Your Writing Muse
Here to Inspire You to Create!
Here are some interviews Melissa has done sharing her writing advice and tips based on her over 15 years of experience being a professional writer and editor...
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Media About Melissa Pilgrim
From Dear English Major.com (Pursuing the Next Page), Q & A with Melissa Pilgrim: Writer, Editor, & Writing Coach
You’ve been directing and writing plays for years for both children and adults. Is there one age range that you find easier or harder to work with?
I enjoy writing and directing for all age groups, though you do have to treat writing for and working with each one (and their audiences) very differently, for each comes with its own strengths and challenges.
I also find each story I create tends to lend itself to a particular age group (and audience) overall, so when writing I specifically gear the actual writing of each script/project towards that demographic.
When you write and direct, you are dealing with your personal project. Can you think of any one time in directing when you had the “they finally get what I was trying to communicate”?
Oh yes, but not just one time—it always happens—for I always tell the children I work with they are creative and can use their imaginations to write their own stories, just like me. But, they don’t always believe that. So to help them learn to do that I always bring in scenes from a play I am working on for them with a few places purposely written “poorly” (meaning a corny/bad line of dialogue where an obvious better/funnier one can be), and without fail every time we do a read through of the scenes a hand will shoot up and a budding wordsmith will say, “Miss M—that’s not as good as the other lines, we can come up with something better than that!” It always makes me so proud when we then work on a new line as a group and the children really feel like they are playwrights then too!
How did you first get involved with playwriting and getting paid for it?
Right out of college I started working in different theatres in several states with both children and adult groups, and not always, but most of the time writing plays basically “came with the job,” and so I was very fortunate to be able to be paid for my writing skills as well as my directing and producing skills all at once.
I then really got into playwrighting when I spent five (great) years as the artistic director for The Sheil Park Players in the Wrigleyville area of Chicago where I wrote plays for the children and teen groups and also started writing workshops for adults to develop plays out of it for the adult group. Many of those plays went on to be produced in other theatres in Chicago, New York, and even London. I was very proud to help other playwrights get their work shown!
Where do you work and what is your current position?
For the past seven years, I have run my own writing, editing, and script/writing coaching service called Your Writing Muse from my home office (which started in Los Angeles, but is now in the White Mountains of N.H.). In the course of my career since leaving college, I have worked all over the country for years in all mediums—theatre, film, TV, and book publishing—and based on all of those experiences I am now able to help others with their own writing goals...
Posted on February 9, 2014, Interview conducted by Alyssa Christensen
Posted on January 14, 2014, Interview conducted by Christine Henderson
Articles Featuring Melissa's Various Projects/Experiences...
From The Book Designer.com, Practical Advice to Help Build Better Books, Article:
Book Apps with Authorly (Featuring author Melissa Pilgrim's experience working with them!)
Posted on September 3, 2014 by Joel Friedlander, Article written by Jason Matthews
Authorly turns books into apps. Don’t feel bad if you’ve heard the term a thousand times but still don’t know exactly what an “app” is; the tech learning curve never ends. App is short for application though that probably doesn’t clarify much...
From The Daily Zoozil Blogspot.com (A Little Blog With Big Ideas): Meet Melissa!
Posted on May 25, 2016, Interview conducted by Mackenzie Roark
Melissa Pilgrim, author of Sergeant Stubby in the Great War, now available in the Zoozil library, is not new to the writing game. In fact, she has been writing in some capacity for over fifteen years, working not only as a successful author, but also as a television and film script writer and editor, theater playwright, director, and producer, web developer, PR consultant, and even lyricist. Melissa studied at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, as well as at The Institute of Children's Literature in West Redding, CT, before becoming a writer in all mediums in places like Chicago and Los Angeles...
From The Write Chris.blogspot―On Writing, The Joys of Writing with Children: Author Interview with Melissa Pilgrim
From InkTip.com: Interview with Writer Melissa Pilgrim: How Using InkTip led to (Unexpectedly) Connecting with My Agent at Black Apple Talent
Interview conducted on October 6, 2018 by Daniel Tabuena-Frolli
(For use in an InkTip Newsletter Announcement)
1) How has your experience with InkTip been so far?
I found InkTip online about nine years ago when I was living in Los Angeles and thought it was an inventive, wonderful way for people in the industry to connect (even before most people were doing so over the internet). Back then I was a judge in screenwriting contests, and InkTip featured one of my articles, 12 Simple Tips for Entering Screenplay Contests, in one of their newsletters after I started using their site. Since then I have moved back to my home state of New Hampshire and I have continued to use InkTip on and off throughout the years, always feeling it connected me to the industry no matter where I lived...