Writing Is Murder MRW Article

Writing Is Murder


By: Diane Kratz


PSWA Member graphic


I’ve just returned from attending the Public Safety Writers Convention at The Orleans Hotel in Sin City (Las Vegas where the heat index was 114 degrees in the shade).


Sound boring? Let’s look at this through the writer’s eyes:


Sin City + New Orleans atmosphere+ dripping sweat = sounds like a great setting for a book, huh?


Throw in the FBI, Homeland Security, police officers, firefighters, emergency personnel, security persons, two psychologists, a journalist, two social workers and their take on how to catch a bad guy (or, in my book, bad girl), and OMG you have a thriller!

Seriously, that’s what this experience was like for me. I came back eager to write.


Why did I go there instead of RWA? RWA is great but expensive! I joined this group because it has a lot to offer.


First it was cheap. Yea, that’s me you hear squeaking when I walk, cheap, cheap, cheap. The cost is $55.00 year (they also offer 2 and 3 year memberships at a discounted rate).

A day-old chick

A day-old chick (Photo credit: Wikipedia)









Membership benefits include:

Manuscript Review—All new and renewing members may take advantage of a one-time manuscript review by one of the association’s published authors. Cost? FREE!


Writing Competition—Competition Categories include published and unpublished works:

Fiction—Books, Short Stories, Flash

Non Fiction—Books, Creative-Non-Technical, Creative-Technical, Technical Manual, Poetry, and Screenplay.

Cost? Just $10.00 per entry!!!! CHEAP!

Networking—All members of PSWA are welcome to participate in our website’s e-mail listserv which is intended to provide networking opportunities for members. It’s an e-mail list with all the expert members available for the rest of us to ask questions on crime or certain law enforcement agencies or any type of questions dealing with public safety. They will tell you REAL TRUTH, not what you see on TV. And let me tell you, cops LOVE to talk! You can also send them e-mail on new releases, blogs, yada, yada, yada.  Cost? FREE!

Annual Conference—PSWA’s (Public Safety Writers Association) annual conference was held in Las Vegas on July 11-14, 2013, at the Orleans Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas. It’s at the same place every year. The conference is open to anyone writing crime and mystery fiction or non-fiction, technical writing for public safety magazines in print or online, or anyone interested in writing. Cost: $200.00 before January 31 for members and $250.00 for non-members.

Yup, I said NON-MEMBERS!  You can still go even if you don’t join.

It was 3 days of learning, networking, finding new authors to read and make new friends with. What did I learn?  Here are a couple of hooks I’ll toss in the air for you…

Prostitutes usually don’t have drug problems and the average age for a prostitute is 14 to 18 years old.

The best promotion times to post on Facebook, to blog, or to tweet is 9:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (Yes, Virginia, there is someone out there named Chris Sweeny analyzing this.)

Blog Talk Radio is in and boosting sales.

Image representing Blog Talk Radio as depicted...




DNA techs writing professional articles conducted an experiment and actually put grasshoppersants and cockroaches into volunteer family homes, retrieved them after a week and found 100% of that family’s DNA all over them. Why?  Because the DNA technology has gotten so precise they can now find DNA in skin scales. Yuck, but cool!

DNA is also being used by the rich and not so rich in a program named SNIPS.  Any guesses?  It’s a Genome DNA analysis that can trace your dog’s ancestry. It’s mostly used for show dogs.  It can also be used for humans to determine hair color, eye color, and skin color of your unborn child.  WOW!


Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...


All this IS included in the price of the conference plus they provided yummy lunches for the three days we were there! YES, the price includes LUNCHES!

You get a lot of Bang for your Buck! I’m thrilled with this group of talented writers. I’d love to share my GREAT find with you!   You can find the group at http://policewriter.com/wordpress/ .

Until next time, happy writing,

Diane Kratz

Edited by: Sally Berneathy

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17 thoughts on “Writing Is Murder MRW Article

  1. marilynm says:

    Wow, what an endorsement! You should send a comment about the conference to Tim Dees to post on the website.

  2. Kathryn Jane says:

    Great information Diane! I’ve considered joining this group a number of times. One, because I worked in the Public Safety Industry for a while, and two, because it seemed like a great deal when I checked out their website.
    Two things held me back. One, the heat in Vegas in July 🙂 … and two, my books are not procedurals, or even murder mysteries. They’re more like FBI spinoffs, (similar to Kay Hooper).
    But having read your blog, I think I’ll be joining anyways, so thanks for sharing 🙂

    • dianekratz says:

      Kathryn, you can’t go wrong with this group. There were all kinds of writers from many genera’s there. All you have to do, is write about public safety in your book. (i.e. have a character who is in law enforcement, etc…) There were many mystery writers there who served on panels. So glad you stopped by!
      Diane Kratz

  3. Hi Diane! Very nice post! Sounds like a wonderful organization with lots of benefits.

  4. jtzortman says:

    Good article, Diane. You have the dubious honor of being m first ping back. I missed the convention this year, but will be there next year.

  5. I’m so jealous. It sounds like you learned so much. Wish I lived closer!!!
    Teresa R.

  6. Diane, as a cross genre writer, I might check this out. Thanks for another great post 🙂

  7. marsharwest says:

    Had internet issues, Diane. Glad I saved this. Your title caught my attention. My initials are MRW. LOL So I had to see what this was all about. What does your MRW stand for? I just flipped the letters in my head to make it stand for Writing is Murder, but that’s not it.
    Great review of your experience. I’ll have to check this out. Even though thinking about Las Vegas in July makes me ill! I’m sure that’s why they can keep the cost down. Vegas is begging groups to come. Thanks for sharing.

    • dianekratz says:

      Hi Marsha!

      Thanks for stopping by! Midwest Romance Writers is what MRW stands for. LOL! Marsha R. West! I live in Kansas. The weather here isn’t just hot, its sticky hot. Vegas heat is not and felt wonderful to my bones. I enjoyed very much. We had family close by so we turned this trip into a vacation. Vegas is sure different than it was twenty years ago. I think you’d love it! I can’t say enough good things about this group.

      Diane Kratz

  8. Pete Klismet says:


    Your write-up on the conference was great. I’m really sorry I didn’t meet you. At least I don’t think I did! If this blog gives you my eMail address, please send me one. Something to run by you. Book is in the mail as of this afternoon.

    Pete Klismet

  9. Tim Truont says:

    Very good written article. It will be valuable to anybody who employess it, including me. Keep doing what you are doing – for sure i will check out more posts.

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