Over the years, many have requested that we host a virtual event. Well, those requests are now a reality!

In just a few short weeks a group of MurderCon’s top law enforcement and forensics experts will arrive in homes around the world (virtually) to teach LIVE online classes, such as Fingerprints, Chemical Processing of Prints, Presumptive Blood/DNA, Blood Spatter, Footwear Evidence, Lifting Footwear, Homicide Investigations, Murder Case Studies, Toxicology, Forensic Geology, and Entomology to name a few. Each session features Q&A time with the instructors. There are also a couple of surprises in store for attendees..

This is an extremely rare opportunity, and presenting this material in such intricate detail is not something that’s previously been available outside the walls of police and forensics training academies and facilities. Once again, we’re making it possible for you to attend sessions that are typically for law enforcement eyes only. This is the same material that’s taught to top investigators.

As you know, sadly, we were forced to cancel the in-person MurderCon due to COVID restrictions in North Carolina.

We made the difficult decision to cancel late Wednesday evening after receiving notice N.C. would not be moving to Phase 3 on June 26 as planned. So we shifted into high gear and Thursday morning we held the first meeting about developing a virtual event. We’ve since developed classes, format, retained instructors, platform, schedule, and more. The entire MurderCon website  and registration system will need to be retooled from the ground up.

Then comes a brief period of advertising leading up to the opening of registration for this very special virtual event, hopefully on July 6, 2020. We’re optimistic.

But, to make this work we need your help. You are our best means of advertisement. So please, please please, share this exciting news with your friends, family, on social media, your websites, to your writers groups, agents, publishers, and more. Shout it from the rooftops! I. Need. Your. Help!

As always, thanks so much for your continued support.

Lee Lofland

*Due to format and programming restrictions, space is limited. First-come, first-served.

Registered MurderCon attendees will receive an important announcement via email sometime Friday afternoon EST, June 26, 2020, or on Saturday June 27. So please check your inbox and spam mail. In addition, I’ll post the details here and on my Facebook pages.

Also, we have another exciting surprise in store for everyone, including the people who wanted to attend this fabulous event but for some reason couldn’t make it this year or in years past. As it’s been said, OMG, this is big! Lots of behind the scenes activity today with Sirchie, David Baldacci’s office, and here at Writers’ Police Academy headquarters. Busy, busy, busy.

Each year, the Writers’ Police Academy hosts a wildly popular hands-on law enforcement training event for writers, readers, fans, and anyone else with an interest in police procedure and the forensics used to solve crimes. MurderCon 2020 is a special event hosted by the Writers’ Police Academy, and Sirchie, the global leader in crime scene technology and products. If you’ve attended in the past you already know the event is like no other. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend then you should sign up TODAY while there’s still time. It is truly an event of a lifetime.

The WPA is a massive production, one that requires multiple venues, busing, facility rentals, speaker and instructor expenses, training materials, equipment, supplies, caterers, etc. It’s expensive to say the least. Far more costly than, for example, a typical conference where the main expenses are hotel meeting rooms and A/V equipment. And we have those as well.

To help keep registration costs at a bare minimum, the WPA, in addition to an exciting auction (hint … REACHER!!!!) and raffle, we host two writing contests as fundraisers—the annual “Tales From the Graveyard Shift” anthology, and the Golden Donut 200-Word Short Story Contest.

The contests are fun and are beneficial to those who enter, the WPA, and the attendees of the Writers’ Police Academy events.

The WPA Anthology Series

Book Two …

People Are Strange: Tales From the Graveyard Shift (August 2020)

The winners of three available spots in the Writers’ Police Academy’s annual anthology contest will have their stories published in a traditionally published book, along with tales written by several top bestselling authors, such as Heather Graham, Phoef Sutton, Reed Farrel Coleman, Lisa Regan, Denise Grover Swank, and more.

Lisa Gardner is writing the foreword for PEOPLE ARE STRANGE, the 2020 WPA anthology.

Book Description

In the eerie glow of storefront neon lights and winking, blinking traffic signals, top bestselling thriller author Lisa Gardner emerges from the shadows onto a desolate, rain-soaked and uneven cobblestone street. It is from there, between the hours of midnight and dawn—the graveyard shift, that she introduces this collection of gripping tales of thrills, chills, and mystery.

