Helsinki Literary Agency recruits Arela and Aareleid

Helsinki Literary Agency has strengthened its team with the recruitment of two new literary agents.

Viivi Arela joins the agency at the beginning of July, followed by Kai Aareleid in August.

Since 2014, Arela has worked as communications director of the Finnish fashion brand Arela. She will continue to work part-time as public relations officer and events director for the Finnish Literary Institute. At Helsinki Literary Agency, she will enhance the visibility of the books and authors represented by the agency and add to and develop the content relating to the titles.

Aareleid is an Estonian writer and translator whose novel Burning Cities has been published in several languages. She has also translated numerous books into Estonian. At the Helsinki Litarary Agency, Aareleid will concentrate on selling rights and maintaining and developing new relationships with publishers. In addition to her work with the Helsinki Literary Agency she will continue writing her new novel and translating.

‘I am delighted to be welcoming two such experienced professionals in the worlds of communication and literature to the Helsinki Literary Agency,’ said chief executive Urpu Strellman.

‘Over the first half of this year, which has been extremely unusual in terms of literary export, we have, together with literary agent Urtė Liepuoniūtė, developed many new tools for the promotion of Finnish books abroad. With the help of the expertise brought by Arela and Aareleid, we will take these projects considerably further, and will also be able to try completely new methods. Above all, their know-how will significantly strengthen the position of the Finnish Literary Agency within Finland and internationally.’

The Helsinki Literary Agency was founded in 2017 and functions under the joint ownership of the publishing houses Gummerus, Schildts & Söderströms, Siltala and Teos. The Agency represents the rights of dozens of authors, including  Seija Ahava, Kari Hotakainen, Mikko Rimminen and Ulla-Lena Lundberg.

Thank You for the Book, Antti Rönkä!

Antti Rönkä’s debut novel Off the Ground was awarded Thank You for the Book Prize 2020!

The prize is given out yearly since 1966, for a book that is considered to have caused the biggest intellectual and/or emotional stimulus to the readers during the past year. The winner is decided upon jointly by The Booksellers’ Association in Finland, Association Libro ry and Finnish Library Association.

As the jury stated:

Antti Rönkä’s confident debut demonstrates thought patterns of a bullied person that may seem absurd to the outsider, but to the one experiencing them, it is the reality. The unspeakable burden of traumatic experiences are heavy on the reader’s mind. Precise sentences expose things laying underneath the surface in a strong voice, without exaggeration.

(…) The author skilfully portrays various feelings and processes of the mind. The book won’t leave a person unmoved.”

Off the Ground is a powerful debut novel, long-listed for the Runeberg Prize. It describes the experiences of a grown up man starting a new life in a new city, but haunted by memories and traumas of bullying suffered in the past. Earlier this year, World French rights were sold to Payot & Rivages.

Congratulations, Antti Rönkä, and thank you for your extraordinary book!

Watch authors talk seriously and Not Too Seriously about their books in HLA video series

HLA’s new video clip series “Not Too Seriously” has found its audience in social media – now the short and humorous takes can be watched also on our Vimeo account.

Minna Rytisalo and Mrs C enjoying a spring day in the fells.

When one fair after another was cancelled this spring, we thought to keep the wheels turning in other ways. The result is a series of a few minutes long video presentations, in which the authors answer four questions:

1. What is my book about?
2. Why is my book brilliant?
3. Who especially should read my book?
4. What word I could never pronounce?

Karin Erlandsson presents her children’s adventure series Song of the Eye Gemstone.

The short form turned out to be a success. It only takes a moment to watch them, and yet you get an idea about the book, about the author’s mindset – and sometimes even a laugh.

A warning: addiction guaranteed!

Whilst hearing about books you also see glimpses of Finland. Watch Minna Rytisalo on the snowy hills of Kuusamo, Karin Erlandsson in the Åland harbor, or authors of Woodland, well, in the woods. And it is always a thrill to get a sneak peak to someone’s home office or other places they love.

So far we have had twenty-four authors tell about their books, and there is more to come! Check them out in our Vimeo account here.

Marko Leppänen, the author of Woodland with Adela Pajunen, lying in the forest.

You can also follow us in Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: loads of fun things happening there as well!

See you around!