Tales from the Graveyard Shift

People Are Strange Cover

The Book, and a Short Story Contest

Contest is CLOSED

The Writers’ Police Academy is pleased and excited to announce the coming release of our second anthology, “People Are Strange: Tales From the Graveyard Shift.”

We’re equally excited to announce that THREE lucky writers could see their stories appear alongside those of bestselling/award-winning authors such as Reed Farrel Coleman, Heather Graham, Deborah LeBlanc, Lisa Regan, Denise Grover Swank, Phoef Sutton, Katherine Ramsland, Denene Lofland, and Lee Lofland, to name a few.

And, to sweeten the pot, the foreword is written by international bestselling author Lisa Gardner!

The Contest

Contest begins February 18, 2020 and deadline to submit stories is midnight EST on June 1, 2020. Submit your stories below.

3500 to 5000 Words - No more. No less.


People Are Strange.


No graphic sex, abuse, or political hot buttons.


$35 per entry. Unlimited entries.

*Contest entry fees are used to help fund and support the Writers' Police Academy, as are all royalties and payments earned from sales of the anthology.
Judged blindly

All submissions will be read blindly by the judges. Your story will be coded to ensure anonymity before it is sent to the judges, therefore your name should not appear anywhere within the body of the story.

Original works

All stories must be the sole, original work of the author.


Stories must be previously unpublished in print or electronically, including self-published works to include websites and blogs.

Three winners

The top three entries will be published in the WPA anthology People Are Strange: Tales From the Graveyard Shift. Publisher, Level Best Books.

Contest ends June 1, 12:00 am

People Are Strange Anthology

  • Publisher - Level Best Books
  • ISBN:   TBA
  • Publication Date:  September 2020
  • Edited by Phoef Sutton
  • Foreword by #1 International bestselling author Lisa Gardner

About the Editor

Phoef Sutton is a New York Times Bestselling author. The winner of two Emmy Awards for his work on the classic television comedy CHEERS and a Peabody Award for the legal drama BOSTON LEGAL, he also wrote for the cult FX show TERRIERS. As a screenwriter, his credits include MRS. WINTERBOURNE and THE FAN, starring Robert DeNiro. He has written several movies for television, including DARROW & DARROW, PAST MALICE, and DARROW & DARROW II.

Phoef has also written plays and novels, among them FIFTEEN MINUTES TO LIVE and his “Crush” mysteries, CRUSH and HEART ATTACK AND VINE – both of which received starred reviews from Kirkus. With Janet Evanovich he has co-authored WICKED CHARMS and CURIOUS MINDS.

His most recent books are COLORADO BOULEVARD (another Crush mystery) and FROM AWAY. Together with his good friend Mark Jordan Legan he created the cult comedy THANKS and they are writing a number of new pilots and movies.

He lives in South Pasadena, California and Vinalhaven, Maine with his wife and two daughters. He also does a podcast with Mark Jordan Legan about weird and unusual cinema: FILM FREAKS FOREVER. His website is and you can reach him on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

Book Description

In the eerie glow of storefront neon lights and winking, blinking traffic signals, top bestselling thriller author Lisa Gardner emerges from the shadows onto a desolate, rain-soaked and uneven cobblestone street. It is from there, between the hours of midnight and dawn—the graveyard shift, that she introduces this collection of gripping tales of thrills, chills, and mystery.

*Lisa Gardner’s internationally acclaimed novels, published across 30 countries, have won awards from across the globe. She’s also had four books become TV movies and has made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN.

Contributing Authors

  • Reed Farrel Coleman
  • Heather Graham
  • Lisa Regan
  • Denise Grover Swank
  • Deborah LeBlanc
  • Phoef Sutton
  • Joe Bonsall
  • Paula Munier
  • Katherine Ramsland
  • Michael A. Black
  • Lisa Black
  • Denene Lofland
  • Lee Lofland
  • Les Edgerton
  • Mike Roche
  • Bruce Coffin
  • Rick McMahan
  • Pamela Samuels-Young
  • Cheryl Yeko
  • Melanie Atkins
  • Allison Davis
  • Dennis Palumbo
  • Marco Conelli
  • Lorraine Shumate
  • Shawn Reilly Simmons
  • Harriette Sackler
  • Verena Rose
  • Stacy Allen

Join us at the 2020 WPA MurderCon PEOPLE ARE STRANGE launch party.

Scroll to Top