Veera Salmi (1976) is a writer who lives in Helsinki. Prior to her career as a writer she worked for 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 no longer wanted to hear the same old stories that take place somewhere in the countryside. They wanted to hear stories about the city, the kind of place where they themselves lived. So she started writing such stories. First she wrote urban stories for children, then for adults and now for young adults as well. Veera Salmi is a bestselling author of over 20 books.
A Beautiful Day to Die is her brand new, urban young adults’ novel – even though the characters also leave the city. 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.
Satu Kettunen won 2015 Rudolf Koivu award for her debut picture book “Otso Aarnisen salaperäinen seikkailu”. Her second book, Yökirja (together with Inka Nousiainen) was nominated for the Nordic Council Children’s Literature Prize in 2017. Satu illustrates children’s books and magazines, and she also creates art installations, exhibitions and street art.
MILA TERÄS has written several books for children, young adults and adults, and been nominated for the prestigious Finlandia Junior and Topelius prizes. She often incorporates fantasy and historical elements into her realistic work.
Mila Teräs has been nominated for several prizes, like for the prestigious Topelius Prize in 2006 & 2013, and for the Anni Polva Prize in 2013. She was shortlisted for IBBY honors list 2007, and her and Karoliina Pertamo’s previous collaborations were nominated for the most renowned children’s literary prize in Finland, the Finlandia Prize, in 2014 and 2015.
Two books from Mila Teräs’ middle-grade Telma series have been translated into German. She has written for kids, youngsters and adults.
ELINA HIRVONEN is an author of adults’ and children’s prose, a journalist and documentary filmmaker. She has written four highly acclaimed adults’ novels that are at the same time tragic and beautiful. She is also known for her picture book series Princess Rascal, and she is currently writing a middle-grade trilogy – the first book of the series, Julia & P.A.L. will be published in fall 2020.
She has received Kalevi Jäntti Prize, and Nuori Aleksis Prize and has been nominated for Finlandia Prize and Debut Prize.
Anders Vacklin is a prize-winning screenwriter, dramaturge, script doctor, and author of several manuals on scriptwriting.
Aki Parhamaa is studying creative writing at the University of Jyväskylä, and writing a Finnish superhero movie.
Beta is the duo’s first novel, based on a script for a short film called Suited Reality, a success at PAGE International, International BlueCat, and ScreenCraft screenwriting competitions.
Anne Leinonen (b.1973) is a multiple-award winning, key author, tutor and editor of Finnish science fiction and fantasy. Her most recent publication is the first volume of a YA urban fantasy duology, Bookwitch (Kirjanoita), which will be followed by Witchbook (Noitakirja) in 2018.
Leinonen’s short stories have been published in magazines and anthologies, earning her several Atorox awards (voted for by fans). Her science fiction novels, Viivamaalari and Ilottomien ihmisten kylä were published to positive reviews, as well as a trilogy, Routasisarukset, written in collaboration with Eija Lappalainen, In addition to writing YA and adult fiction, she has now started to work on audio and television dramas.
Anne Leinonen moves fluidly between science fiction and fantasy. Her texts deal with themes of otherness and unfamiliarity, as well as conflicts between the community and the individual. Nature plays an important part in her work, as a vehicle for the story, the stage of action and on a symbolic level. Leinonen’s prose is taut, with no superficial descriptions. Instead, she takes her readers right in to the middle of events and the lives of her characters. Her use of language shows talent and uniqueness, favouring experimentation with different styles and often works on several pieces at the same time. She is especially renowned for her collaborations with other writers.
Leena Parkkinen has authored three prize-winning adults’ novels set in 20th century Europe, often about people living at the margins society. Her skillful use of detail is often imbued with an element of suspense. She has also written two children’s story books.
Parkkinen has received numerous literary awards, such as Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for the best debut (2009), Academic Bookshop’s Bestselling Debut Prize (2009), Laila Hirvisaari Award (2010) and the Kalevi Jäntti Prize (2013), in addition to being nominated for the Tulenkantaja Export Prize 2017. Her works have been translated into seven languages to date.
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. Jäntti is best known for the adorable Little Mouse series that has been sold to 13 territories, including Australia, Nepal, and China !
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.
