Hone your craft to industry standards at the Malta Book Festival 2023

Aspiring authors as well as readers of all varieties will be spoilt for choice at the Malta Book Festival, taking place between 18 and 22 October at MFCC, Ta’ Qali  

With this year’s edition of the Festival, the National Book Council seeks to empower aspiring and established authors, editors, translators and illustrators by giving them the opportunity to hone their craft and learn about the inner workings of the book industry through a series of workshops and masterclasses spearheaded by high-calibre local and international guests.

Among these sessions one will find ‘What’s Your Story: 5 Steps to Writing a Bestseller’ on 19 October, led by award-winning Irish crime writer Sam Blake. Herself a bestselling author, Blake will instruct participants on how to turn an inspired idea into a dynamic story with market appeal. Earlier that day, Blake will also deliver a session specifically targeted towards post-secondary students. Titled ‘Inspiration, Technique, Success’, the session will help participants craft unforgettable characters, captivating settings and gripping plots, drawing on insights from industry luminaries like Jeffrey Deaver and Joanne Harris.

The Festival once again welcomes UK literary agent and publishing consultant Simon Trewin, who will be delivering a masterclass entitled ‘Inside Publishing – Routes to Market’, on 21 October. Drawing on three decades of industry experience, Trewin will shed light on the journey from inception to publication. 

Also on 21 October, Charlie Castelletti, children’s books editor at Macmillan, will deliver ‘Writing for Children and Young Adults’, an exploration of the nuances of children's literature, from different age categories to story hooks and the secrets behind bestsellers. 

Bridging the gap between Maltese practitioners and the international literary landscape, Kat Storace and Jen Calleja will lead an editing workshop that will guide participants on how to edit one’s own work and that of others, including the process of editing translated literature. As founders of London-based micro-publisher Praspar Press — committed to disseminating Maltese works in English — Storace and Calleja are uniquely placed to gauge, and manage, the expectations of aspiring local literary practitioners. 

Making good on its commitment to provide a multi-sensory experience that goes #beyondbooks, this year’s edition of the Festival will once again boast an eye-catching collaboration between the NBC and Arts Council Malta: with the second edition of the From Illustration to Book exhibition, along with an exciting Interactive Mural which will see members of the Malta Community of Illustrators working together to create a mural in real time.

Taken together, these events will ultimately offer a unique insight into the life cycle of a literary work, from the initial stages of a story’s conception, to its drafting into a marketable manuscript, down to the editing process before finally coming face-to-face with the realities of the international publishing landscape, while also compelling visitors to appreciate the key contribution of artists and illustrators to the process.

Attendance to all workshops and masterclasses is free of charge, but online registration is required. Interested participants can register through the event link provided above or via the NBC website or Facebook page.

The 2023 Malta Book Festival will be held between 18 and 22 October at the MFCC, Ta’ Qali. Entrance to the Festival is free of charge. Please follow the NBC website, and the NBC Facebook page and Malta Book Festival 2023 Facebook page.