On 24–26 February 2017 Melbourne hosted the fifth Australian Romance Readers Convention. ARRC2017 brought together romance readers, authors and publishers and provided an opportunity to talk about all things related to romance fiction.
The convention was an international event, featuring award-winning authors Kylie Scott, Courtney Milan and Kristen Callihan as keynote speakers. It also included a special Skype Q&A with Thea Harrison. Panel members included best-selling romance authors from around Australia. In all some 80 romance authors attended the event.
On Friday evening the convention opened with our traditional welcome reception, where authors and readers were able to mingle and chat. Following the welcome we held a trivia night. The trivia was entertaining and educational, and was complemented with popcorn and ice cream.
On Saturday morning we kicked off with a keynote speech by Courtney Milan. After morning tea we had a special screening of Love Between the Covers, which ran concurrently with speed dating sessions. In the afternoon we had panel discussions and then the book-signing event. That evening the winners of the 2016 Australian Romance Readers Awards were announced at the awards dinner. Details of the winners can be found here.
On Sunday morning we started the day with a keynote speech from Kylie Scott, followed by a Q&A session with Thea Harrison via Skype. The rest of the day was taken up with panel discussions and the day was rounded out with a keynote speech from Kristen Callihan.
The convention was a great success, with a total of 202 attending.
Major thanks are due to the OC members: Debbie Phillips, Heather Kopp, Diane Robson, and Juliette Arthur. Special thanks to Pamela Diaz (volunteer coordinator and MC), Rachael Johns (awards dinner MC) and Jennifer Wu (design).
Our thanks also to the panel moderators: Kate Cuthbert, Amy Andrews, Darcy Delany, Anne Gracie, Allison Rogers, Mary-Lou Stephens, Amanda Knight, Victoria Purman, Shannon Curtis, Donna Maree Hanson, Penelope Janu, Viola Carr, Kat Mayo and Helen Sibbritt.
Finally, thank you to those who volunteered some of their time during the convention to help make sure it all ran smoothly: Amy, Barbara, Beverley, BJ, Brooke, Charlotte, Ebony, Fiona, Helen K, Helen S, Jacqueline, Katia, Kimberley, Lami, Lillian, Linda, Lyn, Mary-Lou, Melanie and Sonya.
A complete wrap-up of ARRC2017 is available here.
Further information on the convention is available on our blog.
Quotes from delegates
- Thank you ARRA for a fantastic convention. Thank you to the organising committee and the volunteers for all your hard work. Much appreciated.
- At the airport going home from an amazing weekend. Thank you to everyone on the organising committee for everything you have done.
- Thanks ARRA, authors and fellow romance readers for a great convention.
- Big thank you to everyone at #ARRC2017. What an amazing time.
- Thank you ARRA committee and volunteers for a great weekend, letting me roam freely with my camera. Thanks Pamela Diaz for being my go-to girl. Thank you to all the authors and readers for your welcoming smiles every time I appeared with ET and letting me photograph you.
- Thanks to everyone involved in the organising of ARRC2017—it was an amazing effort and you made it a truly fun event. It was great to be able to catch up with people from previous conferences and meet new friends. As always, I’m going to be leaving with an even bigger Mt TBR, which I can’t wait to get started on!
- Thank you to ARRA, the fabulous committee members and all the volunteers who worked religiously to make sure we had a great time this weekend. It was a fantastic weekend full of literary indulgence that I am sure we will all miss.
- ARRA YOU GUYS ROCK thank you for another fabulous weekend
- Thank you ARRA for a wonderful weekend. Loved every second! Going home with a bag of books and lots of wonderful dreams. You are all legends.
- Massive thank you to the ARRA committee for the fantastic job in organising the event. I had such a wonderful time, and met so many lovely people.
- I enjoyed the environment. The organisers did a brilliant job and there’s something about being around romance lovers that’s just so uplifting. I really liked catching up with old friends and making some new!
- The extra events were great because I don’t get to catch up with other readers often.
- Everyone was so friendly and fun. Was a fabulous weekend. Thanks ARRA 🙂
- I enjoyed mingling and meeting like-minded fellow readers and getting to chat one on one with the authors—such generous people!
- It was absolutely fantastic to meet so many new people whom I absolutely adored getting to know.
- I enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and the small size (large enough so you didn’t have to mix with the same crowd; but small enough to be intimate).
- The event was thoughtfully and extremely well organised—by volunteers!!
- It was a thrill to meet so many amazing women that I respect and admire and have been enjoying their works for such a long time.