Ville Hytönen (b. 1982) is a poet, children’s book writer, bookshop owner, columnist and publishing director at Savukeidas Publishing, which he founded at the age of 19. He lives in Tallinn, Estonia. Hytönen’s poems have been translated into 16 languages. In 2010 he received the Sammon Tekijät Award for new thinking, creativity and innovation. Awarded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, the prize is worth 50,000 euros.
Wonky Donkey (Hipinäaasi apinahiisi, Tammi 2013), which Hytönen created together with illustrator Matti Pikkujämsä, was nominated for the prestigious 2013 Finlandia Junior Prize that honours the year’s best children’s book. Wonky Donkey was also named one of 2013’s three most beautiful Finnish children’s books by the Finnish Book Art Committee.
Hannele Huovi (born 1949) is an acclaimed Finnish author who wrote her first children’s radio play while studying for her university degree. In addition to being known as a versatile creator of children’s and juvenile literature, she also writes poetry and prose for adults.
Huovi has received several awards and nominations for her work; among these is the Topelius Prize for the best Finnish youth novel in 2002 (for The Feather Chain), a Finlandia Junior nomination in 2011 (for The Giant Girl and her Tiny Friend), and a nomination for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2004, 2006 and 2008.
During her career Hannele Huovi has collaborated with a variety of illustrators and artists, namely with Kristiina Louhi (Jättityttö ja Pirhonen) and Jukka Lemmetty (Urpo ja Turpo). Hannele Huovi is also an accomplished translator into the Finnish language, having translated more than 50 children’s books.
Mintie Das (b. 1976) was born in India and raised in the U.S., but has traveled around the globe. She resides in Helsinki, Finland. She has 15 years of experience in corporate PR and marketing, and she has also worked as an editor. Her first book, Storm Sisters: The Sinking World, produced in collaboration with Rovio Books, has drawn international attention. In February of 2015 it was one of only 11 entries selected for Books at Berlinale, an annual event that introduces film producers to new literary works with strong potential for the big screen.
Markku Karpio worked as a kindergarten teacher for 12 years before becoming a full-time writer in 1996, one year after the publication of his debut novel Headlamp (Otsalamppu, Otava 1995). Karpio has authored both YA and adult novels and numerous short stories, columns and articles, as well as a four-part television series. His novel Storm Warning (Myrskyvaroitus, Otava 2008) was nominated for the Topelius Prize, an award that recognizes the year’s best Finnish book for children and young people.
Karpio has also been nominated twice for the Kirjava Kettu (“Colourful Fox”) prize, in 2009 (for Storm Warning) and 2014 (for My Father is an Astronaut), and twice for the LukuVarkaus Prize. In 2005 he was given the Pertsa and Kilu prize for his impressive contribution to Finnish youth literature. He lives in Utö, a small island in the Baltic Sea.
Anssi Keränen, an author and illustrator, has a master’s degree in graphic design from the University of Art and Design Helsinki (now part of Aalto University), and has provided graphic design services for some of Finland’s largest corporations. He has also worked as an illustrator for Finnish magazines since 1999. Keränen is known for his humorous style that is at once classic and innovative. In Captain Cody and the Secrets of the Sea (Tammi 2015), Keränen tells an eco-positive story from a fresh and relatable angle.
Tomi Kontio is one of the most esteemed and acclaimed poets of his generation. His debut collection of poetry Under the Ballroom Sky, which came out in 1993, received the J.H. Erkko Prize, as well as the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for the best recently published debut in 1999. Kontio’s poetry has been translated into many different languages, for example English, Spanish, Polish, Swedish, German, Czech, Hungarian, and Estonian. Tomi Kontio has been nominated for the Runeberg Prize first for The Indecent (1994), a collection of short stories, and then for his novel Deep Inside (1995).
He has published outstanding children’s books, of which the first, Daddy Grew Wings in the Spring, won the Finlandia Junior Prize for 2000. His first book for pre-school children, The Cow with a Trap Door in Her Side, came out in 2006. Illustrator Camilla Pentti received the Rudolf Koivu Prize for the book. Kontio has also written columns and song lyrics. He lives in Helsinki, and has five children.
Katja Krekelä is a Tampere-based author known for her lyrical and imaginative stories mixing adventure and fairy tale. Her debut novel Romisko (2011) has been translated into Danish and Swedish. Wild Castle (Tammi 2015), her middle-grade fantasy adventure, explores a simultaneously creepy and delightful world in which nothing is as it seems.
