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January 24, 2015

Join us on Thursday, February 12 as readers and authors engage in a spirited debate around the most important question of all — Is the HEA necessary for a good story?

Author Shannon Curtis, Shallow reader and academic Vassiliki Veros and I will be fighting for the HEA, while author Kate Forsyth, academic and blogger Jodi McAlister and comedienne Madeleine Culp will be trying to doom fairies to die.

Just saying.

Anyway, we’d love for you to join us at the Woollahra Council Chambers in Double Bay. The event is free but ticketed (register here or call 9391 7931). You can find more information at the Woollahra Council website, and I have included the event poster below.

Hope to see you there!

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August 2, 2014

2014 Byron Bay Writers Festival bannerRomance panel at Byron Bay Writers Festival, featuring Amy Andrews and Jennifer St George with Mandy Nolan.

Finally, we have a writers’ festival with actual romance authors in the program! If you’re at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival this weekend, make sure you check out tomorrow’s panel, Be Still My Beating Heart: Writing Romance, where local celebrity comedian Mandy Nolan chats with Amy Andrews and Jennifer St George and explores the world of romance writing and what it’s like to be a contemporary romance author.

The event is on Sunday, August 3 from 12.45pm to 1.30pm at the New Philosopher Marquee. You can purchase your tickets here or at the Festival. You can download the full program here (pdf). 

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July 21, 2014

2014 ARRC15 banner darkThe 2015 Australian Romance Readers Convention registration details have been released!

ARRC 2015 will be at the QT Hotel, Canberra, from March 6 to March 8, 2015. Keynote speakers Sylvia Day, Victoria Dahl and Helene Young are confirmed, and ARRA revealed that Kelley Armstrong will also be coming to the convention.

ARRC 2015 has two platinum sponsors this year — Booktopia, who has supported ARRC since the very first convention, and eXtasy Books. Yay for platinum sponsors! The official bookshop is Dymocks Canberra. They will be accepting pre-orders for the convention, and I’m told they will also offer a mail home service for people who run out of luggage space for their loot!

Registration rates are:

Author pre-registration — $225/$245 (closes Aug 16)

Reader early-bird (ARRA members only) — $225 (closes Jul 31)

Registration (from Sep 1) — $255/$275

Day only — $150

Booksigning only — $15

Welcome reception — $53 (Update: I originally posted the incorrect rate.)

Awards dinner — $79

Early-bird registration is for members only (limit of 50) and closes July 31. Author pre-registration closes August 16 (limit of 100). Regular registration opens September 1 and closes March 1. The full rate is for the entire weekend (Friday to Sunday) and includes morning and afternoon teas, lunches, and entry to all sessions, including the booksigning. The cocktails and ARRA dinner are separate. Booksigning ticket only will be available from December 1.

Guys, it is going to be SO MUCH FUN. Plans are already afoot for shenanigans on Friday night after trivia, so watch this space! Let us know if we’ll see you in Canberra next year!

 

June 29, 2014

A commitment-free way to ‘meet’ new books!

Galaxy Bookshop will be holding their second ever Book Speed Dating Session from 6pm on Thursday, 10th July! It’s similar to traditional speed dating where you get a short amount of time to decide whether you want to get to know someone better, only this time, you’ll get to check out some books you may not have noticed. Most of the books offered on the night will be paranormal romances, but they may also introduce you to some possibilities from other genres. If you’re looking for something new to read, this is a great, commitment-free way to check out some books you may not have come across previously.

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May 31, 2014

2014 National Book Bloggers Forum by Penguin Random HouseSome books, a few authors, and a lot of navel gazing. Oh, and the Gayle Forman film comes out August 28 in Australia.

The National Book Bloggers Forum was a free event hosted by Penguin Random House Australia. Disclosure: Kat hosts the Heart to Heart podcast for Destiny Romance, an imprint of Penguin Australia.

