Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions. We have answers. About the Writers' Police Academy - MurderCon

Important Instructions

Groups A and B

Attendees will be divided into two groups, with half attending classes at the hotel while the other half attends classes at Sirchie. At midday, the groups will switch venues. If you'd like to be in the same group with one or more friend(s) so you can ride buses and eat lunch together, please list your friends' names during registration. We'll do our best to place friends in the same group. See the Schedule for times for events and classes.

Class Assignments

For logistical reasons, we'll be assigning all classes and times this year. In addition, some classes can only accommodate a set number of students. Full class descriptions are available on the Classes page of the Writers' Police Academy website. Decide which of the training options offered at SIrchie most appeal to you, then go to the next section on your event registration form to indicate, in order of preference, your priorities. We'll do all we can to match your Sirchie schedule to your priorities. Most sessions are offered twice to provide the opportunity to attend your favorite workshop.

Classes at Sirchie

  1. Prints on the Page: Developing Latent Prints on Paper and Cardboard
  2. A Bloody Mess: Search, ID, Document and Blood Evidence
  3. Murder Mayhem - Cause, Manner, and Mechanisms of death,
  4. Buried Bodies- Clandestine Grave Recovery
  5. Burn baby, Burn!!!  Arson Investigation
  6. Firearms – Unique Display with Q&A
  7. SIRCHIE Tour

Classes at the Hotel

  1. The Big Reveal: Discovering Latent Prints with Powder 
  2. Trail Magic: Geology Solves the Case 
  3. Biological and Chemical Weapons: Is the End of Humankind Near? 
  4. Cop Killers
  5. Shoes, Glorious Shoes: Footwear Evidence 
  6. Sexual Assault – Perspectives and Differences State to State
  7. Throw Away the Rule Book: Just Solve It 
  8. Truth or Lies: The Art of Interrogation

What should I wear to the WPA?

  • Wear comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes. And please remember, the event is held in August. It could be very warm and humid but the buildings may be cold.
  • Keep in mind, some classes are held outdoors. Rain or shine.
  • Attire for the reception is casual.
  • Business casual is acceptable for the banquet, but you’re more than welcome to take it up a notch!

What if I can't keep up with everyone?

  • The WPA is not physically demanding. Yes, the event is a hands-on event, but it’s designed so that WPA recruits can do as much or as little as they want. The experience is wonderful no matter what you do or don’t do!
  • There is no running, exercising, lifting, pushing, pulling, etc. There is, however, some walking involved. Yes, you will be expected to walk from workshop to workshop.
  • The entire event is wheelchair friendly. Service dogs are welcome, too. 
  • Please, no animals other than service dogs. No exceptions.

Can I take photos?

  • Please ask before taking any pictures. Everyone is aware that cameras will be on hand so there shouldn’t be any problems. But the WPA is held at a place of business and there will be employees and non-participants while you're there.
  • Please, NO video recordings of any kind.

May I bring my personal weapon?

  • NO! Absolutely no firearms, pepper spray, Tasers, handcuffs, knives (including pocketknives of any type or size), etc. No weapons of any kind. Please leave them at home. 
  • Bringing a weapon to the Sirchie facility will result in immediate dismissal from the event. No refunds.
  • (Law enforcement officers, please contact Lee Lofland regarding weapons policies).

Are meals provided?

  • Breakfast is served in the Marriott hotel restaurant and is included in the registration fee.
  • Lunches at Sirchie are provided by the WPA. The lunch breaks are brief and the facility is not near any type of restaurant.
  • You will be on your own for dinner on Friday night. There will be assorted fruits, cheeses, and other goodies available at the reception. 
  • The Saturday night banquet is optional ($55), but you’ll miss a great time if you don’t attend.

Can I bring my small children to the event?

  • We love kids. We really do. But there is no daycare facility on the grounds, and children may not attend the workshops. Some of the material is simply not suitable for kids. 
  • Young adults 16 and above may attend as registered WPA recruits.
  • Minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent.

May I bring a guest to the banquet?

  • Sure. In fact, we welcome banquet guests. You’ll find the appropriate boxes to check on the registration form, along with guest fee information, when signing up.

May I bring copies of my books to sell at the event?

  • No. The only books that may be sold at the event are those offered for sale by the bookstore. And the only books that will be available are those of the WPA faculty and keynote speaker. There may be a few nonfiction titles available that relate to police and forensics. Remember, this is not a writers conference, so take off your marketing hat and enjoy yourself!

Will we actually be using real police tools and equipment?

  • Yes, everything you’ll see at the WPA is real. This is not a watered-down citizens police academy. We want you to see, touch, smell, and experience what it’s like to be a police officer, even if it’s only for three days. I promise you an adrenaline rush before the weekend is over! The WPA is truly a heart-pounding, exciting event and, it’s a ton of FUN!

Will I have time to see and do everything?

  • Absolutely not. Think of this event as Disneyland For Writers. There is far too much to see and do in one weekend. You’ll need to study the schedule and pick and choose the workshops that interest you the most. We do try to offer each workshop/class/session at least twice. Still, it would be impossible to do it all.

Common Q&A's

Cost: $435
Date: August 1 - 4
Venue: Sirchie, Raleigh North Carolina
Hotel: Marriott Crabtree Valley

Airport: Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
Official Event Travel Agency: Go Global Ltd.
Darek Jarmola, Ph.D.

Official Book Store: Fiction Addiction
Jill Hendrix, Owner
1175 Woods Crossing Rd #5
Greenville, SC 29607

Different question?

Have questions not answered here? Let us know how we can help. 

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