Danish rights to The Mythicals series sold in two-book deal

The Mythicals series by Miila Westin, which began with Endless Winter and is now continuing with A Dangerous Dream, is travelling to Denmark, where it will be published by Straarup.

Endless Winter (Loputon Talvi, S&S 2023)

Miila Westin’s stunning The Mythicals series is on a roll: Endless Winter and A Dangerous Dream have been acquired by Straarup in a two-book deal, thus securing the Danish rights to the series.

The Mythicals is a middle-grade graphic novel series that draws inspiration from Balto-Finnish mythology. In Endless Winter (Mythicals #1) we follow Eevi, a girl who has just lost her grandpa and is worried as it’s June but winter shows no signs of ending. A mysterious necklace shows her that there’s more to the world than what meets the (human) eye: a group of crop elves and a gnome, Otso, become her unlikely fellows in a journey to the Underworld. It’s the only chance to put an end to winter and save the arrival of spring, but is it also Eevi’s chance to bring Grandpa back?

A Dangerous Dream (Vaarallinen Uni, S&S, 2024)

In A Dangerous Dream (Mythicals #2) Otso shows up again in Eevi’s life, asking for her help to save his sister, who is severely ill. Only Eevi’s mysterious necklace can save her, and she agrees to help her friend. But why does she keep having scary dreams about the sun going dark? As Eevi soon learns, dreams are rarely just dreams, and they can be very dangerous.

Miila Westin is an established, award-winning illustrator and Endless Winter marked her debut as author. For it, she received an honourable mention for the Punni award and the Most Beautiful Book of the Year Award.

Straarup & co is a Århus-based publisher who has become the Danish home of many well-loved and successful Finnish titles and authors. Among them are Karin Erlandsson‘s titles, including the latest Juno Lights The Moon, Anja Portin‘s Radio Popov and The Book of Misty Trees, and Saara Kekäläinen & Netta Lehtola’s The Princess Who Did A Runner.

This is the third foreign deal for Endless Winter, whose World Spanish rights are with Galimatazo, and the Czech rights with Host.

Congratulations to the author and the publishers!

Fishing For the Little Pike awarded the Silver Foreword Indies Award

Juhani Karila’s wildly successful Fishing For the Little Pike has won the Silver Foreword Indies Award with the US edition, published by Restless Books.

Juhani Karila’s Fishing For the Little Pike, our wildly successful, wonderfully weird and internationally best-selling title, has won the Silver Foreword Indies Book of the Year Award in the category Literary Fiction.

 Foreword Reviews is a US-based platform dedicated to discovering, reviewing, and sharing the work of independent publishers, and it assigns on a yearly basis a literary award for fiction, non fiction, children’s literature and general works. In the US, Fishing For the Little Pike is published by Restless Books.

Fishing For the Little Pike is Juhani Karila’s debut novel and it follows Elina Ylijaako, a young woman who is under the spell of a curse that forces her to travel back to her home village in the Finnish Lapland to fish a specific pike from a specific pond every year, or she and her childhood love will die. This year, however, the supernatural gets in the way in the form of a mythological creature haunting the pond, all while a detective is on her trail as she is suspected of murder. Funny, surprisingly wise and proudly weird, Fishing For the Little Pike was an instant hit upon its release, and it has so far travelled to 17 language territories. In Finland, it is published by Siltala.

Warmest congratulations to the author and the publishers!

The Book of Misty Trees awarded the LukuVarkaus Prize

The Book of Misty Trees by Anja Portin, author of international best-selling title Radio Popov, has been awarded the LukuVarkaus Prize.

Anja Portin‘s latest work, The Book of Misty Trees, has been awarded the LukuVarkaus Prize during the Vekara-Varkaus festival week, dedicated to children’s literature.

The final decision on the winner of the prize was made by a jury of seven children, who chose The Book of Misty Trees motivating their choice by praising the book for being thrilling and captivating, adding that its central themes, friendship and protecting nature, are important in the lives of children and that the fantasy world of the book is both adventurous and enriching, and they learned more about nature while reading.

The LukuVarkaus Prize was established in 2001, and is awarded on a yearly basis to a children’s book.

The Book of Misty Trees is an adventurous story set in a fantasy world where we follow Magda Murkbird, who loses her mother and her house in a landslide. Luckily, she is not all alone but has Chestnut – the best dog on earth. In fact, it is thanks to Chestnut that Magda has survived unscathed. The two set off on a journey to look for Magda’s aunt she has never met, and on the way they get lost in a mysterious thick fog covering the peak of the Misty Mountain. 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. 

A classic fantasy adventure with an environmentally conscious twist, The Book of Misty Trees has been received with praising reviews and accolades, and it has so far traveled to Denmark, Estonia and Poland.

In Finland, the book is published by S&S.

Congratulations to the author and the publishers!

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

Author Johanna Förster discussed The Circus of Dreams at the LANU! Children’s and YA literature festival

Author Johanna Förster, who debuted with The Circus of Dreams this spring, participated in a literature panel during the LANU! Children’s and YA literature festival in Helsinki.

The LANU! Festival banner

The topic of the panel was “Fantasy of Alternative Realities”, and Johanna Förster discussed the dystopic future she built for The Circus of Dreams. The conversation, where Johanna Förster discussed with fellow author Niklas Ahnberg, gave her a chance to discuss The Circus of Dreams, which has been welcomed with brilliant reviews on Finnish media.

Recording of the panel at LANU! Literature Festival, featuring author Johanna Förster and fellow author Niklas Ahnberg (in Finnish)

In The Circus of Dreams it is a near future, and we follow seventeen-year-old Juuli. On her way to work, Juuli happens upon a fox in the street. Following behind it is a Watcher, who luckily doesn’t notice her helping the fox escape. The everyday world becomes strangely fractured when the same fox, Eduardo Silver, starts appearing in Juuli’s dreams. In them, she’s in a circus. But are her dreams really dreams?

The Circus of Dreams (Unien sirkus, 2024)

Around this same time, Juuli befriends the street artist and activist Niko, his sister Nini and his old friend Iida. For a while, everything feels new and full of possibilities, but then something terrible happens. Juuli sets out to find her friends, crossing a continent that has changed in peculiar ways. While on her journey she returns to forgotten childhood memories of a circus that was destroyed in a fire. She embarks on an amazing adventure where she meets her own self, her missing father, and events from the past. This multilayered story transports readers to the totalitarian Europe of the recent future, to a magical parallel world, and into Juuli’s memories. These are woven together to form a place where the falsehood of a restrictive environment is juxtaposed against joy and imagination.

Way to go for this amazing YA title and author Johanna Förster!