It’s official. The 2016 Writers’ Police Academy was a HUGE success and throughout the week I’ll be recapping the event. For now, though, until I have time to sort through the hundreds of photos and other details, let’s take a brief peek at the beginning of the fabulously  thrilling weekend experienced by writers who traveled from all over the world (nearly every state in the U.S., China, the UK, Germany, Holland, Canada, etc.) to attend.

This is how we started the party!! And it was only the tip of an extremely heart-pounding weekend …


The Writers’ Police Academy is extremely pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with the renowned Homicide Training Seminar to offer a free registration to their absolutely fabulous and intensive “law enforcement only” 23rd annual conference titled “The Places of Murder.”

You would be the only writer/outsider in attendance. This is actual specialized police training!

This exciting and rare opportunity is available by sealed bid only and the bidding is open to everyone.

Here’s how it works.

Each year at the WPA banquet we feature a super fun raffle and silent auction, but many people who, for whatever reasons, haven’t been able to attend the event and they expressed disappointment because … One – they weren’t able to attend the thrilling WPA. Two – they weren’t able to participate in the raffle and auction.

So … we’re bringing a portion of the fun to you.

This year we’re making available for sealed bid, three fantastic items. They are:

Available for Sealed Bid

1. A Baby Taylor guitar signed by country music superstar Tim McGraw.


2. Free registration to the absolutely fabulous and intensive “law enforcement only” 23rd annual Homicide Training Seminar – “The Places of Murder.” You would be the only writer/outsider in attendance. This is actual specialized police training!

A rare and unheard of opportunity!!

*Full registration, hotel reservation, and breakfasts and lunches are included in the prize. Travel not included.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 8.54.54 AM

3. A FULL manuscript review and analysis by renowned literary agent Victoria Sanders. Not just a mere 10 or 20 pages. We’re talking a FULL manuscript analysis and review!! Victoria represents internationally and New York Times bestselling thriller writer, Karin Slaughter, who has been translated into thirty-five languages, the long-running New York Times bestselling author Denene Millner, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist/author Nick Chiles, the American Book Award winning journalist/author Jeff Chang, among many superb authors.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 10.46.01 AM

Here’s how it works – Bids on these special items are open to WPA attendees & folks who aren’t able to join us this year. Non-attendees may send confidential bids to and put either Manuscript Bid, Guitar Bid, or Homicide Seminar Bid as the subject heading.

Remember, these opportunities are extremely rare, so reach high and dig deep!!

At the posting of this message, bidding is officially OPEN! Good luck, and thanks for your support!

*Winners will be announced shortly after the conclusion of the August 13th WPA banquet.

2016 WPA attendees may submit their sealed bids at the Saturday night banquet.

Auction proceeds benefit writers by contributing to WPA expenses, academy tools and equipment, supplies, etc.

As always, we thank each of you for your support. And please, please, please share this information with everyone you know!!


background: #bd081c no-repeat scroll 3px 50% / 14px 14px; position: absolute; opacity: 1; z-index: 8675309; display: none; cursor: pointer; top: 36px; left: 20px;”>Save


Many of you have sent questions regarding what to expect at the 2016 Writers’ Police Academy. I hope the following addresses at least most of your concerns and will also alleviate any anxiety you may be experiencing at attending THE most exciting event (on this planet) for writers.

Here goes:

  1. Wear comfortable clothing (see top photo for one example of what NOT to wear). After all, it is nearly impossible to duck live ammunition, crawl under loops of barbed wire, and defend yourself against twelve knife-wielding attackers while wearing heels and a skintight sequined ball gown.
  2. Bring only the things you need to the academy grounds. It’s tough to kick in doors and fight fires with a mini-fridge, desktop computer, and your three small kids strapped around your midsection.
  3. Speaking of kids, there are no childcare options at the WPA. We only have room in the timeout corner for misbehaving adults (those of you who insist upon breaking our ABSOLUTELY NO VIDEO rule).
  4. Camping is not allowed at the academy. Why not? Because we need the open spaces for helicopter landings and for hiding explosives. Yeah, you might not want to stray away from the group. I’m just saying.
  5. Please bring a photo ID and keep it with you at all times while at the police academy. Police officers are used to arresting people who have several aliases, so it’s best for them to know upfront who you really are instead of thumbing through a list of pen names and “writing as” monikers. Book covers/dust jackets do not count as official ID.
  6. When participating in the emergency driving workshops, please keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times. And no mooning your fellow recruits as your car passes by them while spinning wildly out of control.
  7. If you plan to drive to the academy, please remain inside your cars until the buses arrive and your fellow recruits begin to exit. There’s a very good reason for this rule and I think it has something to do with the armed tower guards who’re trained to pick off anyone moving around outside the academy.
  8. Thursday night orientation is where and when we provide details about the event—where to go, when to go there, what to expect when you arrive, receive your instructions regarding what to do and say if captured, and …
  9. The hotel bars and casino are well-stocked with alcohol, so pace yourselves. They will not run out of your favorite beverage. Keep in mind, too, that the next morning will indeed arrive and it will include lots of loud gunfire, sirens, and barking, snarling police dogs.
  10. We are currently seeking volunteers for the following:
  • someone to wear a Kevlar vest in the class that demonstrates how well those vests and trauma plates stand up to gunfire.
  • someone who’s willing to run away from a snarling police K-9 who’s hellbent on biting someone.
  • someone to be on the receiving end of multiple TASER deployments.

If we don’t get enough volunteers for these assignments we’ll simply pick people at random, without prior notice.

11. Those of you who’re scheduled to tour the prison. Good luck. We’ll see you back at the hotel … maybe.

12. Brings lots of smiles and be prepared to have the time of your lives. We’ve always presented a thrilling and action-packed event, but the 2016 Writers’ Police Academy is absolutely a heart-pounder. My goodness we’ve outdone ourselves, from a stunning hotel experience complete with an in-house casino and delicious meals, to an international police academy that trains elite law enforcement professionals from all over the world. We feature top experts and instructors, modern equipment, and the best attendees of any event anywhere!

You guys are indeed the best and you deserve first-class all the way, which is why we do what we do. The WPA is all about YOU!

*The WPA event hotel is completely sold out. However, we, along with the hotel staff, are working toward securing a nearby spillover/overflow hotel. We should have those details later today.


It’s Q&A time at the 2016 Writers’ Police Academy. Here are a few housekeeping items you may want to remember.