Quotes from attending authors
- I just wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU for this event as a newbie who sadly could only attend the Sunday—I was WRAPT … I had to leave early but I just wanted to say, I LOVED LOVED LOVED this! (Victoria Darkly)
- I just wanted to say Thank You for a fabulous weekend. I found so much acceptance, it made for a fantastic weekend. You and your committee are amazing. Such a small bunch and you achieved so very much. Congratulations to you all! (Cath Evans)
- It couldn’t have happened without the committee’s vision and commitment and hard work. (Maggie Nash)
- Thank YOU… for organising an awesome event we could all be a part of. (Allison Butler)
- To the ARRA committee, you did a great job. Ray and I had such a lovely time. Thank you all. We had a great time. (Georgia Carter Mathers)
- To the fantastic people on the ARRA committee, and those who worked so hard to organise ARRC 2017—thank you! (Elizabeth Squire)
- Thank you to ARRA and the organising committee of ARRC2017. The convention was outstanding. It was excellent to meet so many fabulous readers and so many talented authors. The keynotes were fantastic and I was very fortunate to participate in the speed dating session and the Tropelicious panel. I had a wonderful weekend. Thank you again. (Cassandra Dean)
- What a fantastic weekend! Thank you so much to all at ARRA who made the convention such a success. We had a marvellous time! (Christine Wells)
- I just wanted to express my heartfelt thanks to … the ARRA team for running such a wonderful convention. It was lovely to connect with so many readers and authors and the keynote speakers—Kylie Scott, Courtney Milan and Kristin Callahan—were all entertaining and inspiring. I had a fabulous time. Thank you again xxx. (Amy Rose Bennett)
- Thank you to ARRA for a fabulous conference and all your hard work. Great to see so many smiling faces! (Sara Bennett)
- Thanks ARRA for a wonderful weekend. I know so much work goes on behind the scenes so that when we turn up it all works like a charm … We appreciate all you did and we look forward to hearing about your future plans. (Victoria Purman)
- Thanks so much ARRA for the great convention. As a new author it was inspiring to hear from amazing authors such as Courtney Milan and Kylie Scott, while actually having the chance to appear on my very first author panel. It was great to meet some fab readers and writers too and just chat books. (Cassandra O’Leary)
- Thank you ARRA! I loved my first convention. It was brilliant meeting everyone face to face. (Tea Cooper)
- A HUGE shout out to the team at ARRA for a wonderful weekend! Thank you! (Alison Stuart)
- Thank you to all the ARRA committee members, all the hard working exceptional volunteers, all the talented and friendly authors and all the fabulous and great readers, it has been a fantastic weekend … Taking home terrific memories. (ML Tompsett)
- Thanks to the committee and all the wonderful volunteers for a fabulous convention. Well done ladies! It was awesome!!! (Lisa Ireland)
- Thank you all for making my first ARRC a blast. Had a great time and it was so well organised. Well done, big pat on the back to you all. (Sue Dowsett)
- Thanks for a fabulous and inspiring weekend. I caught up with old friends and made new ones. (Lindy Cameron, Clan Destine Press)
- Wow! What a fabulous weekend! My first ever ARRC and my first ever book signing. So many wonderful moments and wonderful memories. Thank you ARRA for all your hard work. You guys totally rock! Thank you to all the other authors, and the readers. It was great to meet and make new friends, and to share the odd laugh or a few. I’m exhausted, but still totally on a high. Can’t wait till the next ARRA event. (Michelle Somers)
- Thanks so much to everyone who made it wonderful weekend. Lovely to catch up with so many friends and talk books. (Suzi Love)
- Thank you so much to the amazing ARRA committee, the fab volunteers and all the wonderful readers. Thanks for such a warm and wonderful convention. (Nicole Hurley-Moore)
- Thank you so much to the ARRA committee and volunteers for an amazing weekend and event. So good to meet readers, connect with other writers and spend a weekend talking about books. Now back to reality! (Pamela Cook)
- Thank you so very much to all the volunteers at ARRC and to the wonderful readers and authors who came to this event. I had an absolute ball catching up with old friends and making new ones. The panels were amazing, as were the keynote speakers. The venue was fab and the event ran like clockwork. Well done to everyone involved—you all rock! (Alli Sinclair)
- A huge thank you to all the organisers for making the ARRC so fabulous. What a blast it was to meet so many wonderful readers and writers!! (Wanda Wiltshire)
- Thank you to all the authors, readers and committee I met over the weekend. You all made me feel really welcome and I had a great time. (McKinlay Thomson)
- Thank you so much to the awesome ARRA committee—what an awesome weekend!! (Rachael Johns)
- Super fun meeting everyone this weekend. So much effort put in by everyone—thanks for making it great! (Tracey Pedersen)
- Thank you to all the fabulous readers (and of course authors) I met this weekend. Sadly, I had to run off at lunch time as we were meeting a very old friend for lunch. Thank you to ARRA for this opportunity too. (Imogene Nix)