HELA Foundation (VO/1822), the hub for excellence in the literary arts, is an autonomous platform working to foster excellence across the literary sector in Malta and Gozo. We represent and work with and for writers, translators, publishers and editors.

We engage with local and foreign organisations, individuals and public entities to create dialogue between players in the sector and policy-makers and to advocate for good and fair practices within the local literary field.

A major part of HELA’s mission is to design and lead research efforts that help the Foundation develop effective strategies based on sound scientific knowledge of the sector.

Finally, HELA is a contact point where writers, publishers, translators and editors can find tools and opportunities to help them take their craft and business to the next level.

Fondazzjoni HELA is supported by Arts Council Malta - Creative Industries Platform.

Fondazzjoni HELA is run by a board of administrators.


Board of administrators


Glen Calleja

Glen Calleja is a writer, book artist and cultural manager. Glen runs Kotba Calleja, a small bindery in the old village of Rabat, and is also co-founder of Studio Solipsis. His literary work and publications include various poetry projects, works of prose fiction as well as non-fiction work. Calleja also enjoys editing manuscripts, daydreaming, cooking and silence.

Vice President

Clare Azzopardi

Clare Azzopardi is an award-winning writer who writes for both children and adults. She is the Subject Coordinator of Maltese at the University of Malta Junior College and for the past several years has been an active member of Inizjamed. Her books have been translated and published into several languages such as English, Italian, Arabic, Croatian, Hungarian and Slovenian.


Leanne Ellul

Leanne Ellul writes poetry and prose, and has published works for both adults and children. She was named Best Emerging Author in the 2016 National Book Prize, and her works for children have garnered various Terramaxka awards. L-Inventarju tal-Kamra l-Kaħla, her first poetry collection, was published in 2020 and in 2022 she published Bjuda, the fruit of an interdisciplinary project centered around the colour white. Ellul lectures in Maltese language and literature and is active in Inizjamed and HELA Foundation, two NGOs that have Maltese language and culture at their core.


Jean Paul Borg

Jean Paul Borg spent almost 20 years working with numbers. When he got bored with a job which wasn’t making any sense for him anymore, he enrolled himself into University and followed the Bachelor of Arts course in Maltese. Jean Paul translated two works by Suad Amiry and published a short story collection entitled Mhux Nies. He is the coordinator of Inizjamed.

International Relations

Elizabeth Grech

Elizabeth Grech is a self-taught translator and works with various cultural organisations. She has translated several contemporary Maltese poets into French. Her own poetry has appeared in literary journals or anthologies in different languages (English, Italian, Albanian and Greek). Her first poetry collection bejn baħar u baħar was published by Merlin Publishers (Malta) in February 2019. The Italian translation Terre sospese by Virginia Monteforte and Massimo Barilla was published by Capire Edizioni (Forlì, Italy) in August 2019.

Public Relations

Sephora Francalanza

Sephora Francalanza followed a Master of Arts in Translation and Terminology Studies, specialising in literary translation, whilst also working in journalism. She was a member of the committee of Għaqda tal-Malti – Università, which is a student-run voluntary organisation which seeks to promote Maltese language and literature. As President of the same organisation, she was the Editor of the 37th and 38th editions of Leħen il-Malti, the organisation’s annual literary journal.


Karsten Xuereb

Karsten Xuereb lectures in cultural relations at the University of Malta. He is a member of the scientific committee of The Phoenicians' Cultural Route of the Council of Europe on behalf of the Maltese cultural association Inizjamed: http://fenici.net/en/. His research is available at https://culturalpolicy.blog/.


Jesmond Sharples

Jesmond Sharples, a nurse by profession writes poetry mostly in Maltese and English. He also studied Music Composition, Maltese Literature, Gerontology and Management. His poetry is found in anthologies like Ilwien fil-Kelma (1985) and Raddiena ta’ Lwien (2015) and his poetry was published in two publications Il-Qtar li Nħobb (2016) and Ra (2019).


Albert Gatt

Albert Gatt, trained as a computational linguist, is currently the Director of the Institute of Linguistics and Language Technology at the University of Malta. In addition to his academic research, he has been translating poetry and prose from Maltese into English for several years. Recent translations include Immanuel Mifsud's memoir In the Name of the Father (and of the Son) and Adrian Grima's poetry collection Last-Ditch Ecstasy. He has recently completed a translation of Juann Mamo's modernist classic Nanna's Children in America.


Kirsty Azzopardi

Kirsty Azzopardi describes herself as a linguaphile; alongside Maltese and English, she speaks German, some Italian and some French. After having obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Maltese, she is currently reading for a Master of Arts in Linguistics. While her research focuses mainly on the morphosyntax of Maltese verbs, she is also interested in dialectal variation.

Supported by

Arts Council Malta

Creative Industries Platform

Project co-ordinator: Clare Azzopardi

With the help of: Kirsty Azzopardi, Leanne Ellul and Albert Gatt

Proofreader: Dwayne Ellul

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