Roberta Wax, a former news reporter for United Press International, is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering a wide range of topics, from health and parenting to business and entertainment, with a healthy dose of craft writing and designing thrown in the mix. Her articles have appeared in a variety of publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Westways, Belle Armoire, Animation, Emmy, Los Angeles, and more.
She has taught journalism at California State University, Northridge, and the University of California, Los Angeles’s Journalism Extension, and currently teaches non-fiction writing through UCLA Extension's Writer's Program. She is also available for editing, newsletter content, news releases, etc.
Roberta is active in several journalism and writers’ organizations, including the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the 8-Ball Welfare Foundation, and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). She is a long-standing member of the board of directors for the SPJ Los Angeles Pro Chapter, where she has held many positions, including chapter president and chair of the annual awards banquet. She has been a speaker, organizer and/or moderator at several writing conferences.
On the more artistic side, Roberta has designed projects for several craft publications, including Craftideas, The Stamper’s Sampler, Cardmaker, and Paper Crafts, as well as for manufacturers who have used her projects in national ads and magazine projects.
To see Roberta's creative side, visit her blog at www.creativeunblock.com
It was one of those days. The dog had eaten the meat that was defrosting for dinner, my daughter was moaning about her homework, my son wanted to skateboard in the hall and the dry cleaner gave me someone’s toreador pants instead of my husband’s suit. I needed to vent and I had two choices – my husband or a girlfriend. She won. (Why we need women friends, and how different friends fit different needs.)
“Friends for All Seasons”
Word count: 853
Perhaps I should have felt angrier at my son for lying to me about where he was, but after the initial hot, mad flush of temper that made me want to scream “I’m-going-to-throttle-you-how-could-you-do-this-to-me,” I felt suddenly, unexpectedly calm. (Teens need to rebel a bit, but there is a kind of sweet relief when they mess up and you can ground them.)
“A Little Rebellion Not Always Bad”
Word count: 650
My eyeglasses, with their copper-colored oval frame and lenses that thicken at the edges like the bottom of a Coke bottle, are more than an accessory. They are the first things I put on in the morning and the last things I remove at night. I place them just so on my bed stand, lens side up so they don’t get scratched, at the ready in case I need to leap out of bed at the first rumble of an earthquake. I’m paranoid about losing them or breaking them or even scratching them just enough to fracture my view of the world. (Sometimes, though, maybe the world is better when it’s softer around the edges.)
“I Can See Clearly Now”
Word count: 1,043
My personal phone book has seen better days. The blue cardboard cover is stained and torn, several pages are held together with tape, and there are Post-it notes and scribbles everywhere. It traveled well from high school to college and far into adulthood. But it is time to retire the poor thing and start anew. (Looking through my phone book is a trip down memory lane.)
“Personal Phone Book Tells Tales”
Word count: 825
I’ve never been one for household chores. I hate vacuuming, dislike dusting and abhor washing floors and cleaning toilets. But doing laundry I can get into. There is something Zen-like about laundry chores. There is a fine ballet in the laundry steps: swooping up the dirty clothes, tossing them gracefully into the maw of the machine, swirling in detergents that will clean and fabric softener that will, well, soften. The clean smell of a load well done soothes the senses.
“The Zen of Laundry”
Word count: 943
I love my mailman. Let me the count the ways. Daryl is strong. He’s reliable. He delivers. Who doesn’t love a man who shows up every day, six days a week, through rain, sleet, snow and the Book-of-the-Month club? (Humorous look at working at home and the thrill of getting mail, a thread of connection to the outside world.)
“My Postman Really Delivers”
Word count: 575
"Handmade Watercolors," Cloth Paper Scissors
"SCRAP USA: New Business Model for Reuse Centers," Craft Industry Alliance
"The Art of Letterpress," Cloth Paper Scissors
"How to Write a Great Bio," Craft Industry Alliance
Clothes Off Our Back
"The Givers," UCLA Health
"I have worked with Roberta on two publications and her articles always have been of the highest quality – well reported and crafted, complete and very readable. She has a knack for getting interview subjects – sometimes, very difficult interview subjects – to open up to her, and she is wonderful about coming back with telling anecdotes or observations. On top of being a skilled reporter and writer, she is open to exploring alternate ideas and approaches to stories. I always enjoy our collaborations."
Editor, UCLA Medicine
"Roberta’s experience, persistence and relentless good cheer make her the go-to gal for any journalistic assignment, from breaking news to features. She knows instinctively how to approach any assignment — and she turns it in on time. Whether she is interviewing executives, celebrities or politicians, she asks the right questions and gets the quotes and anecdotes that make her stories a must-read. As an editor, I have worked with Roberta for many years and have consistently valued her unfaltering professionalism and impeccable ethical standards."
Editor, Emmy Magazine