Melissa Pilgrim
       Your Writing Muse 


New Horizons  (Dramedy)
Note: Pilot script and series book bible are available.

* Sweet Magnolias meets Gilmore Girls in this feel-good dramedy for both adults and teens that centers on two sisters banning together to save their family's historic Vermont horse farm while raising one of the sister's three kids. Features two strong female leads who play "opposite type" fraternal twin sisters (who turn forty in the first episode).  Other leads are a sexy, thirty-something male ranch-hand, a mid-teen athletic heartthrob, a young female teen misfit outsider, and an enchanting young female grade-schooler.
* Present day. Set in a small rural Vermont town. 
* Can feature a diverse supporting cast of all ages.


Sutherbee's by the Sea  (Dramedy)
Note: Pilot script and series book bible are available.

​* Mix the quirky characters of Northern Exposure, the sentimental feel of Providence, and the main character's aspirations in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and you’re in Boonbay Harbor, Maine; the ritzy little seaport town that’s the setting of this adult dramedy. It features a strong female lead who's just turned fifty and lost her husband---forcing her to now reinvent herself as her three adult children, a son in his thirties and one in his late twenties and a mid-twenties daughter, each struggle with their own life challenges.
* Present day. Set in a seaside town in Maine.
* Can feature a diverse cast of all ages.







Romantic Comedies  

The Right One (Has Been Optioned Twice)
Laurels: Nicholl's Fellowships Quarter-Finalist, Writer's Network Screenwriting Competition Quarter-Finalist, Illinois/Chicago Screenwriting Competition Semi-Finalist 

* A modern romantic comedy where the twenty-something lead female (any race) has to make a major life decision involving her career and long-time love on a ticking clock deadline. 
* Present day. Set mainly in Chicago with a few scenes in New York City. 
* Can feature a diverse cast and be done on a modest budget.

With Bells On

* A “feel-good, opposites attract” romance road picture perfect for the holidays! Features two strong leads, one female, one male, both around thirty (any race). 
* Present day, the week before Christmas. Set between Los Angeles and Maine. 
* Can feature a diverse cast of all ages and types as they cross the country.








Dance Hall Girls  (Female-driven Western)
Note: Pilot script, series book bible, and premises for the first 13 episodes are available.​

All having their own reasons for wanting to build a better life, five young, attractive, independent single women of different backgrounds, races, and circumstances live out west in a developing town in Nebraska during the Civil War in 1863 for the chance to obtain their own 160 acre homesteads---if they can all stay single and "head of household" for the next five years based on the actual law stated in the Homestead Act of 1862 for women that mandates it.

By mixing fictional characters and storylines with actual historical facts and events of this time period, this unique, female-driven western drama series will appeal to the modern audience who enjoys watching strong, attractive female leads make it in a typically male dominated environment.  Especially with the very diversified ensemble cast of whites, African-Americans (as freed slaves), Asians, Indians, and different ethnic groups all represented (and each done so according to how they historically would have been treated during this time frame in this new territory).

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Producers & Directors:  To discuss a particular project or writing assignment, please contact:   


Available Feature Film and TV Series Projects...
Feature Film Scripts are Available in the Following Genres:
Looking for Theatre Scripts for Your Next Production?  
Melissa has many of those too!  Go to: Published Plays

Successes:  16 plays produced, 4 screenplays optioned, 1 TV series optioned, historical fiction novel published, children's picture book & storybook app published.
Horror

Choose  

​* A teen horror love triangle with well-developed characters and more suspense than gore. Features a strong female lead in her late teens (any race) with a cast of her very diverse high school senior co-eds (5 female, 5 male, all late teens). Antagonist is a burly man in his fifties. 
* Present day. Can be done on a modest budget since 80% of it is set at an abandoned mill deep in the Maine woods near a river. Other scenes are mostly interiors in homes, a high school, diner, and movie theatre.

The Bard 

* A supernatural, suspenseful ghost story featuring lead brothers (of any race), one in college (early twenties) and one a senior in high school (late teens), along with a diverse cast of both college and high school co-ed friends. Antagonist is an old, petite, eerie-looking male (the last living bard).
* Present day, takes place on Halloween/The Night of the Living Dead in a small rural college town in Vermont. 
Thriller

Countdown (Has Been Optioned Once)

* A suspenseful "whodunit" thriller like L.A. Confidential with a strong female lead in her late thirties (any race), a strong female Hispanic supporting lead in her late teens, and a strong male lead (any race) in his forties. 
* Present day/starts on New Year's Eve. Set mainly in Chicago with a couple scenes in Washington D.C. and Boston.
* Can feature a diverse cast of many supporting roles for all ages.  

(Based in Los Angeles)
Top 50 Finalist in the 2020 
International Screenwriters' Association 
Fast Track Fellowship Contest!
Available One-Hour TV Series Scripts & Book Bibles:
        Dance Hall Girls 
   2020 TV Pilot Finalist
Select Pitch Packets Available on  
ScriptHop
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Available Half-Hour TV Series: 



           The Airbrush King 
2021 Screenplay Quarter-Finalist
           Dance Hall Girls 
2021 TV Pilot Quarter-Finalist
Select Scripts Available on the ISA's Writer's Showcase
Musical (For Preteens) 

Making the Grade! 

* Grease meets High School Musical in this high energy, relatable ​story where students at a typical midwestern high school learn valuable lessons about staying out of everyone else's business and risking it all by telling the truth. 
* Present day. Set in Chicago.
* The full book/script for the musical is written with prompts indicating where each of the songs would go (including lyric notes for what they would be about to advance the story). No music is written so the songs can be written specifically for the desired style of production.
* Can feature a diverse teen cast of break-out "triple threats" who act, sing, and dance.

Comedy/Dramedy

The Airbrush King
Laurels: Southern California Screenplay Competition Quarter-Finalist 

* An Adam Sandler-styled comedy perfect for a known comedic male actor in his fifties (any race) and either a known or break-out young, twenty-something male comedic actor who would play his son (who's a recent artsy-type college-grad).
* Set in the late 1980's, mainly in Hampton Beach, N.H. with some scenes in Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles.
* Can feature a diverse cast of all ages.

Our House

A feel-good dramedy with a strong, multi-generational cast like The Family Stone.
* Present day. Set mainly in a small rural town in New Hampshire with a couple scenes in Boston, Chicago, and New York City.
Can feature a diverse cast of all ages and be done on a modest budget.

Hollywood Wedding Videos 

* A buddy comedy for two known or break-out young, twenty-something males (any race) who are in film school. 
* Present day. Set in the Los Angeles and Malibu area.
Can feature a diverse cast and be done on a modest budget.

Giving (News/Magazine Doc., Reality, Has Been Optioned Once)  

Made in America meets The Wall Street Journal Report

Fact: Billions of dollars, millions of material items, and thousands of hours of people’s time are donated to hundreds of charities and organizations each year. Does any of it make a difference? This intriguing show with heart will set out to uncover when it does and when it doesn’t. 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Melissa has been a judge in 2 screenwriting contests: CineStory's Screenwriting Competition in Chicago (for 2 years) and for The Kingman Films International Screenwriting Competition in Los Angeles (for 1 year).  

Based on this experience, she wrote the article "12 Simple Tips for Entering Screenplay Contests" to help other writers enter their best work when submitting to competitions. This article has been published in Script magazine, InkTip.com's newsletter, and Scriptapalooza's newsletter.  

Quarter-Finalist in the 2021 Southern California Screenplay Competition!