  • Dress comfortably for the daily activities. Attendees typically wear jeans, shorts, BDU’s, t-shirts, loose fitting tops, and tennis shoes, for example. Sandals are not recommended. But please, no revealing clothing. This is, after all, a public safety training academy, not a nightclub.
  • Always be prepared for rain – umbrellas, ponchos, etc. Our outdoor activities take place rain or shine.
  • No video recordings of any type at any time in any location. No exceptions!
  • No weapons of any type are allowed on the college and/or police academy grounds. Weapons include firearms, edged weapons (knives, axes, swords, pepper spray, etc., and this includes pocketknives no matter how small the blade).
  • Lunches at the academy are included in your registration fee.
  • We provide transportation to all workshops and classes that are a part of the WPA program. You will not be permitted to drive personal cars to and from on-campus/academy sessions. Again, for safety reasons (live gunfire and fast-moving police vehicles) you must use the transportation we provide (buses and vans). You are, however, permitted to drive to the academy and then park in the designated parking lot. BUT, you must remain in your car until the buses arrive and we’ve given the all-clear to exit your vehicle. We have an important reason for this rule!
  • We will be providing campus maps to help you easily find your desired workshops. Volunteers and ample signage will also be positioned throughout the campus to help you with directions.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Remember, this is a working police, fire, and EMS academy where new and veteran officers and other first responders participate in live-action training. There will be gunshots and sirens.
  • Please ask before taking photos. We often feature instructors who are currently working undercover assignments and to have their images appear on social media could be very dangerous for them and their families.
  • Coffee and water will be available at the police academy. Vending machines are also available so please be sure to bring change.
  • It’s best that you attend the Thursday evening orientation session where we’ll go over numerous important details and schedule updates. You’ll also meet the key players and organizers who will be more than happy to answer your questions. Remember, our instructors are often active-duty law enforcement officials who may be called away to their various communities at the last minute. There is a special Thursday night session on drones, taught by a world-renowned expert. This is a workshop you’ll not want to miss.
  • The WPA is extremely fast-paced and exciting, and you’ll be moving about quite a bit. Think about that before you decide to bring along everything you own—desktop computer, 5-gallon water bottle, portable TV, kitchen sink, etc. What you bring with you to the academy grounds is what you’ll be lugging around all day.
  • You’ll be required to sign a liability waiver at registration. Basically, it releases us from harm due to the goofy things you might do should you decide to not follow our directions. This is nothing new. You’ve all signed them each year.
  • A book-signing featuring Tami Hoag, Lee Goldberg, John Gilstrap, David Corbett, Robin Burcell, Katherine Ramsland, Marco Conelli, Rick McMahan, Lee Lofland, and other WPA presenters will immediately follow the Saturday night banquet (I hope I didn’t forget anyone’s name). The campus bookstore will have their books available for purchase on both Friday and Saturday nights at the hotel. Please show your support for these authors!
  • Our extremely popular raffle/silent auction takes place Saturday night during the banquet festivities. So please bring cash…lots of it! Profits from the WPA raffle are used to secure the many supplies and material used during the event. If you’ve already sent something for the raffle or auction, well, thanks! If not, we’d appreciate anything you have to offer, from signed books to anything you think someone would love to own.
  • Please listen to your instructors. Pay attention to and carefully follow their directives and safety instructions. You are attending an actual police, fire, and EMS academy. Yes, there will be live ammunition and firearms. Yes, there will be fire (lots of it, actually,). Yes, there will be fast-moving police vehicles. Yes, those fast-moving police cars will, at times, be spinning out of control. Yes, there will be biting, barking, and snarling dogs. Yes, there will be BANGS, BOOMS, sirens, screams, and yes, there will be tons of squeals and laughter. Yes, you will have one of the most exciting times of your life. But PAY ATTENTION to your surroundings at all times.
  • Sure, you’re attending the WPA to better your craft. But please do let your hair down and have fun. This is an event you’ll remember for a long time to come.

Now, there have been recent questions regarding our cancellation and transfer policies. When you signed up at our website, the following is the first thing you saw, even before typing in the first letter. Remember? Please have a look at the lines stating – April 1, 2016 is the last day to cancel and receive a full refund (less $35 cancellation fee). Registrations can NOT be transferred to another individual. There will be NO refunds after 11:59 p.m., April 1, 2016. No exceptions.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 9.15.16 AM

Anyway, I’d like to explain that particular policy and why it’s necessary. First, our cancellation policy is not really any different than other large writer events.

For example:

Bouchercon’s cancellation policy:

Bouchercon Registration Fee Refund Policy:

The cancellation fee is $25 on or before July 15, 2016.

From July 16 through August 15, 2016, the cancellation fee is $100.

After August 15, 2016, there is no refund.

Now, Sleuthfest

Cancellation policy: If you cancel no later than December 15, 2015, you will receive a full refund less any processing costs we may have incurred.

You will only be entitled to a 50% refund, less processing costs, for cancellations between December 16, 2015 and January 15, 2016. Due to the commitment we must make to the hotel, there are no refunds after January 15th.

The WPA cancellation policy, like the many other writer events, is in place because once we reach the cancellation date we lock in our many contracts and financial obligations – hotel, banquet, reception, academy and classroom spaces, equipment and supplies, buses, speaker fees and lodging and travel expenses, etc. At this point, our bills and obligations must be met and the funds we use to pay those obligations are the funds generated from registrations.

To add to the need for our cancel deadline is that we are not a typical writer event where attendees sit in hotel meeting rooms to listen to speakers, where event staff pays the hotel a fee for the use of a few rooms.

The WPA is a massive event. It takes place in various buildings, venues, facilities, and acres upon acres of grounds, etc. We employ top experts from across the country and our sessions include millions of dollars worth of equipment, including first responder and police specialty vehicles of all types, firearms, and training supplies. In addition to hotel meeting spaces we also rent an entire police academy and much of its administrative and training staff. We hire bus companies to transport everyone. And there are many, many more expenses not mentioned.

