PSWA Conference

We just arrived home from the Public Safety Writers Association conference held in Las Vegas. I don’t have my notes out yet, or even unpacked. Since it’s my day to post, I’ll give some of my general impressions.

I was the program chair so I was pretty nervous as things began. I helped out with registration and managed to arrive before anyone else. Most of those registered came to the get-acquainted social on Thursday evening. It was delightful to see so many new faces and the our faithful attendees too.

Of course I was the first to show up at the meeting room, added a front table and chairs for the panel and got hubby situated at the book selling table.

Only going to give the highlights this time. The first panel was police officers and a prosecuting attorney telling us what drives them crazy in books, TV shows and movies. Most enlightening and a bit funny too.

Award winning author Betty Webb did an excellent job telling what needs to be in a manuscript–and what shouldn’t be–if you want to be published. She also did a bang-up job as one of the luncheon speakers telling about switching from hard-boiled to a lighter series.

We had two forensic experts, Steve Scarborough who told us what CSI people can’t do and the equipment they don’t have despite what we see on TV–and Sheila Lowe, forensic handwriting expert, who fascinated us with handwriting from real cases.

There was so much more, so many people shared, we learned about character development, planning your time for writing, the importance of setting–too much and too little, and so much more. We had a wonderful time learning about writing comedy. Sunny Frazier told us about turning fact into fiction, we had a panel on promo and Joyce Spizer-Foy fascinated us with her knowledge about writing screen plays.

My contribution was talking about e-publishing and showing off my new Kindle.

The hotel was wonderful (except for the people on the 5th, 6th and 7th floor who had their sleep interrupted by an alarm and had to walk all the way downstairs until the problem was solved), food delicious, everyone so friendly, and I finally began to relax when I saw everyone was having a good time and the program was moving along as it should.

Yes, there were a couple of blips, but nothing that couldn’t be handled.

I’m exhausted, but extremely pleased.

Anyone writing about mystery with any ties to public safety is welcome–actually we had other authors there who just wanted to come–think about it for next year. Don’t have any dates yet, but you know I’ll let you know.

Marilyn a.k.a. F.M. Meredith

3 replies
  1. Kathleen A. Ryan
    Kathleen A. Ryan says:

    Just to echo your sentiments – it was a terrific conference and highly recommend attendance for next year for existing or new members yet to join PSWA. I believe I came the furthest distance – from Long Island, New York. It was well worth the trip!

    All of the speakers were so knowledgeable – I learned so much from each of them.

    Thanks, Marilyn, for your coordination efforts and sharing your wisdom about promotion and e-publishing.

    I'm already looking forward to next year's conference!


    Kathy Ryan

  2. Susan McBride
    Susan McBride says:

    Wow, Marilyn, what a wonderful conference program! Sounds like you did an amazing job!


  3. The Stiletto Gang
    The Stiletto Gang says:

    I made a mistake with names–only excuse is being too tired–It's Joyce Spizer-Foy not Janice. I've fixed it in the blog. Thank you, Kathy for pointing that out.


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