The Natural Comedy and Endless Winter nominated for the Finlandia Comics Award

The Natural Comedy by Ulla Donner and Endless Winter by Miila Westin have been nominated for the Finlandia Comics Award. This is the second award nomination for both titles, also running for the Most Beautiful Book of the Year Award.

The Natural Comedy by Ulla Donner and Endless Winter by Miila Westin have been nominated for the Finlandia Comics Award. The award committee have motivated their selection as follows:

The Natural Comedy (Den Naturliga Comedian, 2023)

The Natural Comedy takes a birch leaf and a mixed mushroom on an adventure through a forest and what is left of it, through hell and purgatory. But is it possible to find a way to heaven in the middle of an environmental catastrophe? Even though there is only a limited palette of colours, the images are rich in content and bring new insights upon a closer look”

“[in Endless Winter] Elves, forest folk, goblins, goblins and other mythical characters of the Baltic Finns abound in this comic novel by Miila Westin. With colourful and clear illustrations, this album is suitable for adventurers of all ages.”

The winner of the Finlandia Comics award will be announced on March 22nd.

Endless Winter (Loputon Talvi, 2023)

The Natural Comedy is the third graphic novel by Ulla Donner and it rethinks Dante’s Divine Comedy by making a birch leaf and a mushroom the protagonists and sending them on a roadtrip through the forest, resulting in a devastatingly funny and beautiful work that sharply criticises mankind’s exploitation of nature and contemporary society.

Endless Winter by Miila Westin is the first of a series of graphic novels for children with Baltic and Finnish mythological elements, and it follows 11-year-old Eevi as she realizes that something has gone awry and winter will last forever unless she finds a way to awaken spring.

Both The Natural Comedy and Endless Winter are also running for the Most Beautiful Book of the Year Award.

Congratulations to the nominees, and fingers crossed!

Destruction sold to Magvető in Hungary

The Finlandia Prize-winning novel Destruction by Iida Rauma has been acquired by one of Hungary’s most prestigeous literary publishing houses, Magvető.

Destruction by Iida Rauma quickly caught critics’ and readers’ attention when it came out in 2022 thanks to its combination of a strong and captivating literary voice, an impressive thematic depth and the ability to bring to the fore a social issue often overlooked: how children are treated in society. In Destruction, Rauma turns the spotlight onto violence in schools, but builds the theme into even bigger issues: how the strong tend always to exercise their power on the weaker ones. According to Turun Sanomat newspaper, the novel is “a dazzling demonstration of art’s potential to expose societal structures”.

Destruction (Hävitys, 2022)

Magvető is one of Hungary’s most prestigious publishing houses. It is the home of Imre Kertész, the only Hungarian laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature, and of László Krasznahorkai, the only Hungarian winner of the International Man Booker Prize. It is also the publisher of authors such as César Aira, Michel Houellebecq, Cormac McCarthy, Thomas Pynchon, Gabriel García Márquez and Lyudmila Ulitskaya.

Destruction is Rauma’s third novel, preceded by The Book of Disappearances and On Sex and Mathematics. It has been previously sold to Rámus in Sweden – the Swedish edition will be published soon – and to Jensen & Dalgaard in Denmark.

The Book of Misty Trees by Anja Portin sold to Denmark

The Book of Misty Trees, the newest book by award-winning author Anja Portin, is travelling to Denmark, where it will be published by Straarup.

The Book of Misty Trees (Sumupuiden kirja, 2023)

The Book of Misty Trees is the newest book by Anja Portin, the author of international bestseller and award winner Radio Popov, and it is now travelling to Denmark where it will be published by Straarup. This marks the 2nd foreign deal for this title, previously sold to Estonia.

The Book of Misty Trees follows Magda Murkbird as she loses her mother in a horrible accident and needs to learn to cope on her own. Along with her dog Chestnut, she sets out on a journey to look for her aunt she has never met and on the way they get lost in a mysterious thick fog covering the peak of the Misty Mountain. 

