Naondel nominated for Topelius Prize 2017

Naondel (Tammi, 2016), Maria Turtschaninoff’s second volume in the ‘Red Abbey Chronicles’— which has sold in to sixteen languages and is the prequel to her Finlandia Prize-winning novel, Maresi which recounts how the founders of the Red Abbey came to be there — has been selected for the prestigious Topelius Prize, it was announced this week!

Also, up for the award is The Smelly Hand: And Other Awful Stories from Uhriinituntukainen (Karisto, 2016) Magadlena Hai’s collection of chilling horror stories that weave Finnish folktales with contemporary issues, such as bullying and loneliness, that will both entertain and scare readers in equal measure!

Awarded by the Finnish Union of Authors, the Topelius Prize is Finland’s longest-standing (est. 1946) literary prize for books written for young people; previous winners include Finnish literary greats such as Tove Jansson, Leena Krohn, Kari Hotakainen and our own, Salla Simukka! This year’s Lydecken Prize was won by Tuutikki Tolonen for Monster Nanny.

Awarded simultaneously with the Arvid Lydecken Prize for children’s books, winners of the Topelius and Lydecken prizes (€2017 each) will be announced on 13 January 2017 — following tradition, always on- or around Finnish author, Zachris Topelius’ birthday, 14 January 1818.

Best of luck to Maria, Magdalena and the other nominees!

Click to request reading material for Naondel
Click to request reading material for The Smelly Hand

The latest praise for Naondel:

“A suggestive depiction of a world where girls are oppressed but have the power to break free.” – Dagens Nyheter newspaper, Sweden

“Dark, painful, sublime. […] Naondel is Turtschaninoff’s most impressive work to date. – Kyrkpressen newspaper, Sweden

Praise for The Smelly Hand:

“…well-balanced and suitably chilling.” Ibby Finland blog

“This book comes highly recommended for horror fans, both younger and older alike.” Kirjastonkummitus blog, Finland

About author

Maria Turtschaninoff

Maria Turtschaninoff is known for crafting lyrical, historically inspired fantasy stories starring strong female protagonists. In addition to J.R.R. Tolkien, she counts Philip Pullman, Ursula K. Le Guin and C.S. Lewis among her favorite authors. She is a two-time winner of the Society of Swedish Literature Prize, winner of the Swedish YLE Literature Prize, winner of the Thank You for the Book Award, a nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2020-2024), and winner of the 2014 Finlandia Junior Prize.

Her Red Abbey Chronicles YA trilogy has been sold into 30 languages, while her first adult novel Inherited Land has been sold to 23 territories. Maria has a Master of Arts in human ecology and works full-time as a writer.


2024, Middle Grade (8-12 Years)

The Manticore

Maria Turtschaninoff

2022, Literary Fiction

Inherited Land

Maria Turtschaninoff

2018, Young Adult (13 or 14+)

Maresi: Red Mantle

Maria Turtschaninoff

2016, Young Adult (13 or 14+)


Maria Turtschaninoff

2014, Young Adult (13 or 14+)


Maria Turtschaninoff