Austen-Con celebrates all things Austen

Courtesy: 24 Carrot Productions

Now in its fourth year, Austen-Con is a lively mix of in-person and online events celebrating all things Austen.

One of England’s most beloved novelists, Jane Austen was born in 1775 and wrote from a young age, initially to amuse her family. Her six major novels, of which Pride and Prejudice is probably the best known, are set among the British landed gentry and lauded worldwide for their wit, romance, and social commentary.

Running in the beautiful surrounds on Melbourne’s Abbotsford Convent, this year's lucky ticket holders can partake in activities that range from crafting, a speed dating game and dancing, an escape room, the art of letter writing and lively discussions on an array of Austen inspired topics with a wonderful mix of guest presenters and expert enthusiasts.

Running across three separate spaces, the line-up for this years’ diverse and entertaining program includes:

Sewing with Kelly Lock In person/Zoom: 9am - 9:30am

During the registration and introduction to the day, Kelly Lock will demonstrate a sewing project that can be taken with participants and worked on as they listen to different presentations.

Behind the Black Veil with Sam Hirst In person/online: 9:30am - 10:30am

This talk looks at Austen's choice of ‘Horrid novels' in Northanger Abbey and what they tell us about the genre, its publishing practices, women's place in it, and the benefits of reading far too many Gothic mysteries.

Escape Room

In person/online: 10:30am - 1:30pm

This Austen-inspired Escape Room runs for three sessions on the hour from 10:30am, ending at 1:30pm. An audio-only room, it harnesses the power of imagination to take participants through a perplexing puzzle as characters from much-loved Sense and Sensibility.

Before Bridgerton: Representations of Race in Georgian Fiction

In person/online: 10:30am - 11:30am

Join writer Lauren Burke and 19th Century Literature Professor Dr. Lydia Craig, for this discussion about the Georgian-era novels Ourika, Fashionable Connexions, The Woman of Colour and Sanditon. These books provide fascinating insights into what life was like for people of colour in high society around Jane Austen's time.

Following on from three highly successful years, the 2021 Austen Con is proudly COVIDSafe and an event suitable for all ages. The current global pandemic has created a unique opportunity for international access to select aspects of the convention with a great mix of events being streamed on YouTube and Zoom with most accessible for 48 hours afterwards.

Ticket price to the 2021 Austen Convention also includes access to the popular Online Market Hub and vendors will be present on the day too, selling wonderful wares.

See the full list of activities and events on offer online and book this Novemnber on their website here!


Location: Abbotsford Convent (North Magdalen Laundry and Industrial School) - 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford Dates: Saturday 6 November, 2021

Time: 9am - 5pm Tickets (Complete Event Access): $50 Full, $40 Concession, $20 Online Access (please note: additional charges for craft materials apply)

24 Carrot Productions Website