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Media About Melissa Pilgrim
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... enjoy!
From Dear English Major.com (Pursuing the Next Page), Q & A with Melissa Pilgrim: Writer, Editor, & Writing Coach
From The Write Chris.blogspot―On Writing, The Joys of Writing with Children: Author Interview with Melissa Pilgrim
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 in 1990, I worked all over the country for seventeen 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.
You can see my full bio on my website, but in short I have had 16 plays produced, four screenplays optioned, one TV show optioned, one children's book and app published, have either edited or ghostwritten over twelve books (both in nonfiction and fiction genres), been a judge in two screenwriting contents, and have been hired by many producers, authors, and companies as a writer-for-hire on various projects (including Martin Sheen's ESP Productions). I also co-write songs as a lyricist with musicians. Besides doing all these types of creative writing projects/jobs, I also work on business websites helping clients with all their business-related writing and editing needs including their page content, blogs, articles, reports, and newsletters.
As a writer I've found it's great to be able to always stay both creative and versatile, for you never know what kind of writing someone may need help with! Working in all fields has kept me both marketable and employed, for when it's slow in one medium it's normally not in other ones. (Plus, it keeps life interesting!)
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. She currently resides in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where the breathtaking scenery inspires her to write and create. Because of her ample experience, impressive qualifications, and ability to write in a heartfelt, relatable way, Zoozil is proud to have teamed up with Ms. Pilgrim in bringing you Sergeant Stubby in the Great War, the story of a stray puppy who befriends a soldier-in-training during World War I. In an interview with Melissa, I set out to discover where she draws inspiration from, what drives her to practice her art, and what genre of music helped inspire Sergeant Stubby in the Great War!