HLA travels to South Korea

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Finland, Finland has been invited as a guest of honor to the Nami Island International Children’s Book Festival. With support from FILI, Helsinki Literary Agency, along with other literary agents and illustrators from Finland, had the opportunity to spend a week in Korea during the days of the festival.

HLA meets AMO Agency

For years Korea has been considered a difficult market for translated titles, but our May trip has proved this wrong. Our agents Urpu Strellman and Viivi Arela had meetings with nearly 20 publishers and received a significant number of offers for various titles from our catalogue – Gorilla by Miika Pörsti & Anne Vasko; Night Express by Karin Erlandsson & Peter Bergting; Penelope and the Big Baby Tooth Ballyhoo by Saara Kekäläinen and Reetta Niemensivu; The Unicorn by Ilja Karsikas; Under the Moon by Aki-Pekka Sinikoski and Ilja Karsikas, among others.

This would not have been possible without AMO agency, which became our exclusive co-agent in Korea last month. AMO Agency introduces foreign language books to Korean publishers and more than 5000 foreign books have been licensed and published via the agency since 2007. Currently 6 agents (and 3 children) share happy daily lives, work and chats every day.  According to AMO, people in Korea have great interest in Nordic design, for example, but the interest in literature from Finland yet has a lot of space and opportunities to grow . And the agency hopes they can contribute to introducing Finnish culture and literature more widely in Korea. 

Meeting with Dasan in Paju book city

Some of the meetings were held in Paju book city, which is located about an hour’s drive from Seoul. Paju is an amazing city of its own entirely devoted to the creation, publication and sales of Korean books. The place shows that the book industry in Korea is a respected area of business.

On Wednesday, our agents along with Korean publishers and illustrators were invited to the Residence of Finnish Ambassador in Seoul, where they could meet in a less formal setting.

We thank all our partners for their fantastic work and are excited to see what is waiting for us in the future.

Hebrew rights sold for A Giraffe’s Heart and Tainaron

Fantastic news from Israel: publisher Keren has just acquired the Hebrew rights for two titles on HLA’s list, an illustrated children’s novel A Giraffe’s Heart Is Unbelievably Large, by Sofia & Amanda Chanfreaus, and the legendary novel Tainaron, by Leena Krohn.

Keren focuses on quality literature, both contemporary works, as well as best modern classics from all around the world.

A Giraffe’s Heart is Unbelievably Large (2022)

For A Giraffe’s Heart, the Hebrew deal is already 13th foreign right sale.  This illustrated novel for the middle-grade readers was the winner of the most prestigious literary award in Finland for children’s & young people’s literature, Finlandia Junior Prize, last year. The title is now also nominated for the Nordic Council Children’s and Young People’s Literature Prize. The book has already sold over 10,000 copies in Finland.

Tainaron, first published in 1985, was a breakthrough work for Leena Krohn, and remains one of the most recognized titles in her immense body of work. The book earned her nominations of the World Fantasy Award and International Horror Guild Award

Tainaron (1985 | 2006)

The inhabitants of Tainaron are insect-like, but their experiences and actions seem strangely familiar. We read about them in letters whose recipient remains nameless. Unprecedented metamorphoses are witnessed, strange coincidences are enjoyed and the possibilities of existence pondered. The descriptions are often accurate depictions of the ways of life of particular species, but at the same time, allegories to our own, familiar everyday world.

Considered to be a modern literary classic, Tainaron has been translated to 12 languages.

Congratulations to the authors for the deals!

Iida Rauma’s Destruction receives an honorary mention in the EU Prize for Literature competition

Last week, in the city of Leipzig, the winner of the EU Prize for Literature was announced. Along with it, 5 nominees received honorary mentions, and we are bursting with pride, since HLA’s Iida Rauma, with her novel Destruction, is among them!

Iida Rauma (photo: Marek Sabogal)

Last year, a new format for the EUPL Prize was introduced: only one winner is now selected from all the nominees instead of each participating country having a winner. The initial book selection is conducted by national organisations, each entitled to submit one book that is of high literary quality with potential for translatability. A second round of selection is conducted by a seven-member European jury, who thus selects an overall Prize winner and five special mention awards. 

You can read about all the nominees here.

Destruction, Rauma’s third novel, asks how one can write about oneself if one’s own self has been shattered. The novel won the most prestigious literary award in Finland, Finlandia Prize, last autumn, and has so far sold over 30,000 copies in Finland. It was also recently awarded the Blogistania Finlandia Award, the literature prize awarded by the Finnish book bloggers, bookstagramers and booktubers.

Foreign rights of Destruction have been sold to Sweden (Rámus).

Congratulations to the author!

Karin Erlandsson wins Radio Sweden Short Story Prize

Great news has reached us from Sweden: on the 26th of April, author Karin Erlandsson was awarded the Radio Sweden Short Story Prize (Sveriges Radios Novellpris) for her story Box (Lådan).

Karin Erlandsson (photo: Marcus Boman)

The prize is a part of the traditional Literature Week, organised by the Sweden’s National Broadcaster. In addition to a short story, also a novel and a work of poetry are awarded during the event crowning the Literature Week.

In her category, Erlandsson was competing with 4 other authors.

Karin Erlandsson is a Swedish-writing author who lives on Åland Islands. She writes both for children and adults, and has been nominated four times for the Nordic Council Literature Prize.

Her newest work is a narrative nonfiction Blue Yarn. What I know About Knitting, already sold to three territories, including to Blanvalet in Germany.

Congratulations to the author!