Topelius Award and Arvid Lydecken Award Nominations

Congratulations to our Topelius and Arvid Lydecken Award Nominees 2021!
Tuutikki Tolonen is nominated for Arvid Lydecken Award with her novel “Agnes and the Garden of Dreams” (WSOY 2020, illustrated by Kati Vuorento).
“Agnes and her mother move to a new town after the parents divorce. There she finds a tombstone with the name of Agnes and her birthday on it. Agnes begins to see dreams of a garden of an old villa and a girl walking there. She gets caught up in a mystical chain of events and finds herself from the middle of the garden of her dreams. The fascinatingly written narrative moves smoothly between the present and the past.”
Topelius Award nominees are Veera Salmi with her YA novel “A Beautiful Day to Die” (Otava 2020), and Finlandia-nominated Meri Luttinen with “Stormseye” (WSOY 2020).
“A Beautiful Day to Die: Isra, who has a Moroccan background, and Leo, who is thrown from one surrogate family to another, feel deadlocked. They have one goal in their life: to see the pandas of Ähtäri and die. The road trip-inspired book realistically and credibly describes the lives of young people in situations from which there seems to be no way out. The novel challenges us to think about the significance of starting points for life and its direction. At the same time, it tells a resounding story about the difficulty of making choices, getting to know yourself, and taking responsibility.”
“Stormseye: In the age-old rite, young girls find their life mission. Kainu’s fate turns out to be to become a sage, which brings with it a great deal of responsibility. She has to solve the riddle of the Stormseye pendant to find herself and her place in the community. Set in the ancient Finnish fantasy world, the debut novel is a great growth story that deals with difference, loneliness and overcoming one’s own fears.”
Topelius Award is given to a brilliant YA authors and novels, and Arvid Lydecken Award to Children’s Books.

Meri Luttinen


Meri Luttinen (1987) is a Tampere-based debut writer. She has a Master's degree in Finnish language and literature and has worked with Finnish teaching and study materials. She has studied writing at the Viita Academy Writing School. Luttinen is interested in people's everyday lives in different eras and wants to take readers to other worlds with her texts.

Tuutikki Tolonen


Tuutikki Tolonen is the author of several acclaimed children’s books, plays and academic articles. For Monster Nanny she received the Arvid Lydecken award. She teaches creative writing and has worked as an editor and reporter at Vinski, Finland’s only literary journal for children. Her inspiration for the Monster Nanny duology sparked during a family breakfast. “My son Leo, then six, said: ‘I heard on the radio yesterday that all moms have to go on vacation and monsters will take their places,” she says.

Tolonen is currently writing Agnes series, of which the first book "Agnes and the Garden of Dreams" won the honorary award in Runeberg Prize 2020.

Veera Salmi


Veera Salmi (1976) is a Helsinki-based writer, who has worked over 15 years as a kindergarten teacher. The real starting point for her career as a writer was given by the children in the kindergarten, who said they wanted to hear storied of children who live in the city. So she started writing such stories. Now Veera Salmi is a bestselling author of over 20 books.

A Beautiful Day to Die is her brand new young adults’ novel. When Salmi wrote the book she travelled around Helsinki by metro, and listened to the teenagers and young adults, making notes about the rich, innovative and international language they used.