Applications for the 2020 edition of National Book Prize and for the Terramaxka Prize – the National Book Prize for children and adolescents – are now open. As always, the call for applications is for books published the preceding year (2019 for this year’s edition) and are open to all local publications in English or Maltese that fall under one of the accepted categories of both the National Book Prize and the Terramaxka Prize.

The prizes award the authors of those publications that are judged to have high literary and cultural or academic merit. An independent adjudication board, appointed specifically and solely for the purpose of adjudicating the Prize, will evaluate the submissions according to the set of criteria specific to each category. These criteria, along with the application form and regulations, can be downloaded here.

New to this edition of the National Book Prize for adults, the Poetry category was split into two categories: Poetry in English and Poetry in Maltese. There is now a total of nine categories for the National Book Prize for adults: Novel, Short Story, Poetry in English, Poetry in Maltese, Drama, Literary Non-Fiction, Translation, General Research, and Biographical and Historiographic Research. The six categories for the Terramaxka Prize for children and adolescents are three categories for original works for children and adolescents divided by age group (0–7, 8–12 and 13–16), and another three categories for translated works for children and adolescents, again one per age group.

The prize value allocated to all categories in the Prize (including the Best Emergent Writer, Lifetime Achievement Award and Poet Laureate, and excluding the Terramaxka categories of translation) is €4,000, while for the translation categories for the Terramaxka Prize, the prize money is €2,000.

The Poet Laureate Award will be assigned to the writer who, being the recipient of the National Book Prize for poetry, has previously won any other National Book Prize Award. The prize sum will be paid in four equal instalments on a yearly basis on the condition that during that year the poet writes a substantial amount of poetry to be published as a single collection. 

A prize may be selected from each and every category, and no more than one prize is to be allocated to each category. It may happen that no winner is chosen for a given category if the required level is not achieved by any of the entries in that category, as per the Prize regulations and criteria. 

Submissions are to reach the National Book Council by not later than Monday, 20 April 2020 at noon, together with a filled-out application form and four copies of the submitted book or books. It is important that the applicant indicates the right category for each submission.

Please send the application to the following address:

National Book Prize 2020

Attn. Michael Mercieca

National Book Council

c/o Central Public Library

Professor Joseph J. Mangion Street

Floriana FRN 1800


Share Article