Revamped Malta Book Fund increased to €105,000 to support industry

Small size of Malta book market has seriously limited the capital available for quality publications, research and development, translation and marketing

The National Book Council has announced that applications for the newly revamped Malta Book Fund are open.

The fund, developed to foster cultural growth in the local book market, has now been increased to a value of €105,000 encompassing two distinct categories funding the publication and the translation of books.

The council said the relatively small size of the local book market had seriously limited the capital available for quality publications, research and development, translation and marketing. 

“Local authors, translators and publishers are faced with the dilemma of either curtailing their more ambitious projects or taking huge financial risks in pursuing them. In the interest of encouraging authors, translators and publishers not to shun projects on the grounds of commercial viability, the National Book Council is opening once again the public call for applications for the Malta Book Fund as a way of boosting confidence in the pursuit of new projects and initiatives,” the council said.

The council said they were currently receiving submissions for publishing grants and translation grants, for translation of Maltese books and translation into Maltese. 

All of the grants within the Malta Book Fund adhere to the provisions of the Writers’ Charter of Economic Rights and will be open to works of fiction, non-fiction and academic research. The grants will be awarded to successful applicants following a competitive adjudication process.

Publishing grants have also been allocated the annual sum of €50,000 with the aim of supporting the publication of quality literature and/or works of research. Preference will be given to ambitious projects of high cultural value and relevance to the target local market, particularly if such projects face limitations relating to commercial viability.

The council said the grants support applications for the publication of original works of fiction, including novels, poetry, drama, biographies, literary nonfiction and graphic novels, as well as academic and scholarly books including monographs, edited collections, and critical editions. Books based solely on imagery or photography are ineligible.

“The newly integrated translation grants within the Malta Book Fund have been allocated an annual budget of €40,000 to support applications for the translation projects of Maltese books (published in the Maltese or English language with a Maltese ISBN) into any other language, with the aim of increasing the international visibility of Maltese creative and academic writing.”

The council said through a separate funding category, the annual sum of €15,000 has been dedicated to funding the translation projects of books from any other language into Maltese, thus supporting Maltese language translators in bringing international works of literature and research to a Maltese-reading public.

Interested applicants are encouraged to carefully read the Guidelines and Regulations of the respective grants for information on eligibility and the evaluation process before applying. The guidelines and regulations, together with the application form and other relevant information, can be accessed and downloaded from the Malta Book Fund webpage. 

All grants awarded by the Malta Book Fund may support up to 100% of the proposed project up to a maximum of € 5,000. A specially-appointed adjudication board will evaluate each project in a rigorous application process that will ascertain both the value of the project and funding requirements. The order of classification of applications submitted will be published within four weeks from the application deadline.

The call for applications closes on 30 June 2020 at 12pm.