RT Booklovers Convention 2013: Welcome Party

After patiently waiting and counting down the days, the 2013 RT Booklovers' Convention is finally here! The festivities began with our annual Welcome Party. There was coffee and morning treats for the readers, authors and industry professionals in attendance. Then, RT BOOK REVIEWS Founder Kathryn Falk, president Kenneth Rubin and publisher Carol Stacy greeted attendees and shared a look at what's in store for our week-long 30th Anniversary celebration.

Up next was RT's Kate Ryan announcing the 2012 Bookseller of the Year, an honor that went to Michelle Mioff-Haring of Cupboard Maker Books in Enola, PA. Ryan said Mioff-Haring is unusual in her cleverness when it comes to community building, citing the bookseller's decision to turn her store into a cat rescue as an example! Author Jeri Smith-Ready also spoke about how Cupboard Maker Books is a warm, welcoming place for authors and readers. Debbie Burk, the 2011 Bookseller of the Year Award winner and owner of Jan's Paperbacks in Aloha, OR, handed down her hard-earned tiara to Michelle, a yearly tradition at the RT Convention.

Michelle Mioff-Haring, RT Bookseller of the Year

Two new awards were introduced this year. The Bookseller Who Cares Award was given to Marianne Guess of the New and Olde Pages Book Shoppe in Englewood, OH, whose customers have campaigned heavily for the bookseller for many years. The Librarian Who Cares Award went to Helen Bender, a librarian who organizes community outreach for the Boston Public Library and is a supporter of romance and genre fiction.

Next, a variety of cover models and former Mr. Romance competitors were introduced to the crowd, telling the audience a little bit about their history with RT

Then, author Jude Deveraux came up on stage and was met with a roaring applause from the crowd. She spoke about how her and other pioneers of romance changed the industry and spoke with excitement about how she's happy to be back at another RT Convention.

As things began to wind down, we gathered our goodie bags and got ready to start our first day of convention panels, events and, of course, tons of fun!

Be sure to check back for continuing convention coverage all week long, take a look at the RT Convention Home for more information about day passes if you are in the Kansas City area, especially if you are interested in joining us for Saturday’s Teen Day or FAN-tastic Day, which both take place after our Giant Book Fair. For continuous convention updates, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. And if you can't make it this year, we hope to see you in New Orleans for 2014!