Organised by the National Book Council (NBC), the 2023 Campus Book Festival will be held between March 22 and 24 at the Quadrangle of the University of Malta.
This festival, which is considered as the second biggest book festival in Malta, will have a programme of events which especially bear tertiary education students in mind, apart from the general public.
Within the programme, there will be thematic discussions, various book club sessions, interviews with local and international writers and researchers, discussions pertaining to literature, recurring themes in the publishing field, book launches and the appreciation of central Maltese figures within the publishing industry.
A Celebration of National Book Prize Winners and new writers
The programme of events brings to the public established writers who have been winners of the National Book Prize – the most prestigious literary award in the country. On Wednesday, the dramaturg Alfred Buttigieg will be interviewed about the production of L-Interrogazzjoni, the 2022 winner of the drama category. This discussion will touch upon what has characterised Buttigieg’s career, as well as the degree to which he considers transgressiveness as a central element in his works.
Thursday will explore the dystopic world which Tyrone Grima masterfully brings together in Frammenti, the winner of the novel category. In a world where cars, people and animals vanish, music somehow secures its place in this novel – an element which will be explored further with the author himself.
Last year, Ede Books launched a series of chapbooks – an innovative way of disseminating literature in the Maltese market that is very useful for emerging authors to give a taste to the public of things yet to come. Antoine Cassar, together with the publisher, Zvezdan Reljić, will be talking about what distinguishes a chapbook from other books, as well as the way in which they are made.
Arts, ChatGPT and creative literary work in the Maltese language
In the Chat GPT discussion on March 24, professionals from different fields will be talking about the hot topic of the uses of AI, and its impact on their work, as well as the implications regarding changes in mentality, as well as the importance of the human element within the arts, creativity and teaching.
The NBC will collaborate with Arts Council Malta, who will be organising events on different aspects of the publishing process, amongst which an illustration workshop, a discussion regarding the appropriation of books in other arts, as well as a discussion about books and accessibility.
In the past years the NBC together with Aġenzija Żgħażagħ have strived to give Maltese young adult literature a push in quality through The Novels for Youth Literary Contest. As a continuation to the launching of the 2023 revamped edition, the NBC is organising a creative writing workshop by Leanne Ellul – herself a past winner of this contest, in what can be considered as the beginning of her literary career.
The last day of the Campus Book Festival will make space for the annual event organised in collaboration with Inizjamed: Palk Ħieles. This is an important platform for writers, poets, musicians and actors who wish to share their art with the public.
Kampus Kotba on Friday will also host the reading of texts that shed light on the realities of the LGBTIQ community in Gozo. The LGBTI+ Gozo group will also be taking bookings for the purchase of their book.