SHADOWED nominated for the Finlandia Junior Prize

Maija and Anssi Hurme’s illustrated children’s book SHADOWED, described as “brilliant illustrated narrative” that hits “the artistic bull’s eye”, has been nominated for Finland’s most important literary prize.

Shadowed is a mysterious story about a child, a father and a great longing. One morning, there is an unfamiliar character in the child’s room. No one else can see it, but it follows the child everywhere. It makes eating breakfast or playing with friends difficult. It asks for the scariest bedtime story.

And it seems to have something to do with the mother being gone.

The story, subtly illustrated, does not name the shadow – it could be sadness, worry or longing. Bit by bit, its slightly scary presence turns friendlier and finally it loosens its grip.

The Finlandia Junior Prize nominations board statement on Shadowed reads:

“The multi-layered picture book handles sorrow and losing someone excellently and concretely. The illustrations and the layout form a harmonious whole. The colors and the narration lead the reader towards lightness: you can let the sorrow go. The feelings the book describes touch both the children and the adults.”

Maija Hurme (b. 1976) is a visual editor and graphic designer in the daily broadsheet Hufvudstadsbladet. She has illustrated several children’s books, three of them together with Anssi Hurme (b. 1976), who is also a graphic designer who runs a design business.

Shadowed was published in 2018 both in Swedish (original) by Schildts & Söderströms and in Finnish (original) by Kustantamo S&S.

Finlandia Prize is the biggest literary prize in Finland, given out to the best book of the year in three categories: fiction, nonfiction and children’s and young adult books. The prize in each categories is 30,000 euros. The winners will be announced on November 28th.

Read more about the book here.




Two of HLA authors nominated for Helsingin Sanomat Literary Prize

Anna-Liisa Ahokumpu’s
and Sisko Savonlahti’s
have been nominated for the best debut novel of the year prize.



A boy who did not know his father. A mother who fell in love with the wrong man. Music that fell silent for a lifetime.

 These are the themes in Anna-Liisa Ahokumpu’s (b. 1984) beautiful debut novel that has been described as a polished, assured and powerful story in a minor key.

Butterfly collector Max Halma finds a rare butterfly among his late mother’s effects. Chance seems to bring him closer to international recognition than ever before, but at the same time he’s forced to dive deep into his own past, searching for the father he never knew. The deeper Max goes in his investigations, the more questions arise. What really happened to his father in the spring of 1942? When the tracks lead from archives in northern Finland a brilliant pianist’s last concert in Hamburg, the secrets of the past begin to be revealed.

 “A novella that doesn’t expand beyond its limits is a disappointment. […] The Thirteen Symphonies of Viktor does expand, beyond all measure.  […] Ahokumpu writes prose that is skilfully artistic. We can say this: when a butterfly beats its wings during the war near Rovaniemi, people will suffer the consequences for decades – and at some point, in Germany, their actualisations, symphonies.”

– Helsingin Sanomat newspaper



“I know I have to shape up soon. But I just want to lie on the balcony and think about my ex for a bit longer.”

These are the thoughts of a young woman in her flat. It’s nearly summer, the time to get over her breakup. She has to get up from the doldrums, find a job, fall in love, kickstart a spiral of positive thinking. But should she fulfil other people’s expectations or act according to her heart’s desire? How do you know what is your heart’s desire? So many questions, often much less tempting than examining the soil in your plant pots, texting friends or mixing the dip for crisps.

Sisko Savonlahti’s (b. 1982) praised first novel has its finger firmly on the pulse. It’s a frank, sharp story of a young citydweller, a woman with a need to achieve, relentless chase for happiness and an attempt to initiate a spiral of positivity.

“Maybe This Summer Everything Will Change is not sad but instead amusing and hopeful. Savonlahti has anchored the story of the quotidian of her everywoman into acute perceptions, minimalist repetitions reminiscent of Philip Glass’ work where the change is noticeable only when it’s already occurred. After all the decisive businesswomen and romantic plot twists in chick lit today, this book feels fresh and honest, even rebellious. The thought that a regular woman’s life warrants a story!”

– Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Dads and Daughters Braiding book sold to Slovakia

Matti Airola’s bestselling Dads and Daughters Braiding Book has been sold to Albatros Media in Slovakia.

Albatros Media Slovakia belongs to the biggest publishing house in the Czech Republic, with an increasing share of the Slovakian market.

Dads and Daughters Braiding Book has been previously sold to Germany (Frechverlag), France (Glenát), Poland (Media Rodzina) and Estonia (Paljasjalg). Its sequel, Dads and Daughters Braiding Book – Parties! has been sold to to Clavis (World Dutch) and most recently to Paljasjalg (Estonia).

Viikilä’s Watercolours from a Seaside City sold to Gallimard

“The whole of the city is alive with the bustle of building work, and there’s no let-up at night either: when I finally fall asleep, I soon hear hammering and shouting. And I don’t know which shout emanates from a dream and which from the real world. Neither do I know which city is completed first and which is more beautiful, better to inhabit.” (Translation: Fleur Jeremiah)

Gallimard has acquired the World French rights of Jukka Viikilä’s Finlandia Prize winning novel Watercolours from a Seaside City.

Gallimard, founded in 1911, is the largest independent publishing house in France. Throughout the 20th century, Gallimard has published such authors as Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre and Marcel Proust, and is also the home of 2008 Nobeal laureate Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio.

Watercolours from a Seaside City (2016) is a fictive diary of a German architect, Carl Ludwig Engel, who was commissioned by the Russian emperor to build the capital of Finland in the beginning of the 19th century. The novel has been praised of its lyrical touch and aphoristical observations of life. The novel has so far sold over 43,000 copies in Finland.


Jukka Viikilä (b. 1973) is a poet, writer, and dramaturge.

Lundberg’s ICE sold to Croatia

Ice (2012)

Ulla-Lena Lundberg’s Finlandia Prize winning novel Ice has been sold to Croatian publisher Hena com.

Hena com is a prominent publishing house with a list of strong literary authors, such as Don DeLillo, Amos Oz and Umberto Eco.

Ice (2012) is one of the most successful Finlandia Prize winning novels. It has sold in Finland over 100,000 copies, and its rights have been sold so far to nine countries.