Public Safety Writers Association logo
Public Safety Workers doing their jobs

Resources List


The following videos, books, and other resources are currently recommended as resources for members of the Public Safety Writers Association or other writers.

To order any of the titles listed, contact the source listed directly.

Most sources accept MasterCard or Visa credit cards over the phone or through their secured webpages.

Or, if you prefer, you may order titles by clicking on the appropriate hypertext sources as indicated after each title. All hypertext sources have secured webpages for credit card ordering.

Search the collection for books not listed here!

Getting Your Book Published

2005 Guide to Literary Agents
edited by Kathryn S. Brogan

2006 Guide to Literary Agents provides invaluable advice on every aspect of choosing, being accepted by, and working with literary agents. Helpful topics include how to research agents' websites, screenwriting secrets, what makes a successful query letter, how to make the most of attending writers' conferences, and comprehensive checklists for fiction and non-fiction writers. Top agents, including Evan Marshall, Ann Rittenberg and Donald Maass, give readers the insider information they want.

The 2006 edition features completely revised and updated material, offering over 600 agency listings-over 65% more than any comparable resource. As always, the guide only lists non-fee-charging agents who adhere to the ethical guidelines established by the Association of Author Representatives and the Writers Guild of America.


by Judith Applebaum
According to Judith Appelbaum, author of How to Get Happily Published, "it is largely within your power to determine whether your work will get published and whether the public will buy it once it's released." Anyone who has had a manuscript boomerang back from every publisher who sees it (or a book remaindered mere months after publication) may view this assertion with some amount of skepticism. But, as Appelbaum says, "hardly anybody treats getting published as if it were a rational, manageable activity," and it's hard to argue with that.

In addition to providing a mini-course on editors and agents and submissions and funding--peppered with revealing anecdotes from the front lines--Appelbaum offers information less frequently found in books of this sort. For one, she emphasizes the importance of taking publicity for your book or article into your own hands (and she has savvy advice on how to do so without alienating your publisher's publicity department). She also makes a very strong case for self- publishing--not to be confused with using a vanity press--and then tells you how to go about it. And finally, her annotated resource guide to books, Web sites, periodicals, courses, organizations, and more--stretching to over 120 pages--is astounding. That's right. Astounding. --Jane Steinberg

Writing Magazine Articles

1001 Ways to Market Your Books
by John Kremer

Kremer, editor of the Book Marketing Update, describes more than 1,000 ideas, tips and suggestions for marketing books--all illustrated with real-life examples showing how other authors and publishers have marketed their books. 1001 Ways to Market Your Books also includes a chapter on how authors can capitalize on the increased recognition a book gives their work.

Writing Right

by Gloria Stern

This volume is an outgrowth of the handbook developed for the use of authors seeking publication It is designed to familiarize them with the process and guide them through it. Based on the author's work as founder and director of the Gloria Stern Literary Agency, Ms. Stern has compiled the material used by successful authors in pre-eminently useful manual. This book in the library of the aspiring writer is like having an experienced literary agent at one's elbow. Tested in the industry, Do The Write Thing: Making the Transition to Professional, is a shortcut between the handcrafted manuscript and the bookstore shelf. In its chapters you will find practical data such as, a glossary of industry terms, useful addresses and forms, submission procedures, sample cover letters and agent contract terms, an outgrowth of work as a teacher of writing and as a literary agent and years of work in the publishing industry which are shared with the reader. Learn the answers to: What makes a best seller? Where to find a publisher who will welcome your book and how to secure an author/publisher contract - all in one unique and indispensable volume.

By: Pat Kubis and Bob Howland

This is a complete guide to writing both fiction and nonfiction books. It answers the most frequently asked questions, as well as offering sound advice for novel writing, as well as other types of writing.

If you only buy one book on how to write and get published, this is it. ISBN 0-13-161019-8

1990, 292 p., softcover $16.95

Order from

book-around-world.gif (4958 bytes) WRITING GREAT SCREENPLAYS FOR FILM AND TV
By: Dona Cooper

Learn the art and craft of screen writing from a top instructor at the American Film Institute’s Film Conservatory. This book takes the reader through the steps necessary to be able to successfully write a screenplay for film or TV.