Once the cancellation deadline has passed we tally the number of people attending, the funds collected, and then, if necessary, add additional programing to suit the needs of the group. We absolutely do this for writers and we do what we do to provide the best of the best experience possible, and we do indeed deliver that one-of-a-kind and unbelievably exciting experience. Therefore, if we were to offer refunds at any time past that point we’d be losing money.

Believe me, we do the best we can but we simply cannot operate at a loss. I’m hoping you’ll now see/understand why we cannot offer refunds to anyone once the April 1st deadline has passed.

Now, the reasons we do not allow transfers of registration. Again, we’re not a typical writer event (I named just a few of the reasons above), and we are a staff of three people with two of the three being volunteers who help in their spare time. I’m the third.

As I’m sure you now see, there is a massive amount of work involved in producing the WPA, far more than taking names, making name tags, and assigning rooms to various sessions. Actually, we could use a couple of full-time employees, but we make do with what we have.

Linda Lovely and Howard Lewis, the two volunteers, put in a huge amount of time and energy to make sure the WPA runs smoothly, and they do so for free and always with smiles on their faces.

But we’re also faced with tough and strict rules and regulations from our host academies. We can’t spring last minute changes on a police facility where security concerns (background checks, etc.) take precedent over our wants and desires. We have to always be mindful that the WPA takes place at a working police academy, a place where the people who work and train there are often absolutely hated by many people who’d love the opportunity to slip inside through an event such as ours to do harm. I know most of the people who sign up, but the academy does not. (Keep in mind, please, that our event takes place at a facility that keeps on hand – live explosives and ammunition, firearms of all types, etc. An outsider with ill-intentions could do a lot of damage).

So, again, we’re not a typical hotel-based event where last minute changes are sometimes easily made. Even if we were allowed to make changes to some academy-type things, and we’re not, we’re a team of three with two who do most of the paperwork and organization of registrations, background checks, planning, etc. So to pile even more work on an already overtaxed group of two who work for free is not something I’d be willing to do. I wholeheartedly need Howard and Linda again in the coming years. 🙂

Regarding transferring a registration from one year to another – As far as next year … the money we take in covers current year expenses. Plain and simple. There is nothing to carry over. Your 2016 registration fees are applied to 2016 expenses. If we see there’s a bit more income than we expected we add more workshops, and we do so to further enhance the experience. So no, we do not permit the carrying over of a registration from one year to another.

Also, even if we had the man/womanpower to help with juggling registration transfers from one year to the next, and we don’t, and even if we had plenty of cash in reserve, we wouldn’t/couldn’t allow year-to-year transfers of registrations because we operate on a year-to-year contract with the academies. They can’t commit to us that far in advance. Likewise, we can’t commit to them that far in advance. We keep the registration fees at just enough to cover the cost of the event, so we don’t know from one year to the next what that fee will be until we’ve negotiated with the various vendors, speakers, the academy, hotel, etc.

The Writers’ Police Academy is a huge event with tons of moving parts. We’re not some fly-by-night wannabe outfit operating from deep inside a mosquito- and Palmetto bug-infested swamp. We’re the real deal. First class all the way, from luxurious sleeping rooms, exquisite food, an onsite casino, top instructors from all across the country, an international training facility, top equipment, and much, much more.

We do what we do for you. Always have, and always will!



Ray Minor is the sales director for ATS Armor, a premier company whose mission is to defend life through the design, manufacturing, and application of the most advanced body armor in the world. In short, they’re in the business of saving lives.

As an expert on Force on Force instruction and on body armor, Ray’s workshop is about ballistic vests and shock plates, as well as shooting a variety of rounds at them to give WPA recruits a first-hand, hands-on experience of live rounds striking an officer’s vest. Ray will also be discussing terminal ballistics and the materials involved. We are extremely grateful that Ray is joining us for the most exciting Writers’ Police Academy we’re ever produced. And when I say exciting, well, be prepared to be BLOWN AWAY!! Well, perhaps that’s a poor choice of words since we do have several live-fire sessions going on throughout the weekend.

Still … you can indeed expect to experience the world of law enforcement at its best and its worst. We’ve added some heart-pounding sessions to the schedule that you’ll not find anywhere else in the world. Yes, writers, we’re taking you even deeper into a cop’s world, to places civilians do not see.

