SWM Guest Speaker for Saturday, April 8, 2017
Robert James Patrick Reed
Robert James Patrick Reed
Our guest speaker for the month of April is our very own Manuscripter, Robert James Patrick Reed. The first apparent item to mention is his name. By heritage, Robert is Irish Catholic, which explains the second middle or “confirmation” name. Robert has written poetry since college, and that is when he began using his full name. He also has the Hebrew name “Jacob” which he uses when visiting his friends at the synagogue; the pseudonym “Roscoe” which he uses for his memoirs; and “V. Lichtenstein” for his “Gothic” poetry. Enough said about that.
     Upon graduating from high school, Robert enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve to beat the draft during the Vietnam War. Following his initial active duty and during his six year enlistment, he went on to study Commercial Art at Los Angeles Harbor College, English at California State University Long Beach, and Paralegal Studies at University of West Los Angeles. For the next 30 years, he worked as a paralegal and database administrator for the Atlantic Richfield Company at their downtown “ARCO Plaza” location, and the Law Offices of Fleishman & Fisher in Century City, California. After college, he briefly lived in Ithaca, New York and more recently, Carson, Calif.; however, he plans to soon return to his third generation hometown of San Pedro, Calif.
     Upon his retirement, Robert joined the Southwest Manuscripters where some of his poems have received awards. He became aware of a children's writers workshop which he attended and presented a report to our group. Also, resulting from this workshop, he wrote six children's stories in a series, and plans to write another six for the set. He has embarked on several simultaneous projects, one of which is a collaboration with an artist friend who sketches a drawing, to which Robert produces a poetic description of a concocted story about the scene portrayed. They have finished 15 of these renderings and plan another 15. Additionally, he joined a “meetup” scriptwriters group which is becoming a filmmaking group, and has presented his first screenplay for the group to consider for an upcoming shoot. He is writing his memoirs in the form of short stories, which he will string together at some point in the future to become an autobiography. He has currently written two such stories, the first concerning his time in upstate New York, and the other, his time in the Coast Guard.
     Even if not a professional writer earning a living at the craft, one need not wait for retirement to begin writing. However, Robert believes that one should write about what one knows, even if a work of fiction or fantasy. Thus, the title of his presentation, “Carpe Diem (To Seize The Day) – Then Write About It” or in other words, live it and then share the experience.
     Robert has learned much about publishing from prior speakers at SWM and plans to begin this process later this year as his projects conclude. He did not realize how much enjoyment he would derive from such activity and writes daily alternating between the various genre. From structured legal documents of his past, his imagination now paints pictures within the printed page.

This meeting of the SOUTHWEST MANUSCRIPTERS, a Writers Club, ongoing since 1949, will be open to the public on: Saturday, April 8th, 2-4:00pm, in the Community Room on the 3rd Floor of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Library, 701 Silver Spur Road, in Rolling Hills Estates

Contact Carol at: (310) 676-7494 or carol.ann.sperling@gmail.com for further information.



Don't forget! Article Contest Entries are due by the June 3rd Meeting! - See Below...

Barbra Simpson, Contest Chair

SWM Contest Rules
Edith Battles Nonfiction Article Contest
Deadline: June 3rd, 2017 SWM meeting.
Contest Chair: Barbra Simpson
(310) 376-8234

1. Contest is limited to SWM members only.
2. Four dollars non-refundable fee for each entry. Cash or check OK. One check can cover multiple entries. Make check payable to Southwest Manuscripters and bring to the meeting or send to the SWM Contest, 872 - Fifth Street, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
3. Maximum three entries per person. In keeping with the purpose of the SWM to encourage writers, especially new writers, only previously unpublished material is allowed. That means not seen in any medium (book, newsletter, magazine, newspaper, internet) with circulation of more than 200 readers. Rule of Thumb: If a judge may already have seen your entry, it is ineligible.
4. Print four (4) copies of your entries, one per each judge. Article entries must be double-spaced... but single-sided, with an easy-to-read typeface, and legible. If the entry can’t be read, it can’t be judged. [Note: Times-Roman or Courier 12 is standard.]
5. Note word count on page one (max 2,000). Do NOT put personal info on the pages.
6. Entrant's name may not appear anywhere on the entry. Put NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE and TITLE of entry as you would like to see them on award on a 3x5 card. You may also indicate intended market (e.g., children's magazine, sci-fi magazine).
7. Although the contest has four judges, no judge is obliged to provide a written critique.
8. Awards will be presented at the SWM meeting in the month following the contest deadline. Winners of more than one top award will receive one certification for the highest scoring entry and honorable mention for any others. In case of a tie for a top award, each individual entrant will receive the same award.
9. Members who wish their entries to be published in The Write Stuff, may forward their entries, winning or not, after the contest, to Southwest Manuscripters, TWS Editor:
10. Entries that do not comply with the above rules will be rejected and the entry fee will be forfeit.
Give entries, checks and cards to the Contest Chair or mail them to: SWM Contest, 872 - Fifth Street, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 or bring to the June 3rd, 2017 SWM Meeting (or before). Do NOT mail entries to the Editor or to the SWM P.O. Box.

Basically what the above is saying:
A) Submit 4 (four) copies of your work, without any personal info on the sheets, just the title.
B) At the same time, include a card or paper with title and your personal info.
C) Send them to or give to Barbra at the above address or at the next meeting along with your check or cash.
D) Pick up your award at the following meeting.


SWM Meeting Times & Dates for 2017
Sat. Mar. 4th, - 2-4pm
April 8th, 2-4pm
May 6th, 2-4pm
June 3rd, 2-4:00pm
July 8th, 2-4:00pm
August TBD - Picnic
September 9th, 2-4pm
October 7th, 2-4:00pm
November 4th, 2-4:00pm
December, Holiday Party