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Each year, the Writers’ Police Academy hosts a wildly popular hands-on training event for writers, readers, fans, and anyone else with an interest in police procedure and the forensics used to solve crimes. If you’ve attended you know the event is like no other. If you haven’t been then you should sign up TODAY while there’s still time. It is an event of a lifetime.

The WPA is a massive production 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 hosts 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 winners of the three spots in the anthology contest have their stories published in a traditionally published book along with stories written by several top bestselling authors, such as Heather Graham, Reed Farrel Coleman, Lisa Regan, Denise Grover Swank, and more. The 2019 foreword was written by Lee Child, and Lisa Gardner is writing the foreword for PEOPLE ARE STRANGE, the 2020 WPA anthology.

The anthology receives quite a bit of attention. For example, just this week it was announced that Rick McMahan’s story “Baddest Outlaws” from the 2019 AFTER MIDNIGHT anthology is being included in Otto Penzler ‘s  BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2020 collection!

The 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).

New Arc Books will soon be publishing a collection of Golden Donut short stories.

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.


Entry Fee: $25 per submission

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.

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

Announced at the Banquet

While the winner will be announced at the 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!


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

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

The Writers’ Police Academy is pleased to announce the coming release of our second anthology in the “Tales From the Graveyard Shift” series. Contributing authors are already hard at work writing individual mysterious and thrilling tales of suspense.

In 2019, as part of the WPA’s annual fundraising campaign to help support the exciting, valuable, and mega-expensive hands-on training event (MurderCon), we hosted a fun writing contest. The premise was simple—write and submit a 2,500 to 5000 word short story based on the anthology title, After Midnight: Tales From the Graveyard Shift. The top two lucky winners had their short stories included in a traditionally published book that includes tales written by top authors such as Heather Graham, Allison Brennan, Phoef Sutton, Katherine Ramsland, and Robin Burcell, to name only a few. To sweeten the pot, #1 internationally bestselling author Lee Child wrote the book’s foreword.

The 2020 WPA Anthology Contest

This year we plan to publish the top THREE stories. Contest rules remain the same—write a 2,500 to 5000 word short story using the 2020 anthology title, People Are Strange: Tales From the Graveyard Shift, as the theme of the tale.

Yes, your story could soon appear alongside those of the popular authors listed below, and with a foreword by #1 international bestselling author Lisa Gardner. How’s that for exciting!

Contest begins later this month with a deadline to submit stories of midnight EST on April 15, 2020. Therefore, if you plan to enter consider this post as a heads-up to begin writing your stories. Contest details and full submission guidelines will appear on the all new Writers’ Police Academy/MurderCon website that’s scheduled to go live in a few days.

Book Description – “People Are Strange: Tales From the Graveyard Shift”

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.

About the Editor

Phoef Sutton is a New York Times Bestselling author. The winner of two Emmy Awards for his work on the classic television comedy CHEERS and a Peabody Award for the legal drama BOSTON LEGAL, he also wrote for the cult FX show TERRIERS. As a screenwriter, his credits include MRS. WINTERBOURNE and THE FAN, starring Robert DeNiro. He has written several movies for television, including DARROW & DARROW, PAST MALICE, and DARROW & DARROW II.

Phoef has also written plays and novels, among them FIFTEEN MINUTES TO LIVE and his “Crush” mysteries, CRUSH and HEART ATTACK AND VINE – both of which received starred reviews from Kirkus. With Janet Evanovich he has co-authored WICKED CHARMS and CURIOUS MINDS.

His most recent books are COLORADO BOULEVARD (another Crush mystery) and FROM AWAY. Together with his good friend Mark Jordan Legan he created the cult comedy THANKS and they are writing a number of new pilots and movies.

He lives in South Pasadena, California and Vinalhaven, Maine with his wife and two daughters. He also does a podcast with Mark Jordan Legan about weird and unusual cinema: FILM FREAKS FOREVER. His website is phoefsutton.com and you can reach him on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

Contributing Authors

Contributing authors in the second anthology produced by the Writers’ Police Academy include a stellar list of bestselling mystery, thriller, suspense, and crime authors, top television writers, true crime and law enforcement experts, literary agents, attorneys, publishers, and more.

Your story will appear along with those written by:

Reed Farrel Coleman

Heather Graham

Lisa Regan

Denise Grover Swank

Deborah LeBlanc

Phoef Sutton

Joe Bonsall

Paula Munier

Katherine Ramsland

Michael A. Black

Lisa Black

Denene Lofland

Lee Lofland

Les Edgerton

Marco Conelli

Mike Roche

Bruce Coffin

Rick McMahan

Pamela Samuels-Young

Cheryl Yeko

Melanie Atkins

Allison Davis

Dennis Palumbo

Lorraine Shumate

Shawn Reilly Simmons

Harriette Sackler

Verena Rose

Stacy Allen


This could be your one chance in a lifetime to have your writing appear in a traditionally published book with Lisa Gardner’s name on its cover. Let that sink in for a minute … and then get busy writing your winning story!