2016 Conference Program

Improving Your Dialog
Mysti Berry

WritMystiBerry-200ing effective dialogue is crucial in the art of fiction, and most writers can improve their dialog no matter how far along they are on their writing journey. Join award winning author, Mysti Berry, as she shows you special techniques to enhance your writing. These techniques, which have been devised from a combination of applied linguistics and screenwriting, can be used on any dialog problem. From the basic to the advanced, no matter where you are along the creative writing spectrum, these tips will improve your ability to write effective, natural sounding dialogue while advancing the plot. Bring pen and paper or a short (half page) scene with dialog you’d like to improve, and be prepared for an interactive writing session.

  Mysti Berry is an award-winning writer of screenplays, short stories, and novels. She earned a BA in Linguistics from UC Santa Cruz, and an MFA from University of San Francisco. She lives in San Francisco’s storied, forgotten neighborhood, OMI. Her latest short story, ”The Johnny Depp Kickline of Doom,” will appear in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in 2016.

Investigating the 2001 Anthrax Attacks – An Evolution of Forensics
Scott Decker

ScottDecker200On October 4, 2001, a bio-terrorist attack reared its ugly head and struck our nation, which was still reeling from September 11th. FBI Agent Scott Decker was assigned to this new terrorism investigation and spent several years tracking the deadly microbe, anthrax, which was used in the attack. Knowing this silent and deadly weapon was capable of causing immense suffering in the wrong hands, the dedicated investigators were determined to leave no stone unturned, but traditional forensic methods were leading nowhere. Learn the real, inside story of what happened and what really was discovered inside the FBI’s Anthrax Investigation–An Evolution of Forensics.

Scott Decker joined the FBI as a Special Agent in 1990 and was first assigned to the Boston Division’s Bank Robbery Task Force. In 1997, he became the fourth member of the FBI’s new Hazardous Materials Response Unit and took the lead in developing the Bureau’s protocols for detecting, collecting and preserving evidence contaminated with biological threat agents. On September 12, 2001, he led a team of FBI Hazmat Officers to Ground Zero where they established a command post at the edge of the destruction. He returned from New York to head up a squad of agents—each with an advanced degree in science—at the Washington Field Office and coordinated the evolving forensics of the 2001 anthrax attack investigation. Decker retired from the FBI in 2011, holds a PhD in genetics, and is writing a book: ATTRIBUTION—A Living Weapon, Terrorism, and the Evolution of Forensics.

Writing for the Web—What it Takes to Get Published on the Web
Doug Wyllie

DougWyllie-200Getting published in the nonfiction market is a great way to establish yourself as a writer and build an impressive resume, but it’s no secret that it’s both problematic and difficult. One of the top editors and columnists from a leading media company gives you his unique insider’s perspective on what it takes to break into this competitive market. In this special presentation, Doug Wyllie, award-winning columnist and chief editor, will share his insights from both an editor’s and a columnist’s point of view, providing invaluable tips and detailing what it takes to get published in today’s tough and competitive nonfiction market.

Doug Wyllie, the editor-in-chief of PoliceOne, the leading digital media company for Public Safety & Local Government, is responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website as well as managing the planned editorial features by the roster of expert writers. Also an award-winning columnist, Doug has authored more than 900 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. He is a past winner of the prestigious “Maggie Award” for the Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column, among his many other accolades.

Schedule of events

Thursday, July 14, 2016
3:00 PM-6:00 PM Registration—check in, get your conference bags and reception wristband
6:00 PM-9:00 PM No-host opening reception (wristband required for entry)
Friday, July 15, 2016
8:30 AM-9:00 AM Registration and check-in
9:00 AM-9:30 AM Opening reflections on the PSWA by our President/Queen, Marilyn Olsen
9:30 AM-10:15 AM Featured speaker: Mysti Berry

Writing Effective Dialogue

10:15 AM-10:30 AM Break
10:30 AM-11:15 AM Panel: Anatomy of a Murder

Moderator: Michael A. Black

Panelists: Mike Brandt, Dave Cropp, Robert Calkins, Steve Scarborough, Robert Haig, Gloria Casale

11:15 AM-11:30 AM Break
11:30 AM-12:15 PM Panel: The Writing Craft

Moderator: Mysti Berry

Panelists: John Schembra, JL Greger, Elena Hartwell, Barbara Hodges, Rick Ollerman

