The National Book Council (NBC) will be present at the 2023 London Book Fair from 18–20 April at stand 6E45. This large book-publishing trade fair, held annually at Olympia, Kensington, acts as a meeting place for numerous stakeholders within the publishing industry.

For the past few years, the NBC has been attending this fair as part of its efforts to export Maltese literature beyond our shores. As a result of its 2022 participation, the upcoming issue of Modern Poetry in Translation will feature a focus section on Maltese poetry.

The NBC recognizes the challenges faced by Maltese publishers and authors in navigating the international publishing market and is dedicated to fostering their success. Earlier this year, the NBC launched the London Book Fair Publishers, Authors, and Translators initiative, with the ultimate goal of helping publishers generate new sources of revenue for the local publishing industry by facilitating foreign rights sales. The NBC is proud to announce that the recipients EDE Books, Faraxa Publishing and Midsea Books will have their travel and accommodation expenses subsidized, while Maltese author Rena Balzan and publishers SKS and BDL will avail themselves of Fair badges. All participants will be able to attend several events and activities aimed at acquiring the know-how to pitch their work to foreign publishers and agents. Gutenberg Press and London-based Praspar Press will also be present at the NBC stand at the London Book Fair.

Thanks to the support of Arts Council Malta, with whom the NBC has an ongoing collaboration that started with the Malta Book Festival 2022, four illustrators will also accompany the NBC to the London Book Fair. Kyle Xuereb Cunningham, Ed Dingli, Fleur Sciortino and Matt Stroud had their travel expenses funded by ACM. This ties in with one of ACM’s 2025 Strategy actions with a focus on “design and illustration to expand the industry’s reach and promote readership and literacy among the public.” Along with the NBC, Arts Council Malta works towards promoting career pathways in the arts and publishing. This funding scheme and initiative provides an opportunity for the professional development of artists, whose illustrations will also be exhibited in the Illustrators’ Gallery at the London Book Fair. Naomi Gatt’s and Gattaldo’s chosen illustrations will also be showcased. The abovementioned illustrators were selected by the Malta Community of Illustrators (MCOI), from their Annual.

Look out for our stand, 6E45, at the London Book Fair in Olympia, Kensington and stay tuned for more information on the beneficiaries of our initiative for publishers, authors and translators, as well as the illustrators who will be joining us.

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