The Novels for Youth Literary Contest is receiving submissions from 23 January till 2 September 2024 at noon

The Novels for Youth Literary Contest is an annual contest organised by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ and the National Book Council.

The aim of this contest is to select, reward and publish Maltese novels that are written specifically for readers between 13 and 18 years, and that explore themes related to adolescence and the typical situations young people in this stage of their lives are likely to encounter. The organisers aim to gradually increase the availability of Maltese literature in this genre, thus sparking young people’s interest and motivation to read books written in Maltese.

Furthermore, the organisers aspire at promoting excellence by awarding works of a high literary content. Additional rationales behind this competition include raising awareness about youth literature and for authors to submit original novels for youth which are innovative and non-didactic or moralising in nature.

As a result, young people will benefit from an increase in the available number of books targeted for their age group, which will stimulate them to embark on new and exciting reading experiences.

The contest is judged anonymously by three adjudicators appointed by the National Book Council who select the winning entry according to four established criteria – development of plot and characters, originality, language and quality. 

Who can apply?

Eligible applicants may be individuals or groups of individuals of at least 20 years of age.

For the application to be considered eligible, the submitted manuscript must have never been previously published in whole or in part.

Applicants are encouraged to read the guidelines carefully before applying.


The author of the winning manuscript receives:

– A commemorative trophy and certificate

– €1,000 prize

– Funding for the publication of the novel with a local publisher of the author’s choice

How to apply

Applications should contain 3 printed copies of an original manuscript in Maltese of between 20,000 and 25,000 words signed only by a pseudonym, a signed application form, a copy of the ID, and 3 printed copies of the synopsis of a maximum of 500 words.