Elina Ahlback Literary Agency’s 10th anniversary celebration & New Deals

Exactly ten years ago on June 9th 2009 the Agency was founded by Elina Ahlbäck.

As it was 10 years ago, our mission is to represent the best of Finnish literature, and be the leading Nordic agency to export Finnish authors’ works world-wide – and to ten-fold the literature exports!

We are excited to do a celebration round-up of our recent sales!


Film news:

A dystopian drama, based on Emmi Itäranta’s novel Memory of Water has received production support. The Production company is Bufo. Read more.

Fiction news:

The Ice-Cream Man by Katri Lipson has been sold to Germany to Schenk Verlag. Read more.

Non-Fiction news 

Rahva Raamat bought Estonian rights to a nonfiction title The Meaning of Your Life by Frank Martela – rights sold to 6 territories now. Read more.

Euromedia acquired Czech rights to Lotta Sonninen’s hilarious activity book: The Little Book of Bad Moods for MothersRead more.

Children’s news 

Rahva Raamat has acquired the Estonian rights to The Little Mouse series by Riikka Jäntti. Their 6-book-offer included the upcoming part Little Mouse’s Summer which will be published in 2020.

In SwedenHegas has bought rights to the first two books of Magdalena Hai’s hilarious horror series: The Little Shop of NightmaresRead more.

Emmi Itäranta

Emmi Itäranta (b.1976) holds two MA degrees, one in Drama and another in Creative Writing. Her award-winning debut novel Memory of Water (Teemestarin kirja) was published in Finland in 2012 to great accolades, followed by The Weaver (Kudottujen Kujien Kaupunki) in 2015. Itäranta’s writing has been compared to that of Ursula K. Le Guin.

Her honours include the Young Aleksis Kivi Prize 2013, the Kalevi Jäntti Literary Prize 2012 and first place in the Teos Fantasy and Sci-Fi Literary Contest 2011.

Memory of Water has also been nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award recognizing the best science fiction novel published in the UK in 2014, and the Golden Tentacle award. In addition, Itäranta has been included on the Honor List of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award.

Rights to Memory of Water have been sold in 21 languages to date.

Itäranta’s cv is an eclectic mix of writing-related activities, including stints as a columnist, theatre critic, press officer and dramaturge. Her poems, short stories, articles and essays have appeared in anthologies, film magazines and science fiction magazines in the UK and Finland. She lives in Canterbury, in the United Kingdom.

Frank Martela

Frank Martela, PhD., is essentially the only contemporary academic researcher who has published several articles on the topic of the meaning of life with a unique perspective on the science of happiness. He has collaborated with key experts of the topic and presented his research in numerous academic conferences as well as invited lectures at universities such as Stanford University, University of Edinburgh, and Simon Fraser University. He is a popular lecturer and author of three well-received and bestselling non-fiction books. Currently a post-doctoral researcher at Aalto University, Finland, he has been a visiting scholar at University of Rochester, NY. and Australian Catholic University.

Lotta Sonninen

Lotta Sonninen works as an editor of Finnish fiction and has also translated a lot of nonfiction. She got the idea for The Little Book of Bad Moods when working on yet another book on positivity. On her free time, she plays in a band and has tried to be funny on a stand-up comedy stage as well.

Author photo by Päivi Puustinen

Magdalena Hai

Magdalena Hai is a lover of cross genre fiction and all things strange, and her fiction often combines elements of sci-fi, fantasy and horror. Besides writing Hai teaches writing and is an active member and editor in the publishing co-operative Osuuskumma.

Riikka Jäntti

Riikka Jäntti, a 2003 graduate of Helsinki’s School of Art and Design, now part of Aalto University, is a Helsinki-based illustrator and author who has created art for both nonfiction and fairy tale books for children. Her first children’s book was published in 2005. Beyond Finland her works have been published in Swedish, Danish, Japanese and Chinese.

In her illustrations she uses pen and ink as well as watercolor and gouache. In 2009 Jäntti won the first ever Tieto-Lauri, an award for children’s and juvenile non-fiction, for her illustrations in Viidakkotanssi (Jungle Dance). The book was written by Markku Löytönen about the explorer Rafael Karsten in Ecuador.

Author photo by Veikko Somerpuro.