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The International Finnish Writing Competition

Kielimestarit – International Finnish writing competition

Competition entries will be submitted between September 11 and November 11, 2023

The winners will be announced on January 24, 2024, International Education Day

The competition is intended for people who write Finnish (Finnish, Meänkieli, Kvaäni Finnish, and Karelian). The competition has a junior and a senior category. The junior category includes those who turn 19 this year, and the senior series includes those older than this.

The competition is organized in different countries: Norway, Sweden, Russia and Finland. There is also an open category that includes all the entries from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia and anyone outside these indigenous Finnish language areas that would like to participate.

We will announce a winners from each listed country separately. And the overall global winners, youth and adult category.

In addition, a participant prize (NOK 5000) will be drawn among all participants.

Read the rules before you send the competition to write, there you will also get suggestions on what you can write about.

Prize money is NOK 2500 for each category by country, and NOK 7500 for the global winner both under and over the age of 20.

The under-20 may write 500 – 2000 words. The over-20 may write 1000 – 2000 words.

Check rules at:


Enter competition by submitting information about yourself and your story:



The winners were announced on January 24, 2024, International Education Day:

Norwegian and Swedish winners in the International Finnish writing competition 2023!

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Junior winner Norway: Rebekka Berglen – “One Year”. (Original title: “Yksi vuosi”)
Junior winner Finland: Teresa Hentilä – “I’m my mother’s daughter”. (“Olen äitini tyär”)
Junior winner Sweden: Anna Palmblom – “Forgotten evening”. (“Unohtunut ilta”)

Junior winner overall international: Anna Palmblom – “Forgotten evening”. (“Unohtunut ilta”)

Senior winner Norway: Ulla Pätsi – “The road led to the Ice Sea”. (“Tie vei Jäämerelle”)
Senior winner Finland: Ali Heikkilä – “Sea urchins”. (“Merisiilejä”)
Senior winner Sweden: Maria Vanhapiha Bergström – “On that day, when things got quiet, Heikki got a voice”. (“Sinä päivänä ko metto hiljastu Heikki sai äänen”)
Senior winner Karelia (Russia): Olga Smotrova – “Three garbalovarbastu”. (“Kolme garbalovarbastu”)

Senior winner overall international: Ulla Pätsi – “The road led to the Ice Sea”. (“Tie vei Jäämerelle”)

In addition, we have raffled a participation prize among all the competition entries.
Winner of the participation award – Kukko/Rooster award: Ali Heikkilä – “Sea urchins” (“Merisiilejä”)

Congratulations to all the winners!



The words in Unohtunut ilta

The jury assessment of:

Junior winner overall international: Anna Palmblom – “Forgotten evening/Unohtunut ilta”

An interesting, compelling story with a clear logic structure, which includes a storyline, a secret, a culmination, and an outcome. It is dynamic, not slow but going forward. A very good story. Good language with nice descriptions, small facts etc.

A touching story about a forgotten loss. Good structure keeps the reader in his grip the whole time. An intact entity. The main character’s character and past were nicely revealed gradually in relation to the forgotten sister. An impressive story.

A touching story, structurally intact and beautifully depicted about a forgotten loss and its unconscious effect on the main character’s life.

It is interesting, complete, with a good dynamic, good quite rich language.

Prize money NOK 10.000



The words in

The jury assessment of:

Senior winner overall international: Ulla Pätsi – “The road led to the Ice Sea/Tie vei Jäämerelle”

Fluent language and going to work in a foreign place is an interesting topic. I would have liked to have read a more detailed description of the experiences at the fish factory. The main character’s feelings in front of the new one was vividly described.

A biographical story with a clear structure and a storyline. The story is rich with good descriptions, which takes the reader to the world the author is telling about. Good solid writing. The language is very rich with dialectical features, excellent, soft, influential.

The story has a very good structure. It is interesting to read, it engrosses a reader to stay with the story. Rich in descriptions, it opens the world of the author. Good rich language, many nice dialect features which make the readers love the language and the story. It is dynamic enough to stay with it all the time. It has a good storyline. The over whole impression is very good.

Prize money NOK 10.000


The jury has been from Kuhmo

We thank the jury for their work!

The members of the jury are from Kuhmo, the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2023 and UNESCO City of Literature and Kalevala.


Interreg Aurora

The writing competition has also been part of an Interreg Aurora project

We are in a process of building capacity to work better in the future. One thing is to bond with partners, another is to learn how we can improve our work, and finally, lay the foundation for sustainable efforts together with partners throughout the Finno-Ugric world.


We thank the sponsors for their support!

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Information in Finnish

Informasjon på norsk