We have helicopters, guns, police cars, K-9’s, handcuffing, explosives, PI’s, TASER training, bloodstain pattern investigations, fire and FIREFIGHTERS, homicide investigation, courtroom testimony, and much, much more.

And thanks to instructors like Ray Minor, you are about to embark on the experience of a lifetime. It is THE writer event of the year!


Ray with the TASER/Mossberg X12 which shoots the TASER XREP- eXtended Range Electronic Projectile. 

By the way, we now have a couple of spots available, so hurry to sign up before they, too, are gone.

Finally, tonight is the deadline for the Golden Donut Short Story Contest. HURRY! The grand prize is a free registration to the 2017 WPA and the coveted Golden Donut Award.


Is it the captain’s quarters on a ghost ship? Did zombies take over a university causing all students to flee? Perhaps it’s the bomb shelter where an author, the lone survivor of a world war, chronicled civilization’s final moments. Could it be the hideout for a band of serial-killing writers?

Yes, use your imaginations to write a KILLER story about the photograph above using exactly 200 words and you could win a FREE registration to the 2017 Writers’ Police Academy, along with the Golden Donut Award!

Superstar author Tami Hoag is our contest judge!

Hurry, the contest deadline is July 1st. That’s only 10 words per day to win a spot at THE most exciting, action-packed, and fun event for writers anywhere on the planet!

The Golden Donut contest is open to everyone of all genres and you do not have to be present at the 2016 Writers’ Police Academy to win.

 Click the link below to enter and for contest details and submission requirements!

Click here > >>  2016 Golden Donut Short Story Contest

The contest winner receives the prestigious Golden Donut Award AND and free registration to the 2017 WPA!


Vinnie Hansen, the winner of the 2015 Golden Donut contest, will be attending the 2016 WPA, for free, as a result of her first-place entry!



Killers often hide the bodies of their victims in dense, wooded areas. To further conceal the remains, they often cover them with brush, leaves, dirt, and other handy material and debris. They use leafy tree branches to erase their footsteps and tire tracks. They drive stolen cars with stolen license plates attached to mask their identities while delivering the bodies of their victims to their hidden grave sites. And, of course, they sometimes wear masks while committing their crimes.

However, no matter how well-hidden those bodies may be, they’re often discovered by hunters, hikers, and even kids playing in the woods. A quick phone call to the police brings out the detectives, the medical examiner, and a gaggle of crime scene investigators. Soon the names of suspects begin to float among the officials and, as a result of intensive clue-gathering, the list is narrowed down and the key players are questioned.

Sometimes, investigators have a difficult time connecting a suspect to the place where the victim’s body was discovered, which, of course, is the final piece to the puzzle. The piece that nails the door shut for a conviction.

Here’s where “Detective Pine Tree” enters the picture.

Obviously a pine tree cannot become an actual police detective. For starters, they have no hands for holding donuts and coffee cups. Nor will their size allow them inside a Denny’s restaurant for a half-price meal of Moons Over My Hammy.

So here’s how it works.

1. Suspect kills someone and takes the body out to a wooded area to hide it.

2. He digs a shallow grave, covers it with soil, branches, and leaves.

3. The killer covers all traces of having been there—brush away tracks, etc.

4. He goes home, changes clothes, and returns to his job as a meat cutter at the local Piggly Wiggly.

5. Police investigators are called to the scene after the body was discovered by a group of tie-dyed-shirt-wearing mushroom hunters. Two members of the group, a Mr. Cheech and a Mr. Chong, drove directly to the police station to report their discovery. Before heading to the PD the pair instructed their friend Tim Leary to stand guard and to not eat any mushrooms within a 20-foot radius of the body.

6. Investigators arrived and went about the usual business of evidence collection. One detective, however, noticed two pine trees in the immediate area. Aha, she thought, and set about the task of collecting pine pollen (the yellow dusty stuff found in the male cones, aka catkins). The savvy detective sent the pollen samples to the lab for DNA testing.


7. As the investigation progressed, detectives narrowed their suspect list down to one individual, a meat cutter who worked at the local Piggly Wiggly. They were able to obtain a search warrant for his home where they collected various items of potentially-related evidence, including a few articles of dirty clothing.

