The ambitious idea to establish a hub with a fixed address where operators and artists from the literary sector could aggregate to share their work, study and find support in attempting to reach foreign markets, probably owes its origin to organisations like Inizjamed and Literature Across Frontiers (LAF) .
In April 2013, during a conference organised in Valletta called A strategy for literary exchange in the Euro-Mediterranean region, LAF identified establishing a Euro-Mediterranean translation and literary exchange hub in Malta as one of the key discussions in their programme. During that conference, it was soon determined that a great deal of surveying and mapping was lacking together with proper market research without which little, if anything, could be realistically planned let alone a full strategy. Furthermore, the original idea called for huge capital investments which were unreachable for most of the parties involved. Soon, the idea of a Hub got buried under the debris of other ideas and responsibilities.
With the opportunity for funding for platforms in the Creative Industries, the dream was revived. Some stakeholders got together, identified challenges, listed priorities, studied existing models and the Hub for Excellence in the Literary Arts started taking shape. In this respect, HELA is young and fresh and yet, it carries the old aspirations and dreams outlined during that Spring back in 2013.