Ellen Strömberg’s YA novel wins August Prize

Dizzying news has reached us from Sweden: We’ll Just Ride Past, a YA novel by Ellen Strömberg, was awarded the most prestigious literary prize in SwedenAugust Prize!

The novel was published jointly by Schildts & Söderströms in Finland and Rabén & Sjögren in Sweden.

The August jury motivated the nomination as follows:

We’ll Just Ride Past (2022)

With sensitivity and accuracy [Strömberg] describes the turning point of adolescence, when the fantasies about who you want to be are suddenly put into practice, friendships are put to test and first love feels both alluring and terrifying. With the greatest respect for both her readers and her characters, Ellen Strömberg gives new life to the most iconic motif in youth literature.

Ellen Strömberg (photo: Nicklas Mattsson)

The August Prize is Sweden’s biggest literary award given to a book published in Sweden and it is awarded annually in three categories: the best novel, the best children’s or YA book, and the best nonfiction book of the year. The winners receive 100,000 SEK and a bronze August statuette.

Only one author from Finland has previously been the winner of the August Prize: Monika Fagerholm received the statuette in the category of the best novel (Den amerikanska flickan), in 2005.

In We’ll Just Ride Past Strömberg captures the life of ninth-graders in that recognizable phase in life when you have a real drive to be independent and to discover and define your identity, and when friendships have a huge impact on your decisions and desires. Strömberg has a knack for portraying the emotional landscape and world view of young people in a convincing way and she masterfully depicts the anxieties and emotional turmoil teenagers face daily.

The novel is now also nominated for the most prestigious literary award in Finland, Finlandia Prize. The novel has also recently been sold to Italy.

Tune in our Literature from Finland podcast episode YOUTH, where Strömberg discussed the novel and writing for young people.

Congratulations to the author!