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5th Golshiri Literary Award Ceremoney

By Syma Sayyah, Tehran

The 5th Golshiri[1] Award-giving ceremony took place recently at Niavaran Cultural Center. Opening the ceremony, Mrs. Farzaneh Taheri-Golshiri, the president and founder of Houshang Golshiri Cultural Foundation[2] gave a short report of the foundation ‘s activities during the year, after remembering the loss of some Iranian literary figures, Mr Karim Emami, Mr Manuchere Atashie, Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammd Jafar Pooyandeh. She also thanked the award trophy designer, the renowned artist, Ms Farideh Lashayi who due to illness could not attend and on everyone’s behalf Ms Taheri wished her a quick recovery.

She went on to explain that due to many hurdles foundation’s activities have been limited yet the foundation’s website has been running smoothly and the feedback it has received has been most encouraging. Of these, she mentioned the contribution of a Palestinian lady poet currently working as a TV producer in UAE; she has translated “My China Doll”, one of Hooshang Golshiri’s short stories, from the English version published on the foundation’s website into Arabic and sent it to be published there. Taheri also announced the publication of his short novel, Prince Ehtejab, in English by Sackvill/ Random House in the UK.

Next, Mr Abdol-ali Azimi, the well- known poet and member of the board[3] who was the Awarding Committee Chair, made a speech about the selecting process this year which has been done in two phases. A list of some 320 novels and 160 collections of short stories were sent to over sixty people chosen for their expertise on fiction. They were asked to rate the works they had read on the list, and add any which they had read and was missing. All these forms were collected in October 2005 and those who reached a certain level were sent to the final phase. The short lists were published on the foundation’s website as well as main national newspapers.

The books were divided as always into 4 categories[4]. The winners would receive a trophy and a cheque each for:

The Best Novel

The Best Collection of Short Stories

The Best First Novel

The Best First Collection of Short Stories

To announce the winner for each category, after a short film showing the short listed writers reading from their nominated work, a member of the jury came on the podium and read the verdict enumerating the merits of the selected work. The winners received their awards from some of Iran’s prominent art and literary figures. This year the winners received their awards from the renowned director and playwright, Mr. Bahram Bayzaie, the literary translator, Ms. Goli Emami, the novelist, Ms. Mahnaz Karimi, the thinker and critic, Babak Ahmadi.

In addition to the winners in four categories, the selected short stories were also announced in the ceremony. These stories have been selected from all the collections evaluated in this year in two phases for their special merits and will be published, as four past rounds, under the title “Naqsh 83” [Imprint of 2004] after getting the permission from the writers and publishers.

A short but beautiful and impressive film was also shown consisting of Golshiri’s photos and clippings of his readings etc. This film, together with a short film made of the films of the four past ceremonies shown in the beginning, and the recorded readings of the nominated writers were produced by a team of young film-makers as a gift to the foundation. The team consisted of Haadi Kalhor, Pooya Paarssaa-maghaam, and Khashaayaar Taheri.

The Winners of the Year 1383 (2004)

The joint winners in the category of The Best Novel:

Mr. Mohmmad Hosseini for Abbitar az Gonah (Bluer than Sin) & Mr.Yaghoub Yad-ali for Aadaab-e Bi-Ghararie (The Ritual of Restlessness ).

The winner in the category of The Best First Collection of Short Stories:

Mr. Mohammad Hussein Mohammadie for Anjirhaaye Sorkhe Mazar (Mazar’s Red Figs)

(The author is an afghan immigrant writer currently living in Iran)

The joint winners in the category of The Best First Novel:

Ms. Soudabeh Ashrafie for Maahihaa dar Shab Mi-khaaband (The fish Sleep at Night) and Farhad Boardbaar for Rang-e Kalagh (the Color of the Crow)

(Ms. Ashrafi is an immigrant Iranian writer living in Los Angeles)

The winner in the category of The Best Collection of Short Stories :

Ms. Mahssaa Moheb-ali for Aasheghiyyat dar Pa-Varaghie (In-Love-ness in Footnotes)

Afterwards the guests went outside to the open yard of the Niavaran Center for refreshments and to have a look at the books exhibited there for the occasion. Jaye shoma khali.


Foundation Board takes this opportunity to express its sincere and deep thanks to all the judges for their great work and enthusiasm, care and concern for our contemporary fiction. It is only through the hard work and trustworthy judgment of the judges that the Hooshang Golshiri Award has gained such high respect and credit among writers and scholars alike. Our sincere thanks go to:

Judges of the novels

Mahanz Karimi (novelist), Nasim Khaakssaar (Iranian novelist in exile in the Netherlands), Abdoullah Kowssari (literary translator), Abbass Pezhmaan (literary translator), Mohammad Hassan Shahsavarie (novelist and literary critic)

Judges of the short story collections

Kamran Bozorgnia (Iranian poet in exile in Hannover), Mitra Elyatie (writer), Lili Golestan (literary translator and art expert), Naghmeh Ssaminie (teacher of dramatic arts), Ssamad Taheri (writer)

You my read a full text of the 5th award in Persian at:

The foundation also wishes to thank Mr Farhad Firouzi, the administrator of the foundation’s website, Ms Fariba Deylami who runs our PR, Mr Sanaapour who as a literary consultant has helped us throughout, Mr. Paul Sanford who helped setting up the domain for the foundation, Mr Salimie who from Ms Lashahi’s design made the trophies, Mr Saed Meshki who designed our Logo.

You may contact them via:

Address; P.O.BOX 15875-1773, Tehran, Iran,

 Fax only: 0098 21-44658015

Followings are news links related to the 5th Golshiri Award in Persian :
Audio – RFE



1 About Houshang Golshiri & list of some of his works

2 Houshang Golshiri Cultural Foundation was established in 2000 as a non-governmental organization. It was the first NGO in Iran which was focusing on promotion of contemporary fiction, named after the prominent Iranian modern writer, critic, scholar and teacher. The HGF aspires to resume Golshiri’s lifelong effort to provide young fiction writers with knowledge and encouragement to reach new possibilities.

3 List of Founders and Board members of the Foundation 

4 Books published in Persian and in Iran


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