Tag Archive for: short story contest

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.


People Are Strange.


No graphic sex, abuse, or political hot buttons.


$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.


Stories must be previously unpublished in print or electronically, including self-published works to include websites and blogs.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


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!


Are you a storyteller? Do you want to have a lot of fun? Up for a challenge? Do you like to win cool things? Would you like to have superstar author Craig Johnson read your very own writing? Well …

Sponsored by the Writers’ Police Academy,  the Golden Donut Short Story Contest sounds like it’s right up your alley! This fun contest requires authors to write a story that’s EXACTLY 200 words, based on the photo posted above (and at the end of this piece – not the typing pooch image).

Yes, this year’s final judge is Craig Johnson, author of the best-selling Walt Longmire mysteries and 2017 WPA Guest of Honor. The Golden Donut winner earns a free 2018 registration to a Writers’ Police Academy ($395 value) event as well as a nifty trophy and bragging rights (priceless!). You can enter the contest even if you can’t attend the 2017 WPA.

So sharpen those pencils and write your way to those bragging rights and to the most exciting event on the planet for writers, the Writers’ Police Academy.

For details about the Golden Donut Short Story Contest,  please click here – Golden Donut Short Story Contest.

*Submission deadline is July 2, 2017.

As an added bonus, we now have a few available slots for the Writers’ Police Academy. This is an event you do not want to miss! For details and registration information, and to view the exciting schedule and lineup of top instructors and workshops, please visit …

2017 Writers’ Police Academy

Once again, here’s the photo prompt for the Golden Donut Short Story Contest. Good Luck!

2017 Golden Donut Photo Prompt