Monday, June 18, 2012

I saw history in the making!

Guinness World Record annihilation in the Irish Writers' Centre last Saturday. The record for most author's consecutively reading from their own books had originally been held by the Germans who managed a measly 75 authors. But now in our greatness we hold the record at 111 authors in 28 hours.
There was an amazing atmosphere at the Centre. I arrived at 5am Saturday morning and stayed until 2pm when the event was brought to a close with a reading and a fantastic speech by the director Jack Harte. I kept coffee pots topped up and made sure Butler's chocolates (who were the sponsors) were scattered through out the building. It was fantastic to be a part of it all.
It also served to highlight the amazingness of the staff there and just what a fantastic resource (not to mention beautiful building) the centre is. (Although my thighs from the upping and downing of the beautiful staircase have been the paying the price.)

This is from The Irish Times :

Irish writers break world record by Orla Tinsley

Irish writers made history today by breaking the world record for the most authors reading consecutively from their own work. Some 111 authors took to the podium against the clock at the Irish Writers' Centre in Dublin from 10am on Friday until 2pm today shattering the German held record.
The record was officially surpassed in the early hours of this morning by author Lissa Oliver who became the 76th person to read from her book Chantilly Dawns. The former Guinness world record of 75 authors reading consecutively was set at the Berlin International Literature Festival.
"At 5am there were quite a few people here and that was the point we exceeded the record," said programme co-ordinator John Kearns. "There were always between 10 and 20 people supporting over night," he said.
The event was streamed live across the world on the internet through the Irish Writers' Centre website and clocked up over 1,000 viewers.
Despite the benefits of technology supporters turned up throughout the night to hear authors read by candlelight under the watchful eye of invigilators from KPMG and The American University Ireland, who kept time and marked attendance for the Guinness Book of World Records.
Each author participating had precisely 15 minutes kept in check by a looming alarm clock directly infront of the podium.
Authors reading included Seamus Heaney, Kevin Barry, Ed O’Loughlin, Carlo Gebler, Catherine Foley, Roddy Doyle, Evelyn Conlon, Mike McCormack, Sarah Webb and Lucille Redmond.
The event was held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the conception of the Irish Writers' Centre as well as raise awareness of the writing community in Ireland on Bloomsday.
"We wanted to emphasis that the tradition is not broken because these people died, the tradition continues and as you've seen over the last 28 hours there are wonderful writers writing and living in Dublin, in Ireland right to the present day. It is a source of enormous pride to the country that so many have achieved so much," said author and founder of the Irish Writers' Centre Jack Harte
The Guinness Book of Records rules dictated that the authors must read from one of their own works for 15 minutes and that each book must have a ISBN number.
Author Roddy Doyle who read from his book The Van described the experience as "nerve wrecking".
"The lights and everything are unusual and it's so hot in here compared to outside," he said.
"It's a great event. The surprise is that everybody turned up on time, given the reliability of Irish writers, it's a bit disturbing," he said.

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