Anja Portin. Kuva: Miikka Pirinen / S&S

Thus begins an unforgettable adventure in a world governed by Misty Trees, above all the eldest of them, the fountain of all living, the enormous Everbark. 

Anja Portin has quickly become a favourite among children’s authors with her middle grade novel Radio Popov, now sold to 25 areas. She writes about children who take matters into their own hands when grownups do not want to take responsibility or are not there to do it. 

Straarup is a Danish independent publishing house, home to many well-loved Finnish titles for children like The Princess Who Did A Runner, A Giraffe’s Heart is Unbelievably Large and Portin’s Radio Popov.

Congratulations to the author and the publisher!

HLA in attendance at both London Book Fair and Bologna Children’s Book Fair

Don’t let the snowy weather and the frosty air fool you: the spring fairs are just around the corner, and we at HLA are warming up our engines for both the London Book Fair and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

If you’ll be attending the London Book Fair, you can set up a meeting with Urpu or Viivi by getting in touch with our assistant Anastasia.

If you’ll be attending the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, you can set up a meeting with Chiara by getting in touch with our assistant Anastasia.

We’re hoping to see you there!

Lit-Quest Project: last days to apply

The clock is ticking, but there is some time left: the application deadline for the Literary Professionals Residence Program, part of the Lit-Quest project, is February 15th 2024, which leaves 2 full days to apply if you haven’t already.

The Literary Professionals Residence Program consists of fellowships in the home countries of the organising agencies: in this case Croatia, Slovenia and Finland. The open call will result in the selection of 9 literary professionals, agents or editors, who will get to travel to one of the countries (three per country) and give a lecture on a topic based on their professional experience. For this project our partners are Goga (Novo Mesto, Slovenia) and Sandorf (Zagreb, Croatia).

You can find the application on the following link:

Don’t miss out on this opportunity, and hopefully see you soon!

Open Call for Literary Professionals Residence Program 2024

The Literary Professionals Residence Program is a part of the Lit-Quest Europe project, which is a cooperative initiative involving Publishing House Goga (Slo), Sandorf (Cro), and Helsinki Literary Agency (Fi). The Lit-Quest Europe project receives support from the EU Creative Europe program.

The Literary Professionals Residence Program for 2024 is open to welcome literary agents and editors from all eligible countries within the EACEA program:

EU Countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.
Non-EU Countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, North
Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

The program particularly emphasizes literary professionals who possess extensive experience in their field, are accustomed to delivering lectures, and are proficient in the English language. We aim to enable the participation of literary professionals of all ages and genders, with a common criterion: their knowledge will have a meaningful impact on the countries of their residence. For the year 2024, the call for applications is open for 9 literary professionals. Each residency will have a duration of 5 days, scheduled between June 1st and November 30th, 2024.

Number of Residencies:
• Goga Publishing (Slovenia – Novo mesto): 3 residencies
• Sandorf (Croatia – Zagreb): 3 residencies
• Helsinki Literary Agency (Finland – Helsinki): 3 residencies

The fellowship for literary professionals will include:
• A 5-night stay in an apartment
• Travel costs (up to 500 EUR)
• Accommodation costs (up to 150 EUR per night)
• Subsistence costs (50 EUR per person)
• Lecture Fee (300 EUR)
• Selected literary professionals will be required to complete a questionnaire provided by
literary agents who are also part of this project.
• Lectures will be recorded and disseminated on the project page.
• All literary professionals will have the opportunity to meet local literary professionals of the host country and other individuals from the publishing field.

The application should include:
• A concise Curriculum Vitae
• Full contact information (phone number and email address)
• Information about the field of profession
• Photograph (for promotional purposes)
• Consent statement regarding the recording of the lecture
All application materials should be submitted in English. The application deadline is February 15th 2024.

The selection will be conducted by the Board of the Lit-Quest Europe Project.
For additional questions regarding the call, please contact via email:
Applicants will be notified of the jury’s decision via email by Thursday, February 22th, 2024.