The National Book Council (NBC) is publishing its comprehensive Annual Report for 2023, reflecting the Council’s unwavering commitment to nurturing the growth of Maltese literature, authors, and publishers.

Throughout the year, the NBC continued its mission to champion Maltese literature through various initiatives, notably with the Malta Book Festival. With forty-four exhibitors, thousands of attendees from the general public and over six thousand students in attendance, the Festival served as a vibrant celebration of local literary talent. Collaborations with entities like Arts Council Malta and Dù Theatre resulted in a renewed focus on book illustration, and engaging children’s shows inspired by award-winning Maltese books, respectively, showcasing the Council’s dedication to fostering a dynamic cultural landscape.

In its endeavour to expand the reach of Maltese literature globally, the NBC collaborated with Modern Poetry in Translation to produce a Malta-themed edition of the esteemed publication. Additionally, partnerships were formed with the Commonwealth Foundation for their Short Story Prize and the International Human Rights Art Movement (IHRAM) for the upcoming release of an anthology in 2024.

A pivotal moment came at the National Book Prize ceremony on 24 November, where the NBC introduced an innovative approach to support publishers facing industry challenges. Beginning this year, winning publishing houses will receive monetary recognition alongside authors and illustrators, with each winning book awarded a €1,000 cash prize. This initiative underscores the Council’s holistic commitment to bolstering the entire publishing ecosystem.

The Annual Report underscores the NBC’s efforts to professionalize the Maltese publishing industry, highlighting initiatives like the Malta Book Fund and the Public Lending Rights scheme, which provide vital support to authors, translators, and publishers alike.

As the NBC looks ahead, its dedication to fostering the growth of the Maltese publishing industry and elevating its global presence remains steadfast.

The Annual Report for 2023 is available in Maltese and English here, with a mobile version accessible here.

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