*Lisa Gardner’s internationally acclaimed novels, published across 30 countries, have won awards from across the globe. She’s also had four books become TV movies and has made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN.

*Level Best Books publishes the “Tales From the Graveyard Shift” anthology series.


After Midnight: Tales From the Graveyard Shift (2019)

Book One …

Book Description (foreword by Lee Child ):

The curtain rises on this collection of twisted tales, revealing the words of bestselling thriller author Lee Child. Child sets the stage for a series of mysterious and strange goings-on that occur between the hours of midnight and dawn … the graveyard shift.

Contributing authors in this first anthology produced by the Writers’ Police Academy include bestselling mystery and crime authors, top television writers, true crime experts, and more.

Heather Graham
Phoef Sutton
Robin Burcell
Allison Brennan

Ry Brooks *contest winner
Carrie Stuart Parks
Lisa Klink
RJ Beam

Joe Bonsall
Katherine Ramsland
Denene Lofland
Michael A. Black

Emilya Naymark *contest winner
Mike Roche
Les Edgerton
Shawn Reilly Simmons

Rick McMahan
Marco Conelli
Cheryl Yeko
Howard Lewis
Linda Lovely
Lee Lofland

Copies of “After Midnight” are available here.


Golden Donut Short Story Contest

Winners of this challenging and fun contest receive the coveted Golden Donut Award along with a free registration to a Writers’ Police Academy event (the 2020 contest winner receives free registration to the 2021 WPA).

Golden Donut Short Story Contest Rules

The rules are simple. Write a story about the photograph using exactly 200 words — including the title. Each story needs an original title, and the image must be the main subject of the story. No clues as to the subject matter of the image or where it was taken. You decide. Let your imagination run wild. Remember though, what you see in the image above absolutely must be the main subject of your tale.


3 submissions allowed per person.

Submission deadline: Midnight (EST) July 1, 2020

Enter HERE


200 Words

No more. No less. Including the title, the story must be 200 words. “Don’t” is two words. “OMG” is three words. “Smith-Jones” is two words. Count them.

Finished Product

All stories are to be polished and complete. They must have a beginning, middle and a twisted, surprise ending.

Fairly Judged

The Golden Donut contest is judged blindly. Each entry is assigned a number so the judges do not see the writers’ names.

Reader Panel

A panel of readers will select their 12 favorite stories and then forward them to the final judge. All decisions are final. The judge will review and send the winning entry to the WPA.

About the 2020 Golden Donut Judge, Linda Landrigan

Linda Landrigan, editor-in-chief of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine

Assuming the mantle of editor-in-chief in 2002, Linda Landrigan has also edited the commemorative anthology Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine Presents Fifty Years of Crime and Suspense (2006) and the digital anthology Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine Presents Thirteen Tales of New American Gothic (2012), and has found time to be active on the board of the New York City Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association. In 2008, Linda and her “partner in crime,” Janet Hutchings – editor of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine – were presented with the Poirot Award from Malice Domestic for their contributions to the mystery genre.

She will read the top twelve entries and then pick the winning story.

Announced at the Banquet

While the winner will be announced at the 2020 WPA banquet. The winner does not need to be present to win.

Open to All

Contest is open to everyone. You don’t have to attend the conference to win. You don’t even have to be a writer.

Let the games begin!


New Arc Books, an imprint of Level Best Books will soon be publishing a collection of Golden Donut short stories.

The Writers’ Police Academy is pleased and excited to announce the coming release of our second anthology, “People Are Strange: Tales From the Graveyard Shift.”

We’re equally excited to announce that THREE lucky writers could see their stories appear alongside those of bestselling/award-winning authors such as Reed Farrel Coleman, Heather Graham, Deborah LeBlanc, Lisa Regan, Denise Grover Swank, Phoef Sutton, Katherine Ramsland, Denene Lofland, and Lee Lofland, to name a few.

And, to sweeten the pot, the foreword is written by international bestselling author Lisa Gardner!

