Who we are
We are romance readers! This association was created by romance readers, for romance readers—and that characteristic spirit drives everything we do for the romance reading community. In late 2007 a chance remark was passed on an online loop—maybe we should have our own romance readers’ convention… There was an overwhelming response, and the Australian Romance Readers Association was born. Originally there were sixteen members, but in the short period since, that number has grown to well over three hundred.
ARRA’s goal is to:
- promote romance fiction and its sub-genres
- increase awareness of the variety and quality of books, and their authors
- provide a forum for readers to communicate, share and explore all things romance fiction.
What we do
We organise social events each month around Australia, to provide opportunities for romance readers to get together to discuss all things romance fiction. From the banks of the Yarra, to the golden sands of northern beaches, from the windswept bluffs of Sydney Harbour, to the wine regions of WA—we have Australia covered.
With an online blog and email group, our members have 24-hour access to reviews, interviews with authors, giveaways and the romance reader community. We also connect with readers via Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
We hosted five Australian Romance Readers Conventions, reader-focused events where members could sit in on panels with big-name authors from bestseller lists, and learn more about romance fiction, our favourite stories and characters, and the publishing industry. The last convention was held in 2017.
In 2019 we held the first in a new series of events called A Romantic Rendezvous. These were multi-author, multi-city events, held in March 2019 in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. In 2020 we did it all again, this time in five cities, with Darynda Jones and Susan Donovan as our special guests. You can find all the details here. Our plans for 2021 had to be put on hold due to the pandemic, but instead we organised A Romantic Rendezvous (Locked Down), held online on 1 August 2020. In December 2021 we hosted a signing on the Gold Coast in conjunction with the RWA Conference. We have now announced details for our next event, ARR2023.
We also arrange one-off author events around the country. See our Events page for details. Our members have the freedom and opportunity to organise events they want to attend.
Each year our membership nominate and vote on the Australian Romance Reader Awards, where we recognise excellence in romance fiction. This is a reader’s choice awards program. Our annual ARRA Awards Dinner, a glittering event where members share a meal with guest authors was held on 30 April 2022
Every year the ARRA Executive Committee presents a report to members outlining the events and activities of the previous 12 months. You can find our annual reports here:
Romance Readers Survey
In August 2009 ARRA ran the first survey of Australian romance readers. We were really pleased by the number of people who completed the survey and the results were very interesting. We decided to run the survey each year. You can download the survey results here:
What is romance fiction?
Romance fiction is a literary genre that covers a broad range of sub-genres – from historical, paranormal and suspense to comedy, urban fantasy and contemporary. Romance fiction caters to a variety of personal tastes. Romance fiction is written with any tone or style, can be set in any place and time, with any level of sensuality, from sweet to piping hot!
There are two common elements in romance fiction:
- a central love story
- an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending
Romance fiction accounts for more than a quarter of all books sold, and holds the largest share of the consumer book market.
Romance titles commonly occupy five of the top 10 on the New York Times paperback fiction bestseller list, and romance is now the top performing category on the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists.
Romance fiction generated US$1.438 billion in sales in 2012 and US$1.08 billion in 2013.
To read a selection of clippings on the romance genre in the Australian media, click here.