© Otava / Kari Hautala

Reetta Niemelä

Reetta Niemelä (b. 1973) has studied ecology and ethnology and worked as a teacher, museum guide and gardener. She has written poetry and children’s books. In addition to that, her writing career has included also founding a literary society, Kapustarinta, independent publishing of literary CD:s, and first of all performing for her readers, especially for children.

She has been the producer of numerous literary events, as well as performed herself in them. Her productive work for the contacts between the writers, readers and literary activists between Finland and Russia has formed an active network between these countries. And she doesn’t only work on the branch of literature but is at home as well among music, dance and theatre. Her other work is to ranch honeybees.

Author Reetta Niemelä and illustrator Salla Savolainen’s Starhill Stables and The Dogs of Starhill Stables have found a devoted audience; the rights to the first book in the series have been sold to seven countries.


Press quotes

There is plenty of humour based on linguistic insight. – Kaleva on Sausage Pirouette

Reetta Niemelä’s diction is fresh and colourful. – Turun Sanomat



Children’s books:

* with Leena Lumme:

  • Millie’s Summer (Miljan kesä), Otava, 2002
  • Millie’s Winter (Miljan talvi), Otava, 2002
  • Millie’s Autumn (Miljan syksy), Otava, 2003
  • Millie’s Spring (Miljan kevät), Otava, 2004
  • Millie’s Garden (Miljan puutarha), Otava, 2005
  • Millie In The City (Miljan kaupunki), Otava, 2007
  • Millie’s Do-It-Yourself (Milja nikkaroi), Otava, 2009

* with Matti Pikkujämsä:

  • Sausage Pirouette (Makkarapiruetti), Otava, 2005

* with Salla Savolainen:

  • The Blue Fly Circus (Sinisen kärpäsen sirkus), Otava, 2010
  •  Star Hill Stables (Tikkumäen talli), Otava, 2011
  • My Horse Friends – Star Hill Stables – a Fill-in Book (Oma hevosystäväni. Tikkumäen talli – Täytettävä kirja), Otava, 2013
  • Noble, My Friend – Star Hill Stables (Ystäväni Uljas. Tikkumäen talli), Otava, 2015
  • Siira´s Circus Tour (Siiran sirkusmatka), Otava 2017


  • Joen huoma on aina valoisa. Kaarinan kaupunki, 1997
  • Kolmosten talo. With Pauliina Haasjoki. Nihil Interit, 2005
  • Poems in liteary magazines (Tuli ja Savu; Lumooja)

Stage plays:

  • Kolmosten talo. With Pauliina Haasjoki, 2004
  • Columns about gardening in the magazine Kotipuutarha



  • 1997 First prize (divided to two) in The Poetry Competition of Nuoren Voiman Liitto
  • 1997 First prize in The Poetry Competition of City of Kaarina
  • 1997 The Best Debut Prize of the Finnish Association of Writers
  • 2002 Shortlisted for Finlandia Junior Prize 2002 with the first two Millie books
  • 2005 Shortlisted for Finlandia Junior Prize with Sausage Pirouette
  • 2007 Aboa Award
  • 2008 The Art Award of South-Western Finland
  • 2011 Kaarina Helakisa literary prize


Works published in / Rights sold to:

Germany (Bastei Lübbe / Baumhaus)
Denmark (Lamberth)
Hungary (Cerkabella)
Norway (Gyldendal)
Sweden (Bonnier Carlsen)
Russia (Samokat)
Estonia (Avita)





Published books