8. Our super-sharp detective sent the clothing to the lab for DNA testing. One particular item, a cotton shirt, was of particular interest.

9. A few days later the detective’s hunch was proven to be correct. Pine pollen was found on the cotton shirt and its DNA was a perfect match to the pollen collected from the pine tree at the spot where the victim’s body was discovered.

10. Case solved.

Yes, researchers have indeed developed a testing procedure that makes it possible to use pine pollen to place bad guys at a particular location, such as the one in a fictional tale above. Pine pollen, according to Dr. David Gangitano, one of the researchers and author of the study report, remains testable, comparable, and stable on cotton clothing for up to 14 days. Therefore, it is indeed possible to link a suspect’s clothing to a particular geographical area, such as a clandestine burial site near a particular pine tree.

In a similar study conducted by the same researchers, pollen from marijuana can be tested (DNA) to match samples that could link across several cases. In other words, the test could prove that I.M. High’s bag of pot came from the plants grown by Mr. Carter Cartel in the mountains of western Mexico.


* Regarding the evil pair of villains pictured in the top photo. Well, that’s Lee Child of Jack Reacher fame and Marcia Clark (yes, that Marcia Clark) at the Writers’ Police Academy. They did not kill the poor non-human victim, nor did they bury the faux body. And they’re certainly not evil. They did, however, have  fantastic time at the WPA while learning about shallow graves and other extremely detailed and exciting hands-on workshops.

Now, here’s some wonderful news. You, too, can have a fantastic time at the 2016 Writers’ Police Academy because we have squeezed out a bit more room. Therefore, registration is open so hurry and grab the few remaining spots before they’re gone!

We hope you enjoyed the brief video. It’s just a small sample of what’s in store for you at the 2016 Writers’ Police Academy. We’ve definitely outdone ourselves this year and we’re anxious for you experience the highly anticipated WPA in Green Bay.

Here are a few gentle reminders regarding your 2016 WPA experience.

1. If you haven’t already done so, please, please, please reserve your hotel room. Once our block is filled we will not be able to add more rooms. You can make your reservations by calling the hotel directly, at 920-494-7300. Be sure to ask for the WPA room rate.

2. Sign up to receive the latest updates and announcements. The link is at the bottom of the right sidebar of the WPA website.

3. The majority of WPA workshops are hands-on, but they’re designed to allow attendees to do as much or as little as they desire while still receiving the full benefit of the sessions.

4. Yes, the WPA is actual academy instruction, but without the hard stuff, such as running, push-ups, and sit-ups.  If you feel the need to drop and perform 100 push-ups, please do so in the privacy of your hotel rooms so as to not make the rest of us feel uneasy and more out of shape than we already are.

5. The Golden Donut Short Story Contest is open! Please go here for details. The contest winner receives the coveted Golden Donut Award AND free registration to any 2017 WPA event.

6. Fun facts, photos, and WPA details and announcements are often posted on this blog, my Facebook page, and the WPA Facebook page. In fact, I post lots of fun WPA stuff on Facebook nearly every day, so please visit when you have the chance.

My page – Lee Lofland Facebook page

Writers’ Police Academy Facebook page

7. WPA Twitter hashtag is #2016WPA

8. We’d like to welcome and thanks our brand new corporate supporter, The Killion Group, who is sponsoring the Long Gun: Live Fire workshops. For those of not familiar with The Killion Group (as if that’s possible), The Killion Group can help you with everything from branding you as an author to designing your book cover or series, to formatting your ebook and print book and then helping you market your book. They even edit content and have a selection of royalty-free stock images at

*WPA sponsorships are a fantastic means of advertising your books, product, brand, businesses, and more. WPA ads are viewed by a worldwide audience. To learn how you can become a WPA sponsor please visit our “Become a Sponsor” page. Your support is greatly appreciated!

9. Yes, our hands-on workshops include driving actual patrol cars during real emergency situations, such as performing PIT maneuvers and learning to correct your vehicle as it spins out of control.

Those of you participating in the PIT workshop will be doing THIS (see video below) while your fellow workshop buddies go for a wild ride in the suspect vehicle!