The Contest

Contest begins February 18, 2020 and deadline to submit stories is midnight EST on June 1, 2020. Submit your stories below.

3500 to 5000 Words – No more. No less.

Theme

People Are Strange.

Restrictions

No graphic sex, abuse, or political hot buttons.

Fee

$35 per entry. Unlimited entries.

*Contest entry fees are used to help fund and support the Writers’ Police Academy, as are all royalties and payments earned from sales of the anthology.
Judged blindly

All submissions will be read blindly by the judges. Your story will be coded to ensure anonymity before it is sent to the judges, therefore your name should not appear anywhere within the body of the story.

Original works

All stories must be the sole, original work of the author.

Unpublished

Stories must be previously unpublished in print or electronically, including self-published works to include websites and blogs.

Three winners

The top two entries will be published in the WPA anthology People Are Strange: Tales From the Graveyard Shift. Publisher, Level Best Books.

To enter and/or view details, click here – People Are Strange Contest Entry


There’s still time to sign up!

MurderCon, presented by the Writers’ Police Academy, is a special hands-on training event for writers of all genres, with a specific focus on solving the crime of murder. It’s a unique juncture of fiction and fact taking place August 6-9, 2020 at the elite Sirchie compound in Raleigh, N.C. Sirchie is the Global Leader in Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic Science Solutions. Their products and training have helped solve thousands upon thousands of murder cases worldwide.

Attendees receive the same instruction that’s offered to, and attended by, top homicide detectives and investigators from around the globe.

MurderCon’s incredibly detailed and cutting-edge workshops, taught by some of the world’s leading experts, has never been available to writers, anywhere.

Yes, MurderCon is a “Killer” event, and you’re invited to attend!

Keynote speaker – David Baldacci

Special Guest Speakers – Featuring pathologist Dr. Judy Melinek & author/husband TJ Mitchell. Also, Ray Krone, death row exoneree. Hands-on classes by FBI, ATF, Sirchie, entomologists, forensic geologist, anthropologist, clandestine grave expert, medical examiners, private investigators, homicide and sexual assault detectives, & many more.

To add to the fun and excitement, there’s a murder to solve, by YOU!

And, there’s the BIG news … Well, it’s still a secret but here’s a hint. YOU and REACHER!!

Sign up TODAY at:

MurderCon

MurderCon registration opens Sunday, February 23, 2020, at noon EST. Therefore, to help the process go smoothly, I thought I’d post a few tips and helpful information.

Please hover your cursor above the bottom left of the graphic below, and then use the “Up” and “Down” arrows that appear at the bottom left to view each page of the newsletter.

As always, if we can assist you in any way please contact us at [email protected]

Remember, space at this incredible event is limited so please reserve your spot by signing up Sunday February 23, 2020 at 12 noon EST. And while you’re at it, you should also consider resevering your hotel room to receive our discounted rate. To do so, click the “Reserve Your Room” link on the MurderCon website. Breakfasts are included in your room rate. Many of the 2020 classes and festivities take place at the event hotel.
 
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The day to signup to attend MurderCon is now only three short days away!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the wildly popular event, MurderCon is the ultimate hands-on training event where attendees—writers, readers, fans, law enforcement, journalists, TV and film writers, etc.—receive the same instruction that’s offered to, and attended by, top homicide detectives and investigators from around the world.

It’s a unique juncture of fiction and fact that takes place at the headquarters and training facility of the global leader in crime-scene investigation technology, Sirchie. Together, Sirchie and the Writers’ Police Academy, assembled an elite cadre of top experts to present exciting and extremely detailed workshops and classes, all relating to the crime of murder and how the savvy detectives solve those cases. I cannot begin to stress the significance of attending classes at the Sirchie compound. This is a HUGE opportunity for you!!

MurderCon classes are far above the typical sessions offered at any other event. It’s the real deal, folks. MurderCon is where your stories are transformed from good, to “readers will not want to put down your book until they’ve devoured the final word.”

It’s one thing to read about police investigations and how cases are solved, but reading alone cannot deliver true physical and emotional sensations—sights, sounds, touch, smell, taste, etc. Attending MurderCon places attendees in situations and scenarios that real-life law enforcement investigators face each and every day.