This book is a good place to start your screen writing career. ISBN 0-671-84783-X

1994, 188 p., softcover $14.95

Order from

book-around-world.gif (4958 bytes) REWRITE RIGHT!
How to Revise Your Way to Better Writing
By: Jan Venolia

The ideas put forth in this book have to make you a better writer. There is no doubt that your ideas, training and experience, and emotion are the most important part of police writing. However, once those are on paper, it’s time to make it marketable. This book has great tips from dumping the jargon to keeping bias out of your writing. The better edited your work is, the better chance you have of getting your work published. Every police writer should read this book. ISBN 0-89815-202-X

1987, 197 p., softcover $12.95

Order from

Reference Resources

Your Guide to the Mystery Community
by Kate Derie

Your guide to the mystery community--all the information you need to find everybody who is anybody in the world of mystery, crime, and detective fiction. Complete contact details and descriptions for over 750 booksellers, events, groups, publications, and more. Essential reference for authors, booksellers, collectors, librarians, and publicists. Includes comprehensive index and appendixes.

book-around-world.gif (4958 bytes)

An Investigator’s Guide to Documents

and Techniques
By: Steve Weinberg

Written under sponsorship of the Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc., this is a "how to" book for investigative reporters. It covers "paper trails" and "people trails," using published sources, government documents, state and federal access laws, investigating government - including a separate section on investigating law enforcement officers and agencies - and how to investigate a host of other licensed and unlicensed entities. This book is a wealth of information, no matter whether you choose to use it offensively, or defensively. ISBN 0-312-13596-3

1996, 553 p., hardcover $27.95

Order from

How to Uncover Expert Information on Any Subject
By: Robert I. Berkman

A writer’s stock-in-trade is information. The better the information; the better the written work. This book identifies sources of information from the right library to "gateways" for computer searches. It also details how find and interview "experts" in virtually any field. It is a true tool of the writer’s trade.

ISBN 0-06-096486-3

1990, 333 p., softcover $14.00

Order from

wrlglgd.jpg (8206 bytes)

The Writers Legal Guide

By Tad Crawford & Tony Lyons

In today’s complex and highly litigious society, it would be ludicrous to put a police officer out on the street without adequate legal training. Yet, when those same police officers decide to become full or part-time writers, they often "hit the writing street" with little or no knowledge of the legal pitfalls they might encounter. In essence they fail to prepare for some of the legal problems that may await them in the writing world.

This book can help a police writer to "hit the writing street" armed with much of the basic legal knowledge necessary for a pleasant and long writing career. Billed as a "complete handbook covering copyright, libel, privacy, agents, collaboration, taxes, electronic rights, estate planning, grants, and much more," this book lives up to its claims.

It is an excellent guidebook and reference book for a writer’s bookshelf.

ISBN: 0-927629-13-5

Order from

Additional Resources

Join the Policewriter mailing list

The Policewriter mailing list is an e-mail based discussion list for members of the Public Safety Writers Association.  Non-,members considering joining the PWA may be admitted on a trial basis at the discretion of the association president.   Click on the link at right to subscribe to the list. 


The Quotable Writer
by William A. Gordon

Reviewed by PWA Member Roger Fulton

“The perfect quote is to a writer, as a flint is to a flame,” according to David Frizzell, an Editorial Director and Nonfiction Columnist for Writer’s Digest in the Foreword of this interesting book.

This book of literally hundreds of quotations on writing and publishing, quotes Mark Twain, Aristotle, Oscar Wilde, Robert Frost, Erica Jong and a host of other writers in this often irreverent text.

“We’ve got 40,000 books published each year, and 90% of them are swill,” is attributed to John Leonard, a former New York Times book editor.

Whether that is true or not, it’s in this book.  So are other quotations on Poetry, Plagiarism, Self-Publishing, Investigative Reporting, Censorship and many more topics.

In his unique style, Ernest Hemingway is quoted as having written, “There is no rule on how to write.  Sometimes it comes equally and perfectly.  Sometimes,  it’s like drilling rock and blasting it out with charges.”

As writers, we can all relate to the quotations in this book. An interesting look at the realities of writing, from the writers’ perspectives.

Scenes from the most
recent PSWA Conference