10. What can you expect to see and do at the 2016 WPA? Well…car chases, shooting, fire, drones, high-risk building entries, K-9’s in action, ballistics/hands-on examinations (live-fire) with one of the world’s leading experts, blood spatter investigations, fingerprinting, testifying in an actual courtroom, an insider’s examination of the Steven Avery case (“Making a Murderer”), live action demos, you as an ER doctor treating an interactive trauma patient, real time shoot/don’t shoot scenario training, martial arts training for writers, hands-on with special ops equipment and vehicles (SWAT, etc.), tactical EMS where you learn and perform lifesaving techniques to wounded officers and citizens, collection of trace evidence, and much, much more.

In fact, there’s so much to see and do at the WPA that, well, you cannot see and do everything in a single weekend, or two…or three.

See for yourselves!

2016 WPA Schedule

Finally, we’re fortunate this year because we have a bit of extra space. Therefore, I’m pleased to say that the opportunity to join the hundreds of writers who’ve already signed up is now here. Yes, there are a few available spots for THE event of the year, so hurry before they, too, are gone!

Register here!

See you soon!


Thanks so much to each of you who braved the elements yesterday while standing in line waiting to purchase those coveted tickets to the greatest show on… Oops, wrong event.

Seriously, I’d like to thank the hundreds of people who’ve signed up to attend the 2016 Writers’ Police Academy. We saw lots newcomers register this year, as well as many returning WPA veterans. Actually, a popular romance writer wrote yesterday to ask how many of her fellow RWA members had signed up, so I checked, and WOW, you guys showed up as a small army. Welcome to the WPA family that already includes many extremely talented writers from various genres.

Typically, this is the time when I announce that we’ve sold out and there’s no room left at the inn. However, we learned late last night that one of our website registration links was malfunctioning and several people had tried to sign up but could not.

The screen shot below shows the two registration links (circled) on the WPA website. It was the one at the bottom left that did not work.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 9.08.51 AM

The image above is a screenshot. The registration link contained within is not an actual link.

Therefore, to be fair to everyone, we’ve fixed the broken link and we’re extending the bonus opportunities until noon EST tomorrow. We’re sending an email containing the above mini-newsletter. You can sign up for the Writers’ Police Academy by clicking the embedded link in your email, or you can visit the WPA website to do so.

Or, I’ll save you those extra steps. You can click this link.


Again, I do apologize for the error.

Finally, I’d like to remind you to please reserve your hotel rooms asap. The hotel sales staff told me last week they were pleased at quickly they’re going, even before registration opened.


*Remember, Sisters in Crime, a major sponsor of the WPA, offers a huge discount to their members attending for the first time. Not a member? No problem. simply join SinC prior to registering and you’ll receive the $150 discount!


You’ve waited one whole year. Your typing fingers are itchy. You’ve practiced hitting the ENTER key so many times that you’ve beaten your past record and set a new personal best. You are POSITIVE that no one on this earth, even the folks from Germany, Canada, Australia, and California, Michigan, or Delaware, can beat your times. “I WILL get one of those coveted spot at the 2016 Writers’ Police Academy,” you say to yourself, over and over again. “Even if it sells out within an hour, AGAIN!”

Yes, it’s time. It’s here. Registration for THE event of the year is FINALLY here, and it is truly one for the record books—over 50 workshops with more on the way. Shooting. Driving patrol cars during pursuits and PIT maneuvers (how cool is it that you get to bump and spin a bad guy’s car out of control…yes, these are real cars), explosives, ballistics, shoot/don’t shoot, officer down calls, homicides investigations, coroners, helicopters, SWAT and other Special Op training, tons of Special Op vehicles to climb in and inspect, arson investigations, testifying in court (yes, we have a courtroom on site), martial arts for writers, drones, real emergency department training with an interactive patient, K-9’s, and more and more and more and more. AND MORE!

Four days and nights of intensive, heart-pounding hands-on excitement. That’s what awaits you at our fabulous international law enforcement training center. And, to top it off, we’ve assembled at team of dozens upon dozens of the top instructors in this country who’ll take you behind the scenes to learn how 1st responders, detectives, forensics specialists, and medical personnel handle everything from domestic calls to murders to dealing with armed suspects to crash scenes to treating trauma patients, and everything between.