The 2020 MurderCon is an advanced learning adventure. We’re offering to you, the level of instruction that many police officers only dream of attending. Those who do are often lead or upper level detectives.

Now, available to YOU, is a schedule of classes that are typically “for law enforcement eyes only.” Classes are all brand new for this exclusive 2020 event.

Please, I urge every writer to take advantage of 2020 MurderCon. This is your opportunity to take your writing to another level. You owe it to yourself and to your readers and fans.

So why not join the thousands of writers who’ve attended and benefited from the experience? The list is long and it includes authors such as Tami Hoag, Lisa Gardner, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Karin Slaughter, Christopher Reich, Lisa Regan, Heather Graham, Lee Goldberg, Charlaine Harris, Kendra Elliot, Melinda Leigh, Denise Grover Swank, Mary Burton, Deborah LeBlanc, and Marcia Clark, to name only a few. Attendees range from top bestsellers to the writer who’s just begun to plot and plan their very first tale.

2020 MurderCon Guest of Honor

David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world’s favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 130 million copies sold worldwide. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. He has also published seven novels for young readers.

David is also the cofounder, along with his wife, Michelle, of the Wish You Well Foundation®, which is dedicated to supporting adult and family literacy programs in the United States.

David is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

He lives in Virginia.

Featuring Special Guests

Dr. Judy Melinek is forensic pathologist in Oakland, California. She’s also the CEO of PathologyExpert Inc. Dr. Melinek and her husband T.J. Mitchell are the co-authors of the New York Times bestselling books Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner.

Ray Krone, the 100th death row exoneree, delivers an emotional and captivating account of his arrest, trial, conviction, and life on death row, all for a murder he didn’t commit. After more than 10 years in Arizona prisons, including nearly three years on death row, the combination of another man’s DNA found at the crime scene, a discredited expert witness, prosecutorial misconduct, and faulty bitemark evidence were the keys that led to Ray’s exoneration.

2020 Classes

(click the titles below to read session description, and instructor details)

“Sedimental” Journey

Art Of Blood

Extraordinary Departures

Fido Finds A Femur

From The Inside Out

Gazing Into The Cloud

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Homocide Or Homicide: You Decide

How Trauma Affects Memory

NARCAN By Noon

Sex Crimes Investigations

Smoking Guns And Lasers

They Saw You Do It

Under The Trench Coat

Who’s MARK


A Murder to Solve!

Join us at MurderCon 2020 for a Crime-Inspired Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt and Clue Game.

From the time WPA attendees enter the host hotel (maybe even before arriving) authors must pay attention, listen carefully, and observe thoroughly, clues to solve a whodunit.

Book signing, anthology release, auction, raffle, short story contests, and MORE!

Please the MurderCon website for all details.

See how your story could be included in a traditionally published anthology along with those written by Reed Farrel Coleman, Heather Graham, Lisa Regan, Denise Grover Swank, Deborah Leblanc, Phoef Sutton, and many more. And, to sweeten the pot, the foreword is written by Lisa Gardner!

https://writerspoliceacademy.com

Registration at 12 Noon EST, Sunday, February 23, 2020

Be Ready to Register at Noon EST this Sunday, February 23, 2020.
Space is limited and spots typically go quickly. Believe me, you do NOT want to miss this exclusive event of a lifetime.

It’s is with great pleasure that I announce that the Writers’ Police Academy will soon begin work on a new anthology. This new collection of mysterious stories (details below) comes on the heels of the successful publication of the 2019 book, After Midnight: Tales From The Graveyard Shift (published by Level Best Books), edited by Phoef Sutton with a foreword by Lee Child.

Description of AFTER MIDNIGHT

The curtain rises on this collection of twisted tales, revealing the words of bestselling thriller author Lee Child. Child sets the stage for a series of mysterious and strange goings-on that occur between the hours of midnight and dawn … the graveyard shift.

Contributing authors in this first anthology produced by the Writers’ Police Academy include bestselling mystery and crime authors, top television writers, true crime experts, and more.

