The theme of ‘hope’ inspired almost 300 writers. The competition attracted texts by writers of different ages around Finland. The majority of the writers entered a text in Finnish, but some also wrote in English or Swedish.
Many of the writers approached the theme of hope through the pandemic. Experiences of war were also present.
According to the jury of the adult category, the texts’ level of quality varied, but there was still a host of high-quality texts. The task of selecting the top three evoked emotions in the jury.
“It was fascinating to see a cross-section of life during the pandemic. We would have liked to see more narrative elements, unconventional approaches and vivid imagination in the texts. But maybe people just are preoccupied with the pandemic, at the moment,” say the jury, consisting of employees of Helsinki City Library.
The texts entered by young people also dealt with COVID-19. The jury of the youth category say the level of quality was good, but the finalists still stood out from the crowd.
The winners will receive gift cards for a bookshop. The best pieces of writing will be published on the Helmet website of the Metropolitan Area libraries.
Youth category (participants aged 12–20):
1. Aada Puukki: Sky so bright
This poem flows and shines. Great language and wonderful poetic images.
2. Aaria Sitomaniemi: Toivoa
This imaginative and flowing text is captivating and makes you want to know the rest of Ylva’s story.
3. Sinianna Paukkunen: Toivo
This poem by Sinianna Paukkunen shows how much hope there is in simple everyday life. Hope is with you from dawn till dusk, at work and home, and it follows you when you look at the clouds and new growth.
Minna Ursin: Toivon siemenet
This warm text finds the symbols of hope: spring and the birth of something new.
Ida Jauhiainen: Ehkä vielä joku päivä
This compact feel-good poem makes you smile.
The jury for the youth category consisted of Katri-Elina Heikkinen, Janne Mikkonen, Iri Myller, Asta Pahkakangas and Anna Söderström.
1. Matti Reinikka: Toivontuojat planeetta Pohs-VT:ltä
This absurd and warm sci-fi story surprises the reader. This short story stood out thanks to its content and style.
2. Christopher Ryan: Toivo
Generations and cultures meet in this composed short story with beautiful language.
3. Elli Valtonen: Kanipäivä
An edgy story with fresh narration of a veterinarian’s challenges when facing a rabbit apocalypse.
The jury for the adult category consisted of Niina Holm, Mathias Rosenlund, Samu Eeve, Siina Tiuraniemi, Toni Tuominen and Tuulikki Kuurne.
Photo: Hanna Hopea
Caption: Jury for the adult category: From the left: Mathias Rosenlund, Samu Eeve, Siina Tiuraniemi, Toni Tuominen and Niina Holm. Tuulikki Kuurne is not included in the photo.