Archive for the ‘Writers’ Police Academy’ Category
By now I guess you’ve all heard the big news that Michael Connelly is the guest of honor at the 2014 Writers’ Police Academy. Actually, I think nearly everyone in the world has heard because my inbox was crammed full this morning with excited “I absolutely love his books” chatter.
So, we have two goals. One – to match our program with the greatness that is Michael Connelly. Two – top the 2013 WPA. Well, I believe we’ve accomplished both. The 2014 program is indeed at the top of the charts.
Without giving away too many secrets, I will say that you can expect even more BANGS and BOOMS than ever before, your bad guys just may learn some cool ways to dispose of, um, “evidence…” And, somehow we’ve managed to squeeze fire, lots of dead bodies, and even an airplane into the schedule. And much, much more. Seriously, plan to be totally blown away. Hmm… blown away is probably not a good choice of words when referring to the the WPA, but you get the picture.
Of course, you know how we like to shake things up from time to time, so be prepared for “surprises” to happen at any time.
In addition to several new instructors and workshops, we’ve shaken up a few more things for next year, including a new hotel and a new group of volunteers/planning committee.
The official 2014 WPA hotel is the Greensboro-Highpoint Marriott Airport. I took the photos below last weekend. They weren’t staged, therefore, this is the actual hotel as seen when you first walk in the door.
The view from the business center is also not too shabby.
The rooms are equally as appealing.
The best thing, WPA attendees, is that there’s no change in room price (from last year), including a free hot breakfast, free internet, a very large bar area and restaurant, and a wonderful banquet experience. We enjoyed three tasty meals during our stay there last week (I recommend their crab cakes).
Our new planning committee/event volunteers got together last weekend for the first time, in person, during a breakfast meeting in Greenville, South Carolina. The meeting went extremely well and I’m anxious for you to meet everyone. So, without further adieu, here is the new WPA team
l-r Lee Lofland, Denene Lofland, Ellis Vidler, Linda Lovely, Howard Lewis (not pictured Ashantay Peters and Robin Weaver)
Remember, space is limited to the first 200 to sign up. We expect those slots to go within hours after opening registration, so have all your information handy when registering. The 2014 event is our largest and most exciting we’ve ever produced!! And Michael Connelly will be there. How cool is that!
Please be on the lookout (that’s a BOLO to you police procedural writers) for registration details, and please do check the WPA website for updates and news.
Yesterday marked another big day in WPA history. It was the day when we officially closed the door on the 2013 event, and then started down the path toward the 2014 Writers’ Police Academy.
Thursday afternoon, Denene and I drove to Greensboro, N.C., chatting most of the nearly six-hour trip about what lay in store for the next WPA. It’s always a real head-scratcher because each year the WPA team tries our best to outdo the previous year’s event, and, somehow we’ve managed to do so each time.
But, we wondered, how do we top an honest-to-goodness HUGE explosion, writers suiting up and actually participating in underwater rescues, and keynote speaker/honorary WPA Sheriff Lisa Gardner texting me to say she’d be late getting back from her nighttime police ride-along because she and her officer-partner were tied up booking a suspect they’d just arrested (for real).
To add to the ultimate coolness of all things WPA 2013, we turned the hotel parking lot into a red, white, and blue strobe light show that would give a Pink Floyd laser display a run for its money (this took place at night and involved the arrest and handcuffing of a carload of unruly, bird-flipping writers).
Anyway, after a nice dinner and a good night’s sleep, Denene and I finally arrived at the home of the Writers’ Police Academy, the public safety department at Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) in Jamestown, N.C. A hearty round of hellos and hand-shaking was followed by the first official planning meeting for the 2014 WPA. Attending were Eric Holloman (criminal justice department chair), Sandra Neal, Andy Russell, Stan Lawhorne, Bill Lanning, Joe Yow, Captain Randy Shepherd of the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, and, of course, Denene and I.
We’re all extremely excited about the 2014 WPA because it will be our 5th year at GTCC. And next year will, of course, be bigger and even more exciting with even more surprises and even more action, and even more…well, you’re going to love it!
At the conclusion of the meeting, Denene and I, representing the WPA, were extremely pleased to present the annual donation to the criminal justice foundation. The much-needed and very much-appreciated funds are used to supplement the program’s limited budget.
The first year (2010) we donated $8000 to the foundation. The second year our donation was $10,000. In 2012, we gave over $12,000. This year, thanks to each attendee, Sisters in Crime National, raffle and silent auction donors, sponsors and other supporters, speakers and instructors, we were pleased to present the criminal justice foundation with a check for…
drum roll, please…
That’s right, over $16,000.00.
In case you didn’t hear me, that’s sixteen followed by a comma and three zeroes, a decimal point, and two more zeroes.
To date, we have donated nearly $50,000 to the GTCC criminal justice foundation!!
So, on behalf of everyone involved with the WPA, we thank you all for the love and support. We couldn’t do what we do without each of you.
*Pictured above at the presentation of “the check” are (l-r) Lee Lofland, Sandra Neal, Eric Holloman, the $16,000 check, Denene Lofland, Captain Randy Shepherd, and Andy Russell. Not pictured were the photographers – Stan Lawhorne and Bill Lanning, and Joe Yow (EMS).