The third Australian Romance Readers Convention was held from Friday 1 March to Sunday 3 March 2013 at the Mercure Hotel in Brisbane.
The convention featured Rachel Vincent, Kristan Higgins and Anne Gracie as keynote speakers. Numerous bestselling and favourite Australian authors also attended as panel members. Further information on the convention is available on our blog.
On Friday evening, the convention opened with the welcome reception, incorporating Lady Jane's Salon. Hosted by US author Hope Tarr, the Salon was the first to be held outside of the US, and has been hailed a success by all who attended. Guest authors Cathy Maxwell, Anna Campbell, Amy Andrews and Keri Arthur had the audience enthralled with their readings.
Following the Salon was our welcome reception, where over 150 readers, authors and industry professionals mingled, chatted and enjoyed 'celebrity cocktails' named after our keynote speakers.
On Saturday the program was packed-we started off with a keynote address from Rachel Vincent, followed by the launch of The Best Man by Kristan Higgins, and then a number of entertaining panel sessions. In the afternoon was our epic book-signing event, attended by 66 romance authors. That evening was the Awards Dinner, where the winners of the 2012 Australian Romance Readers Awards were announced. Details of the winners can be found here.
The Sunday program was slightly more relaxed-Annie Gracie got everyone enthused for the day with her talk about romance heroes, and then Nikki Logan launched her latest book How To Get Over Your Ex. We also had two streams of panel sessions on the Sunday, followed by a keynote speech from Kristan Higgins.
The convention was an enormous success, and possibly the best one yet. Major thanks are due to: Debbie Jay, coordinator extraordinaire, along with all the OC-Debbie Phillips, Heather Kopp, Cindy Bukbardis, Evelyn Seeto and Rose Sprinkart. Thanks also to our MC for the event, Trish Springsteen, as well as Jennifer Wu (designer), Brooke Moody (volunteer coordinator), Kylie Scott (author table coordinator), and to all the volunteers who gave up some of their time on the weekend to ensure the convention ran smoothly.
To the ARRC committee and the ARRA committee-you ladies ROCK!! I had the best weekend ever and not simply because JILTED won an esteemed ARRA award (although that was a massive bonus)! I wish we could do it every weekend and am already counting down until 2015! The guest speakers were all so inspiring both as readers and writers. I have found so many new authors that I'm desperate to read, now I just need to find more time in the day. A MAMMOTH thanks to Debbie Jay-who organised all of it while pregnant and then with a young child. That is true dedication and thanks to her hero for looking after her gorgeous daughter for all of us ~ Rachael Johns
A big congrats to the ARRA for giving us a fantastic ARRC2013! Yes, its taken me this long to get back on the lounge. The ONLY problem I had at ARRC2013 was it is impossible to meet everyone and sit in on all the sessions! Never mind, look forward to the next one and by then my Detective skills may have improved. ~ Dean J Anderson
I had the best time and left with a whole lot of new friends. Thank you so much for having me! ~ Kristan Higgins
I had the time of my life with you guys in Brisbane and I'm determined to bring my family with me next time to see all that Australia has to offer. And, of course, it was my pleasure and honour to be one of your keynote speakers. I loved every single minute of my trip, and thank you so much for the gift! The champagne flute is beautiful, and it holds a place of honour in my office. Thanks so much for having me! ~ Rachel Vincent
Thank you very much for running such a fantastic convention and for inviting me to participate in those two panels. I had a wonderful time. I hope you did, too, in between all of the organisation and running around. The event ran so smoothly it seemed effortless, yet I know how much work goes on behind the scenes to make that happen. I was so impressed at the myriad small touches that made the weekend particularly special. Please pass on my thanks and congratulations to the other organisers and moderators for their wonderful work and hospitality. ~ Christina Brooke
It was a STELLAR event! Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone involved in making it happen. I had a grand time. ~ Cathy Maxwell
Coming in late here to say thank you to Debbie Jay and Debbie Phillips and Heather and Rose and Evelyn and Cindy and all the other wonderful ARRA volunteers. A huge amount of work goes into organising such a successful conference and for most of us, it's invisible-all we see is that everything is going beautifully. So a huge thank you! Thanks, too to all the other attendees-I had a ball. It's lovely to see ARRA going from strength to strength. ~ Anne Gracie
I had a wonderful time at my first (and certainly not my last) ARRC. Thank you Debbie, and all the hard-working committee and the authors and readers who made it so much fun! ~ Beverley Eikli
Quotes from delegates:
Another fantastic convention. Huge thanks to the organisers for giving us all such a fun-filled weekend. Plus many fan moments gazing at three of my favourite historical romance authors-Cathy Maxwell, Anne Gracie, Anna Campbell-sigh! Congratulations to everyone who was a finalist and special shout outs to all the winners. As for Anna Campbell, what can we say? Her books are adored by so many Australian readers and such a genuinely lovely person that she deserves every accolade. Including scooping the prize pool! Can't wait for the next convention. ~ Suzi Love
Just wanted to say thanks to the ladies (you know who you are) who have made ARRC2013 such a fantastic event. Without you all it would not have been such a success. Much appreciated! ~ Aimee
The organising committee deserve huge congratulations for putting on a brilliant convention. It was really, really wonderful and I can't praise it enough. Friendly, fun, efficiently run, and with the best atmosphere imaginable. Loved it. ~ via feedback survey
Such an awesome weekend I had a ball thank you heaps to the OC committee you all did a fantastic job. ~ Helen
Thank you very much Debbie and everyone else who made the weekend so enjoyable and looking forward to the next one. ~ Barbara
I'd like to thank the organisers for a great event too. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. It was my first event and I will definitely be there for the next event. Met really nice people and was not surprised that everyone was friendly and was happy to be there...after all we all read romances. ~ Carole