Your Writing Muse
Here to Inspire You to Create!
Top 10 Most Popular Plays:
A Grimm Fairy Tale (musical comedy)
The Case of Bloody Murder at Sherwood Manor (comical dinner-theatre mystery)
Starmaker! (live variety show format)
When The Bell Rings (musical dramedy)
Trouble Brewing at Sumerville Academy (all female dramedy)
A Piece of Soap (comedy spoof)
Everybody (modern morality play)
Our Holiday Show! (one act play & holiday concert combined)
Judi Jackson, Live! (live talk show format)
Improv-it! (improv-styled variety show)
Note: 8 of these plays are published in The Chicago Alliance for Playwrights Directory.
Animal Motions (Children's Picture Book) published by Indigo River Publishing, April, 2013. Written by Melissa Pilgrim, Illustrated by Ira V. Gates.
Animal Motions Storybook App published by Authorly.com, April, 2014. Created by Melissa Pilgrim, based on her full, 32 page children's book.
1. The Right One (romantic comedy) Optioned twice, first by Swingin' Productions (pac with Millennium Films), and then by Urban Culture Films.
Note: Script also placed as a quarter-finalist in both the Nicholl's Fellowships and the Writer's Network Screenwriting Competition as well as a semi-finalist in the Illinois/Chicago Screenwriting Competition.
2. Valentine's Day (romantic comedy ensemble) Optioned by an independent producer with a director attached from The William Morris Agency.
3. Countdown (who-done-it political thriller) Optioned by Toolshed Films.
Writer for Hire Experience in Film & TV:
* Worked on a TV project for Martin Sheen's ESP Productions (pact with Warner Bros. Television) at Warner Brother’s Studio in CA.
* Has written full scripts, treatments, and series book bibles (often as a ghostwriter) for various independent film companies and producers from L.A. to N.Y.C.
* Judge for CineStory's Screenwriting Competition in Chicago (for 2 years) and for The Kingman Films International Screenwriting Competition in L.A. (for 1 year).
* Articles published in Script magazine, InkTip.com's newsletter, and Scriptapalooza's newsletter. (To read one, Click Here.)
* Certified to do script coverage by The American Film Institute after completing Donna Cooper's Coverage Workshop.
Note: Melissa co-sponsored the workshop at the Chicago theatre she ran along with CineStory from Columbia College. This led to her moving to L.A. where she worked for various companies doing coverage, story notes, and script doctoring.
Optioned TV Series:
Giving (news/doc. TV show) Optioned by 8 of Hearts Entertainment (company created by a former producer for Merv Griffin Entertainment).
Book Publishing Experience
The Sheil Park Theatre: Artistic Director, Playwright (5 years)
Chicago Park District's Community Theater Program for Wrigleyville, Home of the Chicago Cubs
Directed and produced 22 original staged plays for children, teens, and adults. Taught adult classes on playwrighting, which then turned into a successful Budding Authors Workshop that produced 8 new adult staged plays. Several of these shows went on to be produced at larger theatres in the Chicago area as well as cities like New York and London.
Note: Melissa's unique talent of being able to revise a script as it was being directed scene-by-scene made her writing workshops a popular class for beginning playwrights and directors. It also led to her becoming a sought-after script consultant to many aspiring playwrights, screenwriters, and novelists around the Chicago area and beyond, many of whom went on to have their work produced as well.
Lincoln Park Children's Theatre: Founder, Artistic Director, Playwright (1 year)
In the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL
Wrote, directed, and produced 6 original staged plays for children and teens.
Port Orange Children's Theatre: Assistant Director, Playwright (1 year)
Port Orange, FL
Wrote 5 plays and assisted the director in each of the 5 productions.
As a Book Editor:
* Has edited over 12 manuscripts for both traditional print book publications and ebooks in a variety of fictional and nonfictional categories.
* Has worked with authors who have self-published as well as gotten publishing deals from traditional publishers.
* Has helped with the book launch, press kits, and P.R. campaigns of over half of these publications for exposure on the Internet, TV, radio, and print.
Note: One published print book, Intimate Wisdom, was awarded the Publisher's Choice and Editor's Choice Awards by its publishing company, iUniverse.
Business-related & Website Work Experience:
* Writes and edits web page content, articles, blogs, and monthly newsletters for on-line businesses of various types including: home building, roofing, hair care/salon, relationship counseling, interior design, caregiving, health care, and entertainment.
* Does the P.R. for the promotion of businesses for both website and brick-n-mortar businesses. (This involves writing press releases, doing article research and writing, researching for information, and editing business-related reports.)
Note: A list of website clients and references is available upon request.
* University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH), B.A. in English, Minor in Theatre
* The Institute of Children's Literature (West Redding, CT), Program of Study Completed: Writing for Children & Teenagers
* Studied screenwriting at San Diego State University (San Diego, CA) and at various film-related workshops in Los Angeles, CA
* Certified to do Script Coverage by The American Film Institute (Completed Donna Cooper's Coverage Workshop for Film & TV through CineStory at Columbia College in Chicago, IL.)
Has had 16 plays for children and teens produced all over the country in various theatres from Chicago, IL to The Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre in Florida.
The Case Of Bloody Murder at Sherwood Manor
Sheil Park Children's Theatre, Chicago
A Piece Of Soap
Sheil Park Teen Theatre, Chicago
Skrebneski & Popourri
Written by Jim Phetterplace
Directed by Melissa Pilgrim
Sheil Park Theatre, Chicago
Budding Authors Workshop Production
And, for those still curious...
After finally gaining enough contacts and experience in all forms of media from living all over the country, Melissa was able to move back to the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire where she grew up to create her writing, editing, and script consulting business strictly over the internet. She now works with clients all over the country through the phone, email, and Skype as she helps them with their creative and business-related writing projects.
Melissa in the
Melissa's passions in life are writing and inspiring others to write!
Melissa’s combined background of education and experience in theatre, film, and prose writing along with her over 15 years of experience working in all these distinctive mediums gives her a specialized, unique way to approach each story and project. She looks forward to being your writing muse!
And due to Ms. Pilgrim's extensive marketing background learned from promoting her theatre in Chicago and by pitching her own movie and TV projects around L.A., besides helping with writing and editing, she also assists others with creating their own P.R. platforms for promoting their finished writing projects, websites, and businesses. She is skilled at developing clear, concise pitch pages, press releases, and press kits.
Interested in seeing if she can help you with your writing needs and goals?
Sergeant Stubby in the Great War (Historical Fiction Novel) published by Zoozil Media, Inc., May, 2016. Written by Melissa Pilgrim, Illustrated by Abigail Larson. (Available as an eReader App on itunes)