Contributing Authors

Heather Graham
Phoef Sutton
Robin Burcell
Allison Brennan

Ry Brooks
Carrie Stuart Parks
Lisa Klink
RJ Beam

Joe Bonsall
Katherine Ramsland
Denene Lofland
Michael A. Black

Emilya Naymark
Mike Roche
Les Edgerton
Shawn Reilly Simmons

Rick McMahan
Marco Conelli
Cheryl Yeko
Howard Lewis
Linda Lovely
Lee Lofland

Also published by Level Best Books, the 2020 WPA anthology is titled People Are Strange: Tales From The Graveyard Shift. Phoef Sutton returns in 2020 as editor. And, like this year, we’re offering a chance for YOU to have YOUR story in this amazing collection of tales.

I know, you’re anxiously awaiting the name of the superstar, mega-famous author who’s writing the foreword. So, without further ado …

Yes, your story could appear in a book with a foreword written by …

*

*

*

*

*

*

Lisa Gardner!

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa Gardner, a #1 New York Times bestselling thriller novelist, began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has transformed her interest in police procedure and criminal minds into a streak of internationally acclaimed novels, published across 30 countries. She’s also had four books become TV movies (At the Midnight Hour; The Perfect Husband; The Survivors Club; Hide) and has made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN.

Lisa’s books have received awards from across the globe. Her novel, The Neighbor, won Best Hardcover Novel from the International Thriller Writers, while also receiving the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle in France. She was also recognized with the Daphne du Maurier Award in 2000 for The Other Daughter. Finally, Lisa received the Silver Bullet Award from the International Thriller Writers in 2017 for her work on behalf of at-risk children and the Humane Society.

For a bit of fun, Lisa invites her readers to enter the annual “Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy” Sweepstakes at LisaGardner.com. Every year, one Lucky Stiff is selected to meet a grand end in Lisa’s latest novel. Past winners have nominated spouses, best friends and even themselves.

Lisa lives in New Hampshire where she spends her time with an assortment of canine companions. When not writing, she loves to hike, garden, snowshoe and play cribbage.


Full “People Are Strange” contest details coming soon!

ATTENTION EVERYONE!!

Please watch this short video to learn the name of the Writers’ Police Academy/MurderCon’s 2020 Guest of Honor!

After clicking the play button, please also click the arrow at the top left to view in full screen since I have no clue how to resize the video. Thanks.

This is exciting news!!

Jail Cell

Writers are a curious bunch of folks who should never let walls, doors, locks, or the word NO stop them from producing the best stories possible.

The tellers of both tall and short tales, in fact, go to great lengths to find detail—the perfect setting, great, believable characters, and those wonderfully juicy tidbits of information that stimulate a reader’s senses.

With pen in hand and minds wide open, a writer will do whatever it takes to reach the last page of their work-in-progress, including hopping on a plane, train, car, or truck to travel to wherever information can be found. They walk, they talk, they telephone, they email, they read blogs and books, they ride with cops, attend court proceedings, and they attend awesome events such as the Writers’ Police Academy. Again, they do what it takes and they do it all in the name of pleasing readers.

Many stories include prison and/or jail settings, as well as the residents and/or employees of each. So what do writers do? They meet with jail officials and arrange to tour their facility. Sure, it can sometimes be a very steep uphill battle to get a foot in the door to some places of incarceration. But, as it’s been said, where there’s a will …

Suppose, though, that you, a writer, find yourself incarcerated for a long, long time … perhaps even for the remainder of your life. What would you do? After all, your passion is the written word. You have so many stories to tell, especially the one that landed you behind bars. You’ve gotta write!

So how on earth would you obtain the information you need for your book(s)? The internet is often not available. No modern library (in many lockups you’d be fortunate if there’s anything more than a few tattered paperbacks stacked in what used to be a mop closet). You’d have very little, if any, contact with people on the outside. And, if your story involves law enforcement, forensics, etc., you can pretty much rule out the assistance of cops and CSI experts.

What would you do?

