The Agency celebrates its 8th anniversary with 3 new deals and great reviews

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency celebrates its 8th anniversary today
Since 2009 we have read hundreds of books, sold translation rights to 56 different languages and traveled the world from Los Angeles to Shanghai. We wish to thank everyone who has collaborated with us along the way, and raise a toast to many good years to come. On our birthday we’re glad to announce three milestone-marking deals:

20th deal for the baby-sitting monsters
Tuutikki Tolonen and Pasi Pitkänen’s middle-grade duology Monster Nanny & Monster Route has now been sold to DarkSide Books; Brazilian Portuguese is the 20th language these lovely books will be available in!

10th deal for two friends in wonderland
Chinese rights of Salla Simukka’s Sisterland, illustrated by Saku Heinänen, have been sold to Hunan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House. Editor Ran Chang was very glad about the acquisition: “We can’t emphasize how popular Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Secret Garden are in China, and we believe so will Sisterland be! No wonder why Salla Simukka is internationally recognized since she is such a wonderful story-teller.”

1st deal for a group of extraordinary creatures
Hunan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House has also bought the Chinese rights to Pasi Pitkänen’s brand new picture book The Island of Lost Animals. “The Island of Lost Animals is a wonderful creation both in terms of the texts and the illustrations. It is such an engaging story to find out the terrifying monster becomes a real hero in the end, and to enjoy the rich and vigorous illustrations of many animal characters. Kids in China will love it!” said Ran Chang.

…and Maresi receives great reviews again
“A magnificent novel offering beautiful, contemplative writing, fascinating mythology and magic, deep characters and a beautiful message of hope. A very beautiful discovery!” says the expert committee of Montreuil Children’s Book Fair, and places Maria Turtschaninoff’s Maresi – now sold in 21 territories – in their top 3 books of May.

Don’t forget to get in touch with us to request reading materials!

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, 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.

Pasi Pitkänen


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.

Salla Simukka


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.

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 trilogy 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 the Agnes series, of which the first book "Agnes and the Garden of Dreams" was in 2020 nominated for both Runeberg Junior and Arvid Lydecken Awards and won LukuVarkaus 2020 award!

Deals round-up: monsters, goddesses, and rave reviews

Summer is starting and we’ve had an exciting spring also in the children’s and young adults’ book front with many deals and good reviews. See below for the exciting news, and don’t forget to get in touch with us for reading materials!

Monster Nanny sold to Turkey
SEV Redhouse Kidz has acquired the Turkish rights to our middle-grade hit: “Monster Nanny is one of the books that draw the reader instantly into its unordinary world where some children are looked after by reluctant monster nannies. There is a lot of humour that makes you smile and lots of moments – like Monster Nanny and Mimi’s hugs! – that touch your heart. Such emotions in such a rich and well-structured text filled with great adventure…” said editor Gökçe Ateş Aytuğ on acquisition. The second book in the series, Monster Route, was also just published in France!

Freya published in the U.S. and sold to Poland
Matthew Laurence’s Freya, a YA adventure starring the Norse goddess Freya fighting her enemies in the modern world, was published by Macmillan to great reviews: “Move over, Percy Jackson, there’s a new girl in town,” wrote Booklist. After Bologna Book Fair the novel’s Polish rights were snapped by the renowned YA publisher Jaguar.

Maresi’s follow-up Naondel sold to Estonia
Varrak, Maria Turtschaninoff’s Estonian publisher has acquired the rights to Naondel, the prequel of the “Finnish feminist fantasy”Maresi. The UK edition of Naondel has received nice reviews in the press: “A prequel that introduces the founding sisters of the all-female Red Abbey… their interwoven stories told with unflinching clarity, rise to a vengeful climax with the glow of the red moon, and will stay with the reader long after the book is closed,” wrote Guardian.

Arabic rights of Sisterland sold to Arab Scientific Publishers
Following the Sharjah Book Fair in the UAE we closed a deal for the Arabic rights of Salla Simukka’s middle-grade novelSisterland. This marks the ninth deal for the novel, which will be published later this year in English by Random House US.

Bookwitch published in Finland
The YA duology Bookwitch/Witchbook by Anne Leinonen belonged to one of our most requested titles at the Bologna Book Fair. The combination of love, real life teenager issues and magic in a parallel city of Helsinki hasn’t left the reviewers cold: “Bookwitch feels like a true literary celebration. […] Leinonen nicely weaves the literary classics into the story, playing with references to familiar stories and books.” (Luetaanko tämä blog)

Little Brother’s Magnificent Expedition gathers great reviews
Leena Parkkinen and Jussi Karjalainen’s collaboration children’s novel finds its readers in Finland. “Parkkinen’s language is rich and entertaining, the characters deliciously built. Jussi Karjalainen’s illustrations capture the exciting atmosphere of the story very nicely,” writes Lastut blog.

Anne Leinonen


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.

Jussi Karjalainen


Jussi Karjalainen is a graphic designer, illustrator and co-founder of Napa Books. His distinctive artwork has featured widely across books, music and print media, and been exhibited at showrooms and galleries.

Leena Parkkinen


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.

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, 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.