The writing contest of Helsinki City Library takes you back to impressive reading experiences

Helsinki City Library is holding a writing contest for young people and adults with the topic of ‘the book that changed me.’

The contest involves two categories. The youth category is for participants aged 12–20. The adult category is for people aged 21 or older. 

We would like to receive free-form essays with a maximum length of 5 pages. Anyone can take part in the contest from anywhere in Finland in Finnish, Swedish or English. 

The competition period is 1 October 2021–6 January 2022. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 8 February 2022, on the name day of Laina, literally meaning ‘loan.’ 

In both categories, the three top entrants will receive a gift card to a book shop (30, 50 and 75 euros). Everyone in the top three will also receive the Suurteoksia book (published by Tammi, 2021).

The best pieces of writing will be published on the Helmet website of the Metropolitan Area libraries. The library reserves the right to publish contest entries free of charge.

The panel of judges for the contest will be formed by the expert readers of Helsinki City Library. 

Please provide the following details with your contest entry: your name, age, address, phone number and e-mail address. 

Please send contest entries by e-mail to or by post to Keskustakirjasto Oodi/Kirjoituskilpailu, Töölönlahdenkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki. Please note that the text you send will not be returned to you.

The writing contest is a continuation of the contest held in early 2021, the theme of which, ‘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. 

The winner of the youth category was Aada Pukki, 17, from Uusikaupunki. The winner of the adult category was Matti Reinikka, 39, from Helsinki.

Illustration: Daniel Leiviskä - City of Helsinki