place.


‘Ħabib fil-bżonn’ also deals with issues and problems in the families of young adults. The protagonist in this case finds comfort and solace in new friends with whom he embarks on new adventures in Gozo and Messina.


This NBC and Aġenzija Żgħażagħ initiative was set up in a bid to encourage literature written purposefully for youths and young adults. Both entities felt that there was a lacuna in the Maltese market that needed to be addressed and set out to do something practical about it. This Prize is a relatively new initiative and the NBC, together with Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, have reconvened to draft out new rules and guidelines to ensure growth of interest in the field as well as a steady trickle of even better quality works to choose from in future editions. In the long-term, the aim is to create a corpus of quality novels that ring true to the age group in question.


Books may be bought from: Sierra Book Distributors –



Photos of the award night:

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