The National Book Council announces it has opened the Malta Book Fund today for the second time. The Fund, which carries a total value of 40,000 euros and is open to both writers and publishers, is comprised of two types of grants – publication and education grants, each grant carrying a maximum of 5000 euros.
Publication grants are meant to subsidize projects involving the publication of books in Melitensia, either in print form or as ebooks. Preference will given to ambitious projects of high cultural content and relevance to Maltese society, especially when such projects might not be commercially viable because of the limitations of the local book market. The latter consideration in effect excludes all projects that are seen to be perfectly self-sustainable if distributed along well-established routes in the local market. Books based solely on imagery or photography are also excluded from the scheme. Translation projects are supported as long as they involve translation of works from foreign languages into Maltese.
Education grants will subsidize travel, lodging and participation fees incurred by projects that aim to promote the training, further education and research and development of authors, editors and publishers. In practice, the grants will support the participation of authors, editors and publishers in short courses that can be shown to be highly relevant to their field of work. This includes workshops, training sessions, study programmes and all kinds of educational experience related to writing and publication.
Eligibility criteria have been left sufficiently open-ended so as to be as inclusive as possible of different projects and initiatives. Regulations and restrictions still apply but the main criteria for the grants are concerned with the cultural value of the projects and their feasibility. A specially-appointed Board of Adjudication will evaluate each project in a rigorous application process that will ascertain both the value of the project and the need for funding. It is important that applicants keep in mind that the ultimate aim of the Fund is to boost confidence in projects that will have a positive impact on the local book market.
The deadline for applications is 29 September 2017. Applications may be downloaded from the webpage of the Malta Book Fund, where applicants will also find the criteria for the adjudication of the grants, which they are urged to peruse very carefully before they submit their application.