Three Finnish Publishers Launch New Literary Agency

In News by Hannah Johnson

Three independent publishers in Finland have jointly launched the Helsinki Literary Agency to represent their foreign rights.

By Hannah Johnson | @hannahsjohnson

Urpu Strellman will be the CEO of the newly formed Helsinki Literary Agency

This month, three independent publishers in Finland—Gummerus, Teos, and Schildts & Söderströms—have announced the launch of the Helsinki Literary Agency, a joint venture established to represent their foreign rights.

According to the announcement, this is the first time Finnish publishers have jointly launched a foreign rights agency. It’s not uncommon in Scandinavia for individual publishing companies to form in-house literary agencies to represent their foreign rights around the world. Other examples include Bonnier Rights, the Norstedts Agency, Cappelen Damm Agency, Gylendal Agency, and others.

“Finnish literature today has a wide appeal abroad, and the new Helsinki Literary Agency will have a rights list with a large variety of the best Finnish authors writing both in Finnish and Swedish,” the publishers wrote in their announcement.

The agency will officially open on January 9, 2017 under the direction of Urpu Strellman. She previously held positions at Art House, Jalava and Timtosanoma.

“Helsinki Literary Agency offers a unique opportunity to create new markets for Finnish literature,” said Strellman.

“A new agent in the market will benefit our authors, translators and publishers alike, and we’ll be able to reach the foreign audiences better than before. I look forward to starting my work in early January. We will be in full speed by the London Book Fair in March.”

Gummerus Publishing was founded in 1872 and is Finland’s third largest trade publisher. Their catalogue includes Finnish and translated works of fiction and nonfiction. They publish around 160 titles each year.

Teos Publishers, founded in 2003, is the newest of the three. Publishing about 45 new titles annually, Teos has earned a reputation for publishing award-winning literary fiction and nonfiction.

Schildts & Söderströms is the result of a merger in 2012 and the largest Finnish-Swedish publisher. Their catalogue includes fiction, narrative nonfiction and children’s literature.

Contact the Helsinki Literary Agency:
Urpu Strellman, CEO and literary agency

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.