Well, one such writer, a prisoner, once reached out to me back a while back, via my publisher. He sent a three page handwritten letter, complete with a very nice, well-written one-page introduction that explained the reason for his incarceration—murder. He went on to say that he’d been sentenced to life for killing a woman (a close associate of a well-known outlaw motorcycle club) during a heated argument. He also said he feels no ill will toward police. In short, he did what he did and accepted full responsibility for the act, but the circumstances hadn’t stopped his desire to write.

Interestingly, this fellow, the convicted murderer, subscribes to Writer’s Digest Magazine, which is where he read an article I wrote (published in the September 2014 issue). Yes, WD is delivered to prisons.

My article is what prompted the lifer to write me with an unusual research request. A request that I strongly considered. It was a consideration that went against the very grain of my being. However, I was inclined to help because his story could’ve very well been a good one … a life-changer for someone on the outside.

There was a small problem, however, with delivering my information to this prisoner. You see, he had no idea where I lived at the time and I didn’t want him to know (return addresses are required on all inmate mail at this and other facilities). In fact, the bio in my book about police procedure states that we reside in Boston. This is a book the inmate has in his possession and he mentions it his introductory letter to Writer’s Digest.

howdunit_PPI

Non prisoners may also my purchase!

Therefore, when the inmate wrote my publisher he was under the impression that I lived somewhere in New England.

20141105_113239

As many of you know, we’re frequent re-locators (and that’s putting it mildly), so imagine my surprise to see a return address that just happened to be that of a state prison located very near where we lived at the time I received the letter. Very. Very. Near.

I finally came up with with a means to give him the information he needed, via an online source. I used the internet instead of snail mail to prevent him from learning our home address. After all, he had family and friends and “business associates” on the outside.

Anyway, the point of this long-winded story with no real end is that writers should never settle for an “okay” book when overcoming small obstacles is all that stands in the way of producing a really great story.

What are some of those barriers?

  • Too chicken to make contact with cops and/or other experts. Believe me, cops love to talk about their work and, if you let them, they’ll talk about it until the cows come home. So please don’t hesitate to approach a police officer. Of course, you may have to extend an offer of a cup of coffee to start the ball rolling, but after that, hold on because your mind will soon be filled with real-life tales of car chases, shootouts, drug raids, puking drunks, and struggles with the biggest and baddest bad guys who ever walked a dark alleyway. Of course, you should probably avoid weird and scary opening lines, such as, “Hi, my name Wendy Writer and I’m wondering if you would please tell me how to kill someone and get away with it?” Or, “Hi, my name Karla Killer and I’d really like to hold your gun so I can see how heavy it is.”
  • Procrastination (I was too busy to attend the Writers’ Police Academy. Maybe next year. In some instances, “next year” may never arrive. After all, we can’t do this forever!)
  • Fear of rejection by agents and editors. Settle for nothing less than a big fat YES, and don’t stop working and writing and bettering your craft until you reach your goals.
  • Television (Please STOP using TV as a source of information!! Easy isn’t always best).
  • Allowing life to run you instead of you running your life.

I guess what I’m getting at is that if a murderer who’s serving a life sentence in a pretty harsh prison setting is willing to go the extra mile for a scrap of important information needed for his book, then why shouldn’t all writers at least make some sort of effort to “get it right?”

How about you? Do you go the extra mile for the details in your tales?

Speaking of details …


It’s almost time to announce the name of the 2020 MurderCon/Writers’ Police Academy guest of honor. In the meantime, here are a few hints …

Over 3 dozen bestselling novels.
Rarely appears at writers conferences.
Numerous books adapted for film and TV and each feature big name actors.

Oh, and don’t forget, in addition to naming the 2020 guest of honor, the The Writers’ Police Academy/MurderCon will also soon announce an exciting, unbelievably thrilling, and closely guarded secret. Yes, you’ll lose your mind over this one! Hint … Reacher.

AND, we also have a couple of fabulous extra-special guest speakers in the lineup!

We’ve added some pretty cool hands-on classes, all related to murder investigations. Practical exercise workshops are extremely realistic where you’ll learn to use the equipment and the techniques and tactics utilized by investigators at actual crime scenes. In fact, MurderCon attendees will have the opportunity to properly collect and process evidence, all in a realistic residential setting which, by the way, happens to be a crime scene. Yes, you will be the police investigator and it’s up to you to solve the case. This is realism at its best!