Remember, we don’t offer writing craft sessions at the WPA. That’s not what we do. Instead, our sole focus is providing you with the best of the best hands-on police, fire, forensics, and EMS training. After all, there are scores of great writer conferences all across the world where you learn how to write. But there’s only ONE Writers’ Police Academy, an event designed by cops and writers where you learn and practice the intricate details of what to write (we offer insider details not available at any other event in the world).

The WPA is cleverly planned and arranged to stimulate your senses (touch, taste, hear, smell, see), which enhances your ability to transfer those experiences to your work and then on to your readers. The result = a reader who benefits from a weekend you spent having the time of your lives at the WPA! And, happy readers = happy agents, ecstatic editors and publishers, fantastic reviews, and big royalty checks and large fan bases.

You deserve the best and the best is what we provide. From the moment you enter the lobby of our spectacular event hotel, where you’ll be super impressed, to the Sunday debriefing panel, you’ll live four days in the shoes of the women and men who risk their lives every single day to keep us all safe. Yeah, yeah, I know you’ve heard that line before, but you’ll leave the Writers’ Police Academy with a first-hand, hands-on experience that has actually changed the lives of many writers who’ve attended. The WPA is that kind of experience. We don’t just go through the motions. Not at all. We provide you with real weapons, real cars, real equipment, real training, a real academy, and enough realism to last you a lifetime…or until the 2017 Writers’ Police Academy rolls around.

We take you behind that thin blue line, a place not usually traveled by those outside the profession, where you become part of the law enforcement family. And then the learning and the fun and the lifelong bond between you, your instructors, the officers, and your training academy begins.

Yes, the Writers’ Police Academy is THE event of the year. But it is also the event that lasts a lifetime.

Okay, so here’s how it works.

1. The much-awaited registration opens tomorrow (February 21st) at noon EST.

2. Slots fill extremely fast, like almost immediately.

3. You sit at your computer prior to the noon hour.

4. Call up the Writers’ Police Academy website.

5. To the far right of the header you’ll see a button that reads “Registration.” Click on it. Practice this tricky move until you have it mastered. A dry run in advance would be a good idea.

6. Once you click the registration button you’ll notice the action activates a drop-down menu that includes the button “Full Registration.”

7. Watch your clock carefully.

8. At precisely 12 noon (we’re using an atomic clock to know the exact moment to activate the link) CLICK THE FULL REGISTRATION BUTTON!!!!

9. The registration page displays on your computer screen. The page before you is full of information and boxes to check and buttons to click. It’s so simple that even I can do it. However, if you have troubles during the process immediately contact us at and a WPA staff member will guide you through the process. We’ll be monitoring the registrations and payments as they come in so it’s likely we’ll see the trouble, a rarity, in real time.

10. YOU’RE IN! Time for a happy dance with the family pet, your kids, spouse, or all by yourself.


11. As soon as you’ve registered and receive the confirmation that you’re in, be sure to take a cool photo of yourself that shows you smiling, giving a double thumbs-up, doing the happy, dance, or whatever expression of sheer joy that best fits making it into the THE event of the year! Fireworks and a conga line come to mind.

12. Post your selfie to Facebook and Twitter and please tag me in your posts along with the hashtag #2016WPA.

Finally, please remind all your friends about tomorrow’s registration and time to do so. And, please do blast the news all across every social media site you can find today and tonight, and tag me so I can follow along! Post WPA photos and tales of your fantastic experiences at past WPA’s. Best of all, be excited because IT. IS. HERE!

So…let the fun begin!

See you tomorrow at noon EST.


*     *     *


*Sisters in Crime, a longtime major sponsor of the WPA, is offering a whopping $150 discount for their members attending the WPA for the first time! Not a member? No problem. Join SinC prior to WPA registration to receive the discount. It’s that easy!

Sisters in Crime

*We are adding even more workshops to the already totally impressive schedule, so please check it throughout the day (Saturday, Feb. 20). You will NOT be able to see and do everything so please have your favorite sessions in mind when registering because a few bonus sessions require advance signups. Remember, your registration fee includes ALL sessions and workshops, lunches at the academy, breakfast at the hotel, and more.