This weekend is the Canberra Writers Festival, and I have not one but TWO book launches.
Saturday is the official launch of MURDER IN THE MAIL: A BLOODY BIRTHDAY (complete with a week-long art installation) at The Front cafe & gallery (Lyneham shops, 3:30-5pm). It’s not officially connected to the Canberra Writers Festival at all, just happening on the same weekend.
Sunday is the official launch of ANTIPODEAN QUEEN 3: IRON LIGHTS at Kings Hall in Old Parliament House (2:45-3:15pm).
Here’s where it gets interesting.
The organiser told me that Kings Hall had standing room only for up to fifty people, and no catering available.
This is a pic of Kings Hall from the Museum of Australian Democracy (aka Old Parliament House) web site:
So it looks like there may have been a typo in the organiser’s info. Just a zero. Nothing much.
The space is suitable for FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE.
From the MOAD web site: “The bronze statue of King George V in the regalia of the Order of the Garter has been a central feature of the hall since the opening of the building in 1927. Open to the public from the earliest days and situated between the House of Representatives and Senate Chambers, it was a busy crossroads. During parliamentary sittings King’s Hall was a hive of activity swarming with members and senators, officers, journalists, secretaries, public servants, lobbyists and tourists.”
It’s really just a foyer/hallway. But WHAT a foyer (from the same web site).
Since then I’ve spoken to the organiser again, who assured me there’s lots of other stuff going on, and that his description of “standing room only for 50 people” was accurate.
So, in conclusion, the space is SOMEWHERE between tiny and enormous. We may or may not have a microphone. We may have all of Old Parliament House mostly to ourselves, or we may be cramped behind a column in the foyer. Anything could happen!
See you Sunday?