LISNA, Jan 18 – Farhad Hassanzadeh has been recently nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen award of 2018 for a lifetime of successful activity in writing for children and young adults. This award is also known as the children literature Noble prize.
This famous children literature author could be the first Iranian to receive the H.C. Andersen award. Other nominees are from France, Japan, Switzerland and New Zealand. The winner will be announced in Bolivia Book Festival 2018.
Children Book Council (CBC) of Iran has laid out how Hassanzadeh became nominated for this prestigious award this year. The following is the article published by CBC.
The Hans Christian Andersen award, also known as the small Noble is the most esteemed award for children literature that is given to the collection of works of a writer every two years by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) with the aim of improving the quality of arts and literature books for children.
Margrethe II of Denmark is the special supporter of this award. Until 2008 Nisan Motors and since 2009 Nami island in Korea have been the main financial supporter of Andersen award's programs.
Awarding this prize to the woks of a writer began in 1956 and the illustrator award began in 1966. The prize includes a gold plague and an honorary diploma which will be given to the winners at the biennial IBBY congress. The H.C. Andersen nominees are chosen from national offices. International judges who are renowned children literature experts choose the winner among the nominees. These are some of the mentionable criteria for choosing the winner:
- High quality aesthetics of the writing and illustration
- Consideration of the children and young adult audience
- Resilience in creating work for children and young adults
- Originality and expansion of the audience
- Having a lasting effect on children literature of the world
The only Iranian to win this award before is renowned illustrator, Farshid Mesghali. His collection of works won this award in 1974. Hoshang Moradi Kermani was rewarded by the judges in 1992. Mohammadreza Yousefi in 2000, Hadi Mohammnadi in 2006, Ahmadreza Ahmadi in 2010, Houshang Moradi Kermani in 2014 and now Farhad Hassanzadeh in 2018 are the Iranian writers who have ever been nominated for this award. Nasrin Khosravi in 2002, Mohammad Ali Bani Asadi in 2012 and Pejman Rahimizadeh in 2016 are the Iranians who have been nominated for the illustrator award.
Ahmadreza Ahmadi in 2010 and Houshang Moradi Kermani in 2014 made it to the 5 finalists writers and Mohammad Ali Asadi in 2012 and Pejman Rahimizadeh in 2016 made in to the 5 finalist illustrators among the Iranian nominees so far. This year Farhad Hassanzadeh has been able to make it to the 5 finalists and will compete with the other international finalists for the prize.
The process of choosing a nominee for H.C. Andersen award by CBC
Firstly, the Author group of CBC makes a list of prominent children and young adult writers who have had a persistent career in the recent decades and have also been able to win awards. The works of these writers are then reviewed again and at last some of the best ones are recommended to the award committee.
After this stage, a group works on choosing the final nominee and putting together the documents needed. This group is often made up of the representatives of the review groups, writers, experts, critics of children literature members and non-members of the council, members of associations and different institutions, one of the judges from previous Andersen awards and a representative of the international committee.
Here are the names of the members of the group that chose Farhad Hassanzadeh as the Iranian nominee:
Coordinator, Seyyed Mehdi Yousefi, a member of the Writers Association, Shahram Eghbalzadeh, expert on children literature and a member of the Writers Association and Children Book Council, Hossein Sheikh Rezaei, a member of the CBC and an expert on children literature, Shokouh Haji Nasrollah, a member of CBC and children literature lecturer, Maryam Mohammad Khani, a member of the CBC and president and judge of the Flying Turtle Award, Leila (Roya) Maktabi, a member of CBC and expert on the Farsi section of International Library of Munich, Farzaneh Aghapour, a member of CBC and Writers Association, Sahar Tarhandeh, a member of the managers board of CBC and a judge of H.C. Andersen Award in 2012 and 2014.
This group decided on one name to suggest to the international office after reviewing all the writers. It's worth mentioning that at this stage the number of languages the writer's works has been translated to and the quantity and quality of reviews, comments and interviews about the author's works are among the criteria.
The name of the chosen author is given to the board of managers of the book council and after the final approval editing the documents begins. Editing the documents is done by voluntary members of the book council and takes months of preparation for the documents must contain the following:
- Complete biography of the nominee
- Reasons for this decision
- Complete list of awards and honors
- Complete list of reviews, interviews, news, researches and thesis written about the works of the nominee
- A list of ten best works of the author by the council
- Complete bibliography
- List of translated books in other languages
- Introduction of five works to the jury among the selected books
- Front cover and a summary of five works of the author along with analysis and reasons for the selection
- Album of photos of the author present among the fans
After completion of the documents, the international committee translates the documents and with the help of the art group the design is done.
After sending the documents and books to the jury, the process of international judging begins and the jury of Andersen award with more than six months of discussion and judging announces the winner at the Bolivia Book Festival.
This year the translation and documentation process was supported by Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults and Culture Department of Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
Why was Hassanzadeh announced as the Iranian nominee
CBC is honored to announce Hassanzadeh as the Iranian nominee of H.C. Andersen award. These are reasons, without considering the content of his works:
- His undeniable role in expansion of children literature
- Resilient attempts and effective presence in the last quarter of a century
- His work in different aspects such as novels, recreation, poetry, biography writing and journalism
- His ability to get audience from a wide range of age groups
- High number of works and books
- Translation of his books to different languages such as English, Chinese, Kurdish and Bahasa Melayu.
- Creation of puppets and toys based on the characters of his stories (e.g. Kooti Kooti)
- Hi professionalism; we could say he makes a living off writing
- His participation in civil activities:
Farhad Hassanzadeh is a member of Children and Young Adults Association of Iran that is active as a non-government guild organization
- His activities in promoting reading
- His bold presence in Iranian schools and his relationship with students
- His presence in the center for special children including the center for underage criminals
- Creating of more than 80 works
- Receiving more than 30 national awards
- Receiving a top art award from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance
- Production of films and animations based on his works
- More than 24 academic papers in Masters and Doctorate level and research articles in credible academic journals have been written on a topic about Hassanzadeh's works.
- More than 70 reviews and critiques have been written about his works
- Many appreciation ceremonies have been held for him around the country.
- His announcement for the Astrid Lindgren award from the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in 2017.
- His books making it to the list of honor of international office of books for young adults
- Being the best children and young adult writer in the first book reading championship cup of Iran