OGA News

Sirpa Kähkönen shortlisted for Finlandia Prize

OGA is delighted to announce that Sirpa Kähkönen has been shortlisted for The Finlandia Prize with her new novel The Summer of the Tanks  (Tankkien kesӓ). The winner will be announced on 24th November.

Kähkönen is the author of the internationally acclaimed Granite Man (Graniittimies, 2014), shortlisted for both Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2016 and for Finlandia Prize in 2014. The rights for Granite Man have been sold in France (Denoël), Sweden (Lind & Co), Denmark (Gyldendal) and Estonia (Varrak).

When the world wavers, it is children who suffer the most.

Sirpa Kähkönen (b.1964) is one of the most acclaimed writers of upmarket historical fiction in Finland. She is above all an exceptional portrayer of women and children, their challenges and experiences, and the life of civilians in a time of crisis.

Kähkönen is currently the chairwoman of Finnish PEN and an outspoken media personality on freedom of speech.

The Finlandia Prize Jury commented Kähkönen’s new novel as follows:

The Summer of the Tanks is a fictional museum of voices. Kähkönen draws a parallel between the Soviet tanks surrounding Prague and the bulldozers flattening entire blocks of old wooden houses in Finland. The generation that lived through the war accounts for the past; the new, modern generation believes in the future. It is both easy and difficult to exist at a turning point in history.”

Award nomination: KESӒN JӒLKEEN KAIKKI ON TOISIN (It All Changes After This Summer) by Siri Kolu shortlisted for Finlandia children’s and youth prize

OGA is delighted to announce that Siri Kolu has been shortlisted for The Finlandia Prize for Children’s and Youth Literature with her novel Kesӓn jӓlkeen kaikki on toisin (It All Changes After This Summer).  The winner will be announced on 24th November.

“I’m not your daughter, and if I can’t be your son, I don’t want to be your child anymore”

Kolu’s young adult novel tells the moving story of Peetu and his summer of limbo while waiting for his corrective surgery in September when he turns 18. Peetu’s family struggles with coming to terms with his decision and Peetu’s girlfriend Dawn has her own questions about how the operation will affect their relationship. To air his thoughts, Peetu goes flying in a glider with his father.

The jury commented Kolu’s novel as follows:

“In Siri Kolu’s It All Changes After the Summer the loaded language has a very special power. The phrasing and structure of the novel are polished, and the story of a young person facing major life-choices is a gentle and touching portrayal of growing into adulthood and being oneself. The author’s subtle and delicate grip of a challenging subject guides the reader carefully and respectfully towards their own conclusions. The powerful narrative carries the story and allows it to soar.”

Siri Kolu (b. 1972) is one of the most successful Finnish authors for children and young adults.

The rights for Kolu’s popular Me and The Robbersons -series have been sold in 17 languages, and the first title in the series Me and the Robbersons won the Finlandia Junior Prize in 2001.

Hanna Pajunen-Walsh joins Otava Group Agency

News from Otava Group Agency

Otava Group Agency (OGA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Hanna Pajunen-Walsh, MA, BBA as International Sales Director for children’s and YA books, representing Foreign Rights worldwide. She will be based in London, starting in her post in October at Frankfurt Book Fair. Pajunen-Walsh has extensive international experience in book and toy industry for over 20 years, most recently in London where she has worked at Walker Books in their Foreign Rights and Special Sales departments since 2006. She is a native Finn, who lives in London with her Irish husband and two bilingual children. From October 17th she can be contacted at hanna.pajunen-walsh@otava.fi

“These are exciting times for Finnish children’s and YA literature. There is a strong international interest and awareness in Finnish books. Otava has wonderful established authors and illustrators and fresh talents to bring to new audiences. I am so thrilled and proud to represent their amazing list abroad”, says Pajunen-Walsh.

“We are delighted to welcome Hanna, who will bring with her the experience and dedication necessary to push our international sales, to introduce our authors to new markets and take their books in the hands of readers worldwide”, says OTAVA GROUP AGENCY’s  Director Minna Castrén.

OGA represents among others the following Children’s Book and YA authors and illustrators: Mauri Kunnas (who has been published in 36 countries), Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen, Siri Kolu, Ninka Reittu, Oili Tanninen, Anttu Harlin and Joonas Utti.

Leenastiina Kakko continues as Foreign Rights Manager for Adult Fiction at Otava Group Agency’s.


For more information please contact:

Minna Castrén

+358 50 5286718

The World English Language rights for three Kunnas’ titles sold to US

Mauri Kunnas’ books will be available in English. The World English Language rights for these Kunnas’ books:

  • Good Night Mr. Clutterbuck (Hyvää yötä, Herra Hakkarainen)
  • The Out-Of-This-World Space Book (Kaikkien aikojen avaruuskirja)


  • Mr. Clutterbuck’s Seven Wonders (Herra Hakkaraisen seitsemän ihmettä)

 have been sold to US (Archipelago Books).

Mauri Kunnas (born 1950) is undoubtedly Finland’s most successful author of children’s books. To date, way over forty books of his have been published, in thirty-five languages in thirty-six countries – including Finnish and Finland –, for a total of approx. 9 million copies.

1 million copies of Tatu and Patu titles sold in Finland

Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen’s Tatu and Patu is a hugely popular children’s picture book series both in Finland and abroad.

To date, approx. 1 million copies of Tatu and Patu titles have been sold in Finland. The rights have been sold to twenty-one countries.

Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen (b. 1968, 1971) work together as children’s authors, illustrators, and graphic designers. They are best known as the creators of the hilarious Oddville boys, Tatu and Patu, whose limitless imagination can be admired in twelve picture books. They have won several awards for example:

  • 2006 Kaarina Helakisa Literary Award
  • 2007 Finlandia Junior Award
  • 2009 and 2010 Longlisted for Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
  • 2011 German Children’s Literature Award
  • 2012 Shortlisted for Finlandia Junior Award

Tatu & Patu will star on big screen! The film Kanelia kainaloon, Tatu ja Patu! (based on a book Tatun ja Patun ihmeellinen joulu / Tatu and Patu’s Marvellous Christmas) premieres in October:


The Glass Key Award: THE DEFENCELESS by Kati Hiekkapelto shortlisted

Kati Hiekkapelto has been shortlisted for The Glass Key Award with her second novel THE DEFENCELESS in the Anna Fekete Series. The winner will be announced in July/August (the exact date is to be announced).

The novel is currently also shortlisted for Petrona Award in the UK for the best Scandinavian crime title of the year, and it has been awarded as The Best Crime Novel of the year in Finland.

Kati Hiekkapelto is currently touring Britain and appearing at several festivals, as well as on her British publisher’s book tour that is taking over e.g. the Piccadilly Waterstones. Afterwards Kati will continue to the US to attend the Bay Area Book Festival in San Francisco in early June.

In the US, Foreword Reviews magazine will publish a review on THE DEFENCELESS in their summer edition, here is a taster: “With The Defenceless, this masterful storyteller has brewed up a savory tale of crime and police methodology that, seasoned with friendship, compassion, and hope, satisfies on all levels.”

The rights for Anna Fekete series have been sold to 9 territories.

Kati Hiekkapelto’s THE DEFENCELESS shortlisted for The Petrona Award in the UK

Kati Hiekkapelto’s second novel in Anna Fekete Series, THE DEFENCELESS, was shortlisted for Petrona Award in the UK for the best Scandinavian crime title of the year.

With the words of the jury:

“The second in Hiekkapelto’s ‘Anna Fekete’ series is an assured police procedural rooted in the tradition of the Nordic social crime novel. Its exploration of immigrant experiences is nuanced and timely, and is woven into an absorbing mystery involving an elderly man’s death and the escalating activities of an international gang.  A mature work by a writer who is unafraid to take on challenging  topics.”

Hiekkapelto’s debut THE HUMMINBIRD got shortlisted for the same prize in 2015.


Finnlands Dirigenten by Vesa Sirén will conquer Germany on the centenary of Finland’s independence


Finnlands Dirigenten – Von Sibelius und Schnéevoigt bis Saraste und Salonen by Vesa Sirén will be published in German in 2017. This 1000-page book was awarded the non-fiction Finlandia prize in 2010. The publication of the German edition and its marketing is an exceptional investment for promoting Finnish musical culture in the German speaking world.

The German publisher Scoventa will publish the book to mark the centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017. They have started an impressive marketing campaign for pre-orders to companies and cultural institutions. There is a homepage http://www.finnlands-dirigenten.de in German and English language for subscriptions. Scoventa is also planning to present and sell the book in various musical events related to the jubilee in Germany.


“We are delighted to make this outstanding work available to the German speaking audience. This comprehensive compendium is a must-have for everybody in the world of classical music, professionals and audiences alike. And – it’s an exciting read. We are convinced it is going to have a large impact on the music scene and will also be a herald of Finnish culture in Germany”, says Sonja Hintermeier, the Publisher of Scoventa.


Vesa Sirén (b. 1967) is a writer and a music journalist in Helsingin Sanomat. Sirén is known for his passion in Jean Sibelius and he has published several articles and books on the national composer.


The book is translated by Roman Schatz and Benjamin Schweitzer and edited by Felicia Englmann. Aue-Stiftung and The Otava Book Foundation have supported the translation.

GRANITE MAN by Sirpa Kähkönen shortlisted for Nordic Council Literature Prize

“A moving and deeply human literary weave that brings to the surface the individual destinies of the historically marginalised, and breathes life into a town that has completely disappeared.”
Nordic Council Literature Prize Jury

The rights for Sirpa Kähkönen’s novel GRANITE MAN, a nominee for Nordic Council Literature Prize 2016, have been sold to France (Denoël) and Denmark (Gyldendal).

Denoël acquired the French rights after the nomination last week, and the Danish rights have been sold to Gyldendal. The Danish edition will come out in autumn 2016 and the French in September 2017.

GRANITE MAN was also nominated for Finlandia Prize in 2014.

About the novel with the words of the Nordic Council Jury:

“Petrograd, 1922 – Full of optimism, Klara and Ilya leave everything behind, even their Finnish names, and ski six hundred kilometres to the gates of utopia… Yet it was no worker’s paradise that awaited them on the other side of the border. Instead, it was a bitter battle for survival in conditions of poverty and misery, and with even more people dying as enemies of the people under Stalin’s persecutions. Their dreams shattered, the red idealists ultimately were left again without a homeland.”

“…What a circle it was, that circle of friends in Petrograd! The opportunistic Tom, Shura the young circus star, elegant Jelena, Henry the businessman, the gifted Galkin, and Ilja’s younger brother Lavr – who looks reality in the eye and return to Finland. And last but not least are the Bringers of Joy, the countless orphans, and the desolate street children. Klara takes in two of them, Genja and Dunja, as if they were her own. Kähkönen uses this circle of friends to add a human perspective to the cogs of the communist machine, while also demonstrating how easy it is to shut one’s eyes and how time consuming and painful it is to open them again.”