Love is in the Air at Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival 2018

fiona mcarthur, i love bello shire, bellingen readers and writers festival, bellingen

This year’s Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival has an awe inspiring line-up of writers who represent a wide variety of writing genres.  One genre which will be explored at the Festival will be Romance Fiction, an exciting area of literature that has been too often dismissed by the high-brow literary intelligentsia. But in fact Romance is one of the most popular and best-selling genres today, and Australia is an avid participant, supporting a vibrant and ever-growing community of both readers and writers.

ROMANCE- Writing From and For The Heart will be one of the many featured discussion panels at this year’s Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival, with  Alli Sinclair, Fiona McArthur (pictured above) & Annie Seaton, chaired by Ros Ward.

While there’s no doubt that the stereotypical love stories of Barbara Cartland once pleased an older generation, today’s millions of romance fans form a much more diverse and cosmopolitan readership. And the romance industry is big business, worth more than a billion dollars a year. While approximately 85% of the genre’s readers are women, the largest segment (40+%) is somewhat surprisingly between the ages of 30 and 54.

“Romance readers cross all social boundaries these days,“ says local enthusiast Ros Ward, who will be chairing the discussion session at the festival. “What amazes me are the many sub-genres that have evolved in recent times. There’s contemporary romance, historical romance, urban romance, medical romance, and even horror romance!“

Ros has arranged for three of the genre’s most popular authors to attend this year’s festival, and two of them are from the local region.

alli sinclair, i love bello shire, bellingen readers and writers festival, bellingen

Alli Sinclair

“Alli Sinclair is a multi-award winning Romance author from Victoria, whose writing falls into the contemporary and historical categories,” explains Ros.






“Fiona McArthur is a mid-wife from Kempsey and her very popular books are considered medical romance.


Annie Seaton lives in Nambucca Heads and is both a romance writer and a travel blogger.

annie seaton, i love bello shire, bellingen readers and writers festival, bellingen

Author Annie Seaton

She was voted ‘Best Established Australian Author’ by readers in the 2017 AusRom Today Readers’ Choice Awards.”

With online organisations like the Romance Writers of Australia and the Australian Romance Readers Association linking up devotees and hosting annual conferences, and bookstore and online sales booming, the Romance genre looks set to keep positive hearts aflutter for many years to come.

“Romance writing isn’t about fantasy,” insists Ros. “It’s about people who are just like people that you know, and about feelings and emotions that readers can relate to. It’s about real life.”


Saturday 9 June – 10.30-11.30am – Memorial Hall – Individual session: $20

Chair: Ros Ward with Alli Sinclair, Fiona McArthur & Annie Seaton

For further information about 2018 Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival visit:

Online bookings for Weekend, Day Passes & workshops at:

Weekend & Day Passes, as well as Individual sessions tickets available from: Waterfall Way Information Centre, Bellingen

Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival, I Love Bello Shire, Bellingen, Romance writers at the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival

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