The winner of the AitoStory writing competition is Risto Myllylä
The aim of the AitoStory writing competition organized by Storytel and Aito Media Oy was to find entertaining, engaging, and world-shaking stories. The children’s story Siri ja epätavallinen etälastenhoitaja (“Siri and the Peculiar Remote Nanny”) was chosen as the winner from amongst nearly 350 entries. In addition to the winner, three other entries and authors were awarded with cash prizes.
The writing competition launched last November has been completed. The aim of the competition was to find new, original, and addictive stories for audiobooks, e-books, TV series and movies. A wide variety of genres, ranging from thrillers to children’s literature, were represented in the manuscripts of the final round. Throughout the selection process, the jury only saw the competitors’ pen names. The competition was open to professional and amateur authors.
“The wealth of ideas present in the stories was gratifying and reflected the great interest the competition raised,” said author and jury member JP Koskinen.
The winning entry Siri ja epätavallinen etälastenhoitaja (“Siri and the Peculiar Remote Nanny”) is a story in which Siri and Oiva’s mother arranges a remote nanny for her children. However, the nanny isn’t content just on the screen, but steps out of it and takes the children on fantastic adventures. Author Risto Myllylä is a father of four, who wants to write for children about goodness, courage, and friendship – things everyone needs. The winner was awarded a prize of 6,000 euros, and the story will be published by Storytel as an audiobook and an e-book in 2022.
”The winning entry won us over with its original premise, its wonderfully expressive language, and its fresh, life-affirming world view,” said the screenwriter Kaisa Pylkkänen, a member of the jury.
The second prize was awarded to the 28-year-old teacher Mirjami Sirén for her story Kaupunki ilman koteja (“The City without Homes”). The story is about the 14-year-old Kipinä and their father and younger sister, who try to flee from a city where nobody has a home and where innovation is more important than human lives. Kipinä makes a fatal mistake, due to which the escape fails, and their father is captured. The children must come up with a new plan for escape. The author was awarded with a prize of 3,000 euros.
The third place was shared by two thrillers: Erityisalue (“The Special Area”) by the retired Master of Science in Technology Jukka Antila and Lähetystösihteeri (“First Secretary”) by Anssi Leino, who has worked in international politics in the Middle East. In a novel titled Erityisalue, a dead body floats down a river from an indigenous people’s lands in North Ostrobothnia. The investigation is assigned to an inspector from Helsinki, who gets a young anthropology professor from the Oulu University as his guide. Lähetystösihteeri is a story of a young Finnish diplomat, who realizes that the usual diplomatic means are not enough to save three Finnish boaters captured in the Persian Gulf. The protagonist must take up arms to liberate them from an Iranian prison. Antila and Leino were each awarded a prize of 1,500 euros.
”It was a pleasure to read the entries in the final round and see how skillful, committed and diverse a group of authors the competition drew,” commented Kaisa Pylkkänen.
In addition to Kaisa Pylkkänen and JP Koskinen, the final jury included Hannu Kontturi, Aleksi Pöyry and Ella Piesala.
Kaisa Pylkkänen is a professional screenwriter with extensive experience. She has brought many successful series to Finnish living rooms (e.g., Uutishuone, Pientä laittoa, Käenpesä, Itse valtiaat) for more than 20 years.
JP Koskinen is a versatile, award-winning author who has written more than 40 books for both adults and children. In addition, he has written several books published only as audiobooks.
Hannu Kontturi is a screenwriter and director who has developed a wide range of drama, reality, and entertainment series during his career of more than ten years.
Aleksi Pöyry is a publishing manager at Storytel.
Ella Piesala is the Head of Drama at Aito Media and oversees all drama productions.
Storytel is one of the world’s leading audiobook and e-book streaming services with a vision to make the world a more empathetic place with great stories.
Aito Media Oy is a TV and film production company whose purpose is creating entertaining stories with a purpose.
Head of Drama Ella Piesala, Aito Media, firstname.lastname@example.org
Publishing Manager Aleksi Pöyry, Storytel, email@example.com