Readers just want to have fun—Reader Cons

Remember the term ‘bookworm’? Ever been accused of always having your nose in a book? I think the world is finally beginning to understand that reading isn’t uncool. Mainstream non-readers acknowledge that books can turn into trendy shows like True Blood and Game of Thrones. If we like this stuff we can’t be total nerds, right? LOL

We readers know that we are the ones with imagination and brains trained to tap into the author’s cues enough to build fully realized worlds in our heads just from reading words on paper. But what about after the book is finished? We also like to talk about the book with others who loved it. Find out what they’re reading. Tell them about the great thing we just discovered. And talking to the author, well that is like talking to a rock star for us. At least it is for me. I once almost tripped over Nora Roberts in the gift shop of a hotel and stood there like an idiot speechless. I rode an elevator with Lind Howard and couldn’t say a word. These women are my superstars.


Nowadays there is an easy way to connect with other readers and authors beyond the internet. We can meet in person at one of the many conference dedicated to this exact purpose. Reader cons are not new, RT Book Club (formerly Romantic times) has been running one for many years, but this is the era of their proliferation. There are more of them, large and small, than ever before. Or at least since the days when book ‘salons’ were all the rage in British society.

I’m super excited to be a featured blogger for our local reader con for 2014 (see sidebar), but I’ll be telling you more about that next month. In this post, I just thought it would be fun to compile a list of reader cons. Summer is the hot (see what I did there) time for cons so some of these will be a year off now, but they fill up fast so advance planning is not a bad idea.

I’ll tell you the ones I’ve heard of, then you can add to the list in the comments. I’ll turn it into a page for reference after that. Ready? Here we go….

Lora Leigh’s Reader’s Appreciation Weekend (RAW)

Held annually around September this weekend features about two dozen authors with discussions, games, and parties. Here are the deets for this year’s conference:

September 19-22, 2013
Clarion Hotel, Hagerstown, MD
Registration $100

Authors After Dark

This is a wandering con for readers of romance, fantasy (including urban fantasy) and horror. THEY SET A MAX of 100 authors. The attendee limit is 500.

August 15 – 18 2013
Savannah GA
Registration this year is $254.19

Coastal Magic (formerly Olde City New Blood)

This is a brand new con with just one year. A good time to hop on board and watch it grow. Around 50 authors with a Paranormal, UF focus. Registration is limited to keep things small enough you’ll be able to meet and talk with the authors.

Feb 6-9, 2014
Daytona Beach, FL
Registration $70 (opening soon)


This is an author fan event put on by Christine Feehan. She usually teams up with another author and the event is kept pretty small.

Feb 21-23rd, 2014
Lafayette, CA
Registration $235

RT Convention

This is a huge event held annually in April by RT Book Club Magazine. The venue changes year-to-year. It is pretty pricy $474 in 2013, but tons of fun. They do have less expensive a-la-cart options. It also has events for authors, but that is secondary to the reader focus. Next year’s deets:

May 14-18, 2014
New Orleans, LA

Reportedly, this is another large convention for romance readers. I don’t actually know anyone who’s attended so any info you can add would be welcome. I believe it is held annually in June in Colorado Springs, CO.


Held annually in June in Ohio and typically has 50+ authors in attendance. This one is known for raffles, giveaways, and charity fundraising.

Your turn? Tell us about the cons you know and love? Or share your con experiences.