Again, MurderCon/Writers’ Police Academy and Sirchie provide the same training that’s taught to law enforcement investigators from around the world. The classes offered at this one of a kind event include sessions taught in Sirchie’s elite Evidence Collection and Processing Training Program that, according to Sirchie …

“Our Evidence Collection and Processing Training Program provides law enforcement professionals and crime scene investigators with hands-on training using forensic tools that will help to execute the best crime scene investigation mission possible.”

2020 Writers’ Police Academy/MurderCon.

Mark Your Calendars! August 6-9, 2020.

In response to a huge number of messages, yes, there will indeed be a 2020 Writers’ Police Academy/MurderCon. In fact, the 2020 event marks a full dozen years of bringing excellent and exciting programs to writers, readers, and fans of crime fiction and real-life crime-solving from around the world.

To celebrate the 12th annual WPA, we’re offering a prize that’s an over-the-moon opportunity of lifetime. I’m talking never before made available opportunity. Something that’s practically unbelievable. It’s heart-pounding. It’s nerve-tingling. It’s mind-blowing! It’s phenomenal! It is absolutely staggering! And it’s … well, it’s a secret for now.

Details as to how you could be the lucky and extremely fortunate person to win this rare opportunity are coming soon. I’m excited for you!

To add to the excitement, I’m extremely pleased to announce that the 2020 Writers’ Police Academy/MurderCon will once again take place in Raleigh, N.C., hosted by the global leader in crime scene technology … Sirchie.

Attendees entering Sirchie headquarters.

About Sirchie

“Sirchie,” according to Dyer Bennett, Sirchie’s Vice President of Product Development and Training, “is a 90-year-old organization that’s a global leader in finding ways to fulfill law enforcement needs, including training in all types of state-of-the art forensics. In years past, Sirchie has supported the WPA by providing instructors and training materials.”

“Each year some 700 law enforcement professionals visit Sirchie’s Youngsville, N.C campus, just outside of Raleigh, NC, to attend renowned, extensive training courses. Most of the attendees come from sheriff’s departments and municipal and state police forces. However, they also welcome officers and agents from a variety of other state and federal agencies, including state prison systems, airport security, FBI agents, Treasury, and Secret Service agents. International students come from countries ranging from Italy to Mexico and Argentina to Qatar.”

Sirchie and the Writers’ Police Academy, a Partnership of Writers and Law Enforcement

“Currently, Sirchie offers over 30 courses on campus annually on a variety of forensic topics. Their initial training programs primarily focused on fingerprinting and crime scene evidence collection. Now the subject matter includes all types of evidence collection, analysis, and preservation. For example, advanced courses in clandestine grave recovery, blood stain analysis, death investigation, reconstruction of a shooting, chemical and DNA testing of blood and semen, testing of substances suspected to be drugs, and arson investigation. Of course, they still provide in-depth instruction related to crime scene investigation and fingerprint analysis. One of the most popular courses still is the five-day Crime Scene Technology course that covers a variety of CSI techniques.”

Bennett had this (below) to say about the Writers’ Police Academy’s special event, MurderCon held at Sirchie’s elite compound in Youngsville, N.C. a suburb of Raleigh.

“We train attendees the same way we train law enforcement. Writers who’ve attended prior WPA courses can expect the learn-by-doing philosophy to continue. Every course will have a hands-on component.”

“If they take the arson course, they’ll analyze burn patterns with an expert who has thirty years of ATF experience in arson investigation. If they take the clandestine grave course, they’ll learn the proper way to excavate bones and remains in the field. If they take a drug analysis course, they’ll be taught not only how to test a suspect substance, but the measures needed to protect themselves from exposure. The same, of course, is true of courses related to biological testing and blood spatter documentation and analysis. Fingerprinting and crime scene photography will definitely be hands on. They’ll see and do what officers see and do.”

“The difference from prior WPA events,” said Bennett, “is that at Sirchie the focus is entirely about homicide investigations and the science and forensic technology and analysis used to solve the crime. When attendees graduate from MurderCon, they’ll have the knowledge to describe what really happens—and doesn’t happen—in a homicide investigation.”

