The convention featured Anna Campbell, Nalini Singh and Cindy Gerard as keynote speakers. Numerous bestselling and favourite Australian authors also attended as panel members. Further information on the convention is available on our blog.
If all the happy delegates are anything to go by, ARRC2011 was a blast! Although it was smaller than we had planned, that worked in favour of the readers who had more access to the authors than ever before. The venue was spacious and well arranged for sitting and chatting and the sit-down buffet lunch gave everyone the opportunity to mingle and relax at the same time.
The winners of the 2010 Australian Romance Readers Awards were announced at the dinner on 26 March 2011. Details of the winners can be found here.
Major thanks are due to: Pamela Diaz for stepping in to take over the role of Convention Coordinator; Sarah Calder for MC-ing the Awards Dinner; Jennifer Wu for the beautiful design of the banners and handbook cover; to Heather Kopp for an outstanding job organising the Silent Auction at very short notice; all the ladies on the OC - Allison Rogers, Debbie Phillips, Helen Sibbritt, Heather Kopp and Rose Sprinkart - for their hard work in bringing the convention to fruition; and, of course, all the volunteers who gave up some of their time on the weekend to ensure the convention ran smoothly.
Thank you all for your efforts!
Quotes from authors:
I don't even know how to begin to thank you for inviting me to the conference and showing me such a great time. The conference was so well run, the food and hotel were amazing and the women I met where just incredible. It truly was one of the best experiences I've ever had. So thanks again-seems so inadequate-and please know that I'm very grateful for the opportunity you gave me. I've told everyone about how fabo the conference and the country is! ~ Cindy Gerard
I think the convention was a huge success and everyone I spoke to had a wonderful, wonderful time. I can guess how terrifically hard you worked to make it all happen and I hope you're all resting on your laurels big time now. I'd particularly like to thank you for running the ARRA Awards every year-I've been just so honoured to feature among the winners. It's so special when you get a cheer from your home crowd. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! It was a great weekend and a credit to all concerned. ~ Anna Campbell x
Pamela, you were awesome! Organising, MCing, photographing … it all takes it out of you but you looked to be breezing through it. And everyone-many, many thanks for a wonderful weekend! I had heaps of fun, met wonderful readers and writers, matched names to faces, and was totally chuffed (and stunned) with my ARRA award win. It's fab to escape your regular life and talk with like-minded people-and not just books, but movies, life, food, family, clothes and everything else in between. Roll on 2013! ~ Paula Roe x
Thank you Debbie, Pamela and everyone else involved with the conference. It was a marvellous weekend, as professionally organised and executed as I have come to expect from your organisation-and a lot of fun too. It was wonderful to meet with readers and catch up with other authors. But of course, for me, the highlight was winning the ARRA award for Favourite Contemporary Romance for Home Is Where the Bark Is. I could not believe I won the award a second time! Thank you to everyone who voted for me and Romantic Reflections for sponsoring the award. It joins last year's trophy proudly on my mantelpiece. ~ Kandy Shepherd xx
I had a fab weekend with ARRA (because all I had to do was have fun while you all organised), loved meeting you all. Can't wait to catch up with you all at the next one. ~ Fiona McArthur
Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for the brilliant weekend. You ladies did an amazing job on the convention. It was perfect, from start to finish. WELL DONE. (Oh, and thank you for the awards dinner... and for the award. The definite highlight of my weekend.) ~ Jess Dee
What a terrific weekend! SO nice to get away and speak with like-minded people. I had heaps of fun and am most grateful to everyone who volunteered to make ARRC so terrific. It had to be lots of work-a huge labour of love for the readers and writers of the romance genre. Thanks so much. ~ xx Christine Darcas
The amount of 'behind the scenes' work to make a convention run as smoothly as ARRC2011 did is simply phenomenal. You all were brilliant. Thanks so much for a fabulous weekend. ~ Denise Rossetti
Thank you Pamela, and Debbie, and Sarah and Helen, Allison, Heather, Rose and Wendy!!! Then there was the volunteers … so many to remember I can't possibly list you … but you know who you are! I know what a tough job it is so WELL DONE!! ~ Maggie Nash
I wanted to pass on my thanks to you and all the ARRA organisers for the terrific convention. Congratulations on the smoothly run event. I was so impressed by the lovely friendly feel of it and the level of organisation evident in so many ways. Also, I'd to thank whoever was responsible for the silk scarves provided to author speakers. It was an inspired choice of gift and I've been using mine quite a bit already. It's just gorgeous. ~ Annie West
Quotes from delegates:
I enjoyed the convention very much-I found it easy to socialise and talk to a lot more people than at the last one. It was well planned and the venue was very good. Cindy Gerard and Anna Campbell were standouts and I thoroughly enjoyed all the sessions that I attended. Saturday's dinner was great and I'd like to thank you guys for putting me on Nalini and Anna's table-I really enjoyed their company. I look forward to the next one. ~ Mary, Romantic Reflections
I just wanted to congratulate you, the EC and the OC for another excellent convention. Everyone I spoke to enjoyed the weekend, and we all came home with more books than we had intended and are perhaps healthy for us. :) The dinner was fun and relaxed and really a great way to celebrate our love for romance novels. I wanted to mention that I particularly enjoyed authors reading excerpts from their books. I thought this was very effective for us readers to get a feel for the author's voice, and for authors to promote (okay, sell) their books. I also wanted to thank you for awarding a bling off prize! It's become a mini-tradition that we hope to continue at each awards dinner. Thanks again for all your hard work. It was very much appreciated. ~ Kat Mayo
Huge huge huge kudos to you and the rest of the team - ARRC2011 was so smoothly run, so well managed, and such a fantastic time. I'm so honoured to be associated even tangentially with such a professional group of volunteers. Well done, you guys! ~ Kate Cuthbert
I just want to say what a fantastic weekend I had and thanks to all those involved in the organising and running of the event. I think it was so professionally run … it was so great to put faces to names and meet all those fantastic authors who didn't mind us mere mortals asking for autographs etc … roll on the next one … ~ Barbara, Member of the Year
I want to say a super thank you to everyone who planned, organised and executed the conference. It was all kinds of awesomeness. Pamela, I'm stunned how you could be everywhere at once and still be in such good spirits. Totally wonderful. I had a fab time and it's all due to the wonderful organisation of this event. ~ Deanna Lang
Table 8 rocks! Thanks to everyone who made the ARRC11 such a great trip and experience. Can't wait for the next one. Loved being a volunteer and will definitely put my name down for ARRC13. As someone not travelling with anyone it was a great way to meet people and I would encourage everyone to put their hand up for future volunteer opportunities with ARRC. Pamela and the team were great and made my ARRC11 experience one to tell everyone about! Thanks again guys! ~ Raquel Pickering