12:15 PM-1:15 PM Lunch (furnished)
1:15 PM-2:00 PM Featured speaker: Scott Decker

Investigating the 2001 Anthrax Attacks – An Evolution of Forensics

2:00 PM-2:15 PM Break
2:15 PM-3:00 PM Panel: Promotion

Moderator: Marilyn Olsen

Panelists: Marcia Rosen, Thonie Hevron, Rabbi Ilene Schneider, Barbara Hodges, Ellie Oberth

3:00 PM-3:15 PM Break
3:15 PM-4:00 PM Panel: Writing True Crime

Moderator: Marilyn Olsen

Panelists: Rannah Gray, Scott Decker, Pat McCarthy, Robert Haig, Gloria Casale

4:00 PM-4:15 PM Break
4:15 PM-4:45 PM An examination of point of view

Michael A. Black, Mysti Berry, Marilyn Meredith

4:45 PM-5:00 PM Book signings and one-on-ones
5:00 PM Closed rehearsal for actors in the radio play. Everyone else: dinner on your own
Saturday, July 16, 2016
9:00 AM-9:15 AM Welcome and housekeeping items
9:15 AM-10:00 AM Panel: Real-Life Stories of SWAT, Firearms, Less Lethal Weapons and Tactics Along the Use of Force Continuum

Moderator: Michael A. Black

Panelists: Dave Freedland, R J Beam, John Wills, John Howsden, Pat McCarthy

10:00 AM-10:15 AM Break
10:15 AM-11:00 AM Current Trends in Publishing

Moderator: Michelle Perin

Panelists: Austin Camacho, Billie Johnson, Geno Munari, Marcia Rosen, Marilyn Meredith, Michael A. Black

11:00 AM-11:45 AM Meet and greet the publishers and authors
11:45 AM-1:00 PM Lunch (furnished)
1:00 PM-1:45 PM Featured speaker: Doug Wyllie

How to write for the web

1:45 PM-2:00 PM Break
2:00 PM-2:45 PM Panel: The art of writing short stories

Moderator: Michael A. Black

Panelists: Mysti Berry, Bob Doerr, Joseph B. Haggerty Sr, Austin Camacho, Larry Collins, Rick Ollerman

2:45 PM-3:00 PM Break
3:00 PM-3:45 PM Panel: editing your work

Moderator: Michelle Perin

Panelists: Elena Hartwell, Marcia Rosen, Molly Knop, Rick Ollerman, Lorna Collins

3:45 PM-4:00 PM Break
4:00 PM-4:45 PM Panel: Jurisdictionally speaking

Moderator: Marilyn Olsen

Panelists: Jack Miller, Scott Decker, Rannah Gray, John Wills, Joseph B. Haggerty Sr, Bob Doerr

4:45 PM-5:15 PM Break
5:00 PM-5:45 PM Old Time Radio Show: The Adventures of Ellery Queen

The Players: : Steve Scarborough, Joe Haggerty, Sr., Thonie Hevron, Barbara Hodges, John Wills, Bob Haig, Bob Doerr, Illene Schneider, Elena Hartwell

The Jury: Ellen Kirshman, Marilyn Meredith, Janet Greger, Marilyn Olsen, Barbara Lloyd

Special Effects: Tim Dees

5:45 PM Book signings, dinner on your own
Sunday, July 17, 2016
9:00 AM-9:15 AM Welcome and housekeeping items

Marilyn Olsen

9:15 AM-10:00 AM Panel: Reflections on writing

Moderator: Mysti Berry

Panelists: : Lynne Hesse, Mar Preston, John Schembra, Elena Hartwell, Rabbi Ilene Schneider

10:00 AM-10:15 AM Break
10:15 AM-11:00 AM Panel: Writing what you know and what you don’t

Moderator: Marilyn Meredith

Panelists: Ellie Oberth, R J Beam, Rabbi Ilene Schneider, Mike Brandt, Mar Preston, Elena Hartwell

11:00 AM-11:15 AM Break
11:15 AM-12:00 PM Writing the perfect pitch

Larry and Lorna Collins

12:00 PM-12:15 PM Final book sale

Books must be picked up immediately following lunch

12:15 PM- Awards luncheon