Urpu Strellman leaves the Helsinki Literary Agency to run her own publishing house – Urtė Liepuoniūtė to return as senior literary agent

The Helsinki Literary Agency is happy to share some exciting news for our team members.

Urpu Strellman

Urpu Strellman, who has been working in Helsinki Literary Agency (HLA) since its founding in 2017, first as CEO and from 2023 as agent-at-large, will move on to run the publishing house Art House she has today acquired.

Urtė Liepuoniūtė returns to Helsinki Literary Agency in August in the new role of senior literary agent. Liepuoniūtė previously worked in the agency from 2019 to 2023, after which she focused on her career as an award-winning literary translator from Finnish to Lithuanian.

“I am delighted to return to HLA, to the work and industry that I love. In my new position, I’m looking forward to combining my two passions: strengthening the export of Finnish literature and visualizing the various ways the future can be implemented in publishing and agenting. HLA’s list is as stellar as ever, and I am eager to get to work with our great network of publishers and wonderful team,” Liepuoniūtė says.

Urtė Liepuoniūtė

“We are very grateful to Urpu for all the work she has done for the agency and Finnish literary export. HLA is now in an interesting stage of growth, and Urtė will both bring continuity and further strengthen our vision. We warmly welcome her back,” CEO Viivi Arela says.

Touko Siltala, co-founder of Siltala Publishing and chair of the HLA board, notes: “Urpu Strellman’s energy, strong commitment and professionalism have made HLA a key Finnish agency in the past 7 years. We thank her for her great work and wish good luck and success to the courageous publisher. It is a great source of joy and excitement to have Urtė Liepuoniūtė continue HLA’s strong work in the field of Finnish literary export.”

“The seven and half years I have spent at HLA have been an exciting and inspiring time, during which we have built an ambitious, wide, and internationally appealing list of Finnish literature. Successes seem to have become regular, but there is still the same feeling of excitement and moving forward in the agency. Our authors will be in the safe hands of my brilliant colleagues,” says Strellman.

Alongside Arela and Liepuoniūtė, Chiara Stanziani continues her work as a literary agent and Anastasia Basova as a literary assistant.

Helsinki Literary Agency is a Finnish literary agency jointly owned by the publishing houses Gummerus, Schildts & Söderströms, and Siltala. It represents over 150 authors and illustrators and counts eleven Finlandia Prize winners and five Finlandia Junior Prize winners among the authors it represents.

More Information:
Viivi Arela, CEO | viivi@helsinkiagency.fi | +358 40 838 5376
Touko Siltala, chair of the HLA board | touko@siltalapublishing.fi | +358 400 548403