Matthew Laurence has been a writer and game designer for more than eight years. He is consistently delighted that he actually gets paid to make games. His career has taken him from Orlando to San Francisco, Helsinki and Munich. In addition to playing games of all kinds, Matthew writes and cooks, travels with his wife whenever (and wherever) possible, and maintains an unhealthy relationship with Netflix.
The Freya YA series is produced in collaboration with Kaiken Publishing, an affiliate company of Rovio Entertainment. It continues and builds on Rovio’s publishing programs while also developing new stories, worlds and characters.
Kristiina Louhi is an artist and an awarded graphic designer, illustrator and author. She has illustrated dozens of children’s books over the years including illustrations for the texts by Hannele Huovi, Hannu Mäkelä, Leena Laulajainen, Katri Tapola and Riitta Jalonen.
Kristiina Louhi’s Aino series has been published since 1984 and Tomppa series since 1993. Books illustrated by Kristiina Louhi have been published in over ten languages all around the world.
Sanna Pelliccioni is a Finnish illustrator, graphic designer and children’s author living in Helsinki with her Finnish-Italian family. Pelliccioni illustrates with a lot of techniques, in mean time her favourite is collage and mixed techniques. She studied arts, illustration and graphic design in Bologna and in the University of Macerata, Italy and in Pekka Halonen Institute in Finland.
She loves illustrating picture books and poems and making graphic design for book covers and her own books. She also writes for children and young people and concerning the themes of books she’s especially interested in equality, indigenous people, myths and taboos, forest and nature. Pelliccioni is mostly known for her Onni-poika picture book series which started in 2007 and contains 15 books so far.
Pelliccioni collaborates with authors writing for children and young people and works with many Finnish editors. Some of her books are translated to Chinese, Corean, Arabic, English and Swedish, soon also in Turkish and Estonian.
Sari Peltoniemi is a versatile and respected author who writes for children, young adults, and adults. She has also written lyrics and played the bass in the Noitalinna huraa! band. Peltoniemi’s texts have the ability to transform even the most ordinary into extraordinary and everyday life into an adventure. Peltoniemi says she writes organic fantasy that combines everyday reality with the countless possibilities of the imagination.
Pasi Pitkänen has become known for his richly detailed illustrative work on several children’s books such as the Monster Nanny duology by Tuutikki Tolonen. He has also worked at Rovio Entertainment as an illustrator, character designer and graphic designer; Angry Birds: Bad Piggies’ Egg Recipes (Rovio Books 2012), illustrated by Pitkänen, was named Best First Cookbook of the Year at 2012’s Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Among Pitkänen’s hobbies are quantum physics, people-watching, B-movies, insects and baking.
Elina Rouhiainen is a Helsinki-based author with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. She says she drinks too much coffee, specializes in the wee small hours and one-liners, and loves reading YA novels; and just like her protagonists, she is very familiar with the streets of Helsinki. Rouhiainen finished the first version of her debut novel Untamed, the first entry in the Wolf Creek series, in just over a month. The story took flight when an image flashed through her mind: a big wolf approaching a girl sitting alone at the edge of the forest.
Salla Simukka is the author of the international success story The Snow White Trilogy: rights are sold in 52 territories and in Hollywood. She has written several novels for young readers and her accolades include the Topelius Prize 2013 and the Finland Prize 2013.
Previously Simukka has written book reviews for the newspapers, translated all kinds of texts into Finnish, worked an editor at a literary magazine and as a screenwriter for a popular TV show for young audiences. These days she writes books for young adults and children, and travels the world talking about them.
Marja-Leena Tiainen is one of the most respected and beloved Finnish YA authors, with more than 30 children’s and young adults’ novels under her belt. She often tackles difficult themes such as death, racism or teenage pregnancy in her novels, which by no means lack in emotional depth. Her numerous accolades include the Topelius Prize and two nominations for the ALMA.
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.
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, a nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and winner of the 2014 Finlandia Junior Prize. Maria has a Master of Arts in human ecology and works full-time as a writer.
Riina Katajavuori is known for both her poetry and her prose, which includes works for both adults and children; her poetry has been translated into more than 20 languages. She is also a frequent columnist for several Finnish magazines. Among her best-known projects is the Pentti picture book series created in collaboration with illustrator Salla Savolainen. Katajavuori’s novel Gifts (Tammi 2004) was nominated for the prestigious Runeberg prize. The Ladies of Seven Brothers (Tammi 2014) became an instant classic upon its fall 2014 publication.