Last week, I attended the inaugural National Book Bloggers Forum hosted by Penguin Random House. Blogger events are few and far between in Australia, let alone book blogger events, so this was somewhat exciting for me.

Random House hosted the event at their North Sydney office. Despite being held on a Tuesday during the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the event was relatively well attended, with a number of bloggers traveling from various states to come along. Compared to last year’s Harlequin Summit, NBBF attendees probably got a little bit more out of the day, given that the program went from around 9am to 4pm. That said, it’s still quite a trip to make for a one-day event that was, yes, fun and interesting, but still largely a promotional activity.

Blogging things

The event was kicked off by Random House marketing and publicity director Brett Osmond, who set the tone for the rest of the day. Osmond was very supportive of the role that readers and bloggers play in the world of books. I didn’t get a chance to chat with him, but I remember receiving an email from him way back in 2011 when Marg, Zja, Rosie, Ali and I were organising a blogger meet-up in Sydney. I’ve never forgotten that first attempt to reach out and get to know bloggers, and Brett’s enthusiasm for connecting with bloggers doesn’t seem to have waned in the interim.

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April 11, 2014

A round-up of 2014 Sydney Writers’ Festival panels that could have featured romance authors…only they don’t.

2014 Sydney Writers Festival

I’m thinking your romance programming (or lack thereof) sucks.

If you’ve been following our Twitter feed over the last few days, you’ll know that romance readers have been let down—yet again—by the Sydney Writers’ Festival, which features a program that completely ignores romance authors. If you haven’t read Gabby’s open letter to the SWF, it’s a great place to start. The amount of support we have received on Twitter, Facebook and here on the blog tells me that the support for romance is strong.

We’ve been brainstorming ways to increase the level of awareness for romance at SWF. There would be no compelling reason for SWF to incorporate romance panels if the organisers feel that the audience would not support them. So I think one of the easiest and most effective things we can do as romance readers is to attend the festival and be visible. And the easiest way I can think of to be visible at the festival is to attend panels and ask questions that speak to the romance genre. We don’t have to be obnoxious about it—we just have to demonstrate that we’re there, we’re listening, and that romance fiction is relevant.

I’ve put together a selection of festival events that I think would intersect very easily with romance. If you’re a romance reader thinking of attending the SWF, these panels and workshops might be of interest. Some years, we take what we can get, and 2014 seems to be one of those years.

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April 1, 2014

Hope to see you guys for books after work today! For more details, click on the poster below or add it to your Facebook events here.

2014 Book o'clock - 1/4/2014 at Small Bar, Sydney
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March 23, 2014

A night filled with upsets, keynotes for ARRC 2015, murder mayhem, and award-stealing shenanigans!

Heart Of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (Psy-Changeling, Book 12) - Australian editionAllegiance Sworn by Kylie Griffin (Light Blade, Book 3)The One That Got Away by Kelly HunterUntamed by Anna CowanHolding Out For a Hero by Amy AndrewsSkin by Kylie ScottHalf Moon Bay by Helene YoungA Rake's Midnight Kiss by Anna Campbell (Sons of Sin, Book 2)

The Australian Romance Readers Awards dinner was sold out this year, demonstrating the increasing importance of this award among readers, authors and publishers. There were plenty of surprises in store for attendees, making for a very boisterous evening, and promising exciting things for the future of romance in Australia!

Kylie Scott was named Favourite Australian Romance Author, breaking Anna Campbell’s streak. Scott also picked up Favourite Erotic Romance for her zombie romance Skin (Momentum Moonlight).

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February 28, 2014

Harlequin author Victoria Purman alerted me to a last-minute change in the Adelaide Writer’ Week program. On Saturday, March 1, Phillipa Fioretti will be chatting with Victoria and Fiona McIntosh in an ‘All Talking Romance Genre’ panel. It looks like this panel will be replacing the Kimberley Freeman session. The panel will be on at 10.45 am on the West Stage at the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden.

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