“When MurderCon attendees leave, they’ll know what it feels like to conduct an investigation. Having first-hand experience will allow them to portray crime scene details realistically; and it will let them share with their readers how it feels to investigate a homicide.” ~ Dyer Bennett, Sirchie

So please do mark your calendars with a bright red circle. Believe me, you do not want to miss this all new and wonderfully exciting program.

Writers’ Police Academy/MurderCon. August 6-9, 2020.


Two of the many in-depth workshops offered at the 2019 MurderCon event:

A Bloody Mess: Search, ID, and Document Blood Evidence


 FBI Special Agent (ret.) David Alford, instructor.

David Alford (above) is a retired FBI Special Agent with 21 years of experience investigating violent crimes, terrorism and other cases. He was one of the founding members of the FBI Evidence Response Team (ERT) and conducted crimes scene searches on domestic and international violent crimes and bombings, including the Polly Klaas kidnaping and murder, the Unabomber’s cabin and the 9/11 Pentagon scene. He worked in the Denver and San Francisco field offices and completed his career at Quantico in the FBI Lab ERT Unit. During the 6 years in the FBI Lab, he was primarily responsible for overseeing and teaching basic and advanced crime scene courses throughout the US and many other countries.

Buried Bodies

Buried Bodies. Instructor ~ Dr. Meredith Tise, above center wearing light blue shirt, holding a metal probe used to examine ground at a suspicious grave site.

Dr. Meredith Tise earned her PhD. In Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida. She currently works with the Pinellas County (FL) Sheriff’s Office and consults with the Medical Examiner’s office in Largo, FL, where she assists in remains recovery and analysis. Dr. Tise was part of the team who researched and unearthed 55 graves containing the remains of boys buried at the Dozier School for Boys, about 60 miles northwest of Tallahassee.


Police Magazine Showcases MurderCon/Writers’ Police Academy and Sirchie

MurderCon/Writers’ Police Academy is an event that’s well-attended by writers, readers, fans, editors, agents, translators, and law enforcement professionals, all from around the world and from nearly every state in the U.S.

The event has been featured in hundreds of popular blogs, magazine articles, on local television affiliates, social media, the AP wire, and in 2019 the WPA was the focus of a wonderful article in Police Magazine written by the magazine’s editor, David Griffith. In the article, CSI: Helping Authors Keep It Real, Griffith captured the true purpose of WPA, to help writers by providing the details that help bring better realism to their stories.

In one section of the piece Griffith wrote, “One of the most notable attendees was Charlaine Harris, author of the books that inspired the TV series ‘True Blood’ and ‘Midnight, Texas.’ Harris has the kind of resume that would allow her to contact just about any law enforcement agency in the United States and get a response to her questions, but she prefers coming to MurderCon to learn the details that can give her law enforcement scenes credibility. ‘I would be embarrassed to interrupt real officers while they are working,’ she says.

Also mentioned in an earlier Police Magazine article, “Prior guests of honor, including best-selling authors Tami Hoag and Lisa Gardner, have enjoyed the event so much that they’ve returned as attendees.”

 


The release of the Writers’ Police Academy’s first anthology, After Midnight: Tales From the Graveyard Shift marked a wonderful milestone for each of the contributing authors. The already successful book is a compilation of tales written by dear friends who, during the past eleven years, helped push the WPA to the top of the ladder. With a foreword written by superstar Lee Child and edited by Phoef Sutton, well, it just doesn’t get any better.

In addition, we were we especially thrilled to include the stories of two contest winners, Ry Brooks and Emilya Naymark. Next year, we’re pleased to say, we’re publishing a second anthology. Details to be announced in January. I will say this, though – we’re opening spots for an additional contest-winning tale, for a grand total of three available spots!

Writers’ Police Academy anthologies are published by our dear friends at Level Best Books.

 


Lee Child – Writers’ Police Academy

Finally, speaking of Lee Child … remember the mention at the top of this article of the rare, phenomenal and absolutely staggering and mind-blowing opportunity for one extremely fortunate person? Well, here’s a clue.

Jack Reacher