Melissa Pilgrim
            Writer, Editor 

Writing Coaching
Writer-for-Hire for a Story:  
If you are a producer or director looking for a writer to write your script idea (for a feature film, TV series, or theatrical play) or revise an existing project, please contact her manager, Marc Wax of Wax Entertainment, about the specific writing assignment.  

Note: Only the general idea needs to be discussed up front to know if it's a project Melissa can work on (to be sure it is not like any of her own original work).  If an agreement to work together is decided upon a nondisclosure agreement can be signed along with the contract. 

Turn-around Time:  Depends on project, but a timeframe will be set up in a writer-for-hire contract stating dates to finish the outline/treatment and each full draft.

Fee:  Payment will depend on the project and will be a set flat fee instead of an hourly charge. (Payments will be made in installments as the project progresses.)  A royalty agreement will be discussed as well, and it can vary depending on the project and the amount of the flat fee paid out.  

Note:  No deferred payments or royalty-only assignments are accepted for story writing projects.  

Writer-for-Hire for All Non-Story Writing Assignments: 
Need someone to write your web page content, article, or do some other specific writing project? Talk to Melissa about how she can help!  
Turn-around Time:  Depends on project, but a timeframe will be set up at the start.

Fee: $75.00 per hour
Editing can mean doing many different things (besides writing, for actual writing is very different than editing, which is commenting on or correcting someone's writing), but overall it means doing whatever is needed for the project at a certain stage to improve it.  Melissa’s expertise has been helping people with:  

Developmental (Structural) Editing: 
This is more extensive, detailed, page-by-page notes for revising an existing manuscript's plotlines and characters to make the story stronger overall.  It can also include recommending deleting or moving sections around if needed, identifying "holes" in the story, reviewing syntax of the sentences (meaning the author's writing style/voice), and stating where the story needs to be made stronger or clearer.     

This step is done only after the initial project’s evaluation has been completed.  A revised, full draft of the manuscript (with the evaluation notes implemented) is then reviewed page-by-page with Melissa's notes written directly on the pages again, listing what works well or what still needs work (if anything).   

Note:  This service does not include editing for grammar or spelling (for that is done last in a copyedit).  It also doesn't include doing any writing or ghostwriting on the project by Melissa.  As the editor, she will only make the notes necessary for you to do the revisions on the project as the writer.

Turn-around Time:  Varies based on the project's length (will be discussed with a timeframe set up)

Varies for Each Project (Play, TV, Film, or Book Manuscripts), but starts at a set beginning fee of $1,500.00 and then at a rate of $30.00 per hour as the developmental notes draft is done. The number of hours needed will be estimated after the initial evaluation is done with a final price quoted for this next draft to be worked on before any further work starts (given the writer has revised the project based on the evaluation notes). This step can be repeated if needed throughout the writing process, though most clients finish in one or two drafts with all the notes given to guide them throughout each step and then move on to the final copyediting stage.

This is correcting the grammar and spelling as well as proofing the overall final manuscript’s lay-out.  It is normally done at the final stage of a project.  The Chicago Manual of Style is used as the industry standard for all copyediting work dealing with grammar, so be sure to get a copy and become familiar with its rules. 

Note: This service is no longer available since many of Melissa’s past clients have found great copyeditors by hiring an English major at a local college or an English teacher from their area high school, giving them valuable experience in this kind of work for a low, flat fee.  (Just be sure they use The Chicago Manual of Style!)

Your project's budget and timeframe are discussed before any work starts so both parties know the payment schedule up front.  Melissa is very reliable in honoring the final agreement on all projects. 

I Specialize in These Services:
Script Consulting 
Writing Coaching
Developmental Editing
References for all services listed are also available upon request.
Please Note:
Services and Fees
This is the first step for all projects (and often the only step necessary since Melissa's notes cover a lot!).  It entails evaluating a finished manuscript, either in it's first draft stage (to assess how the story is being formed) or last draft stage (normally to see if anything was missed before sending a project out).  Melissa's general overall story notes on plotlines, structure, characters, and dialogue are written directly on your manuscript pages for your review.  

Note:  It is not a page-by-page type of detailed, structural edit, but rather an overall evaluation of the project in its current state. This kind of evaluation gives you a solid idea of what needs to be done next and how much work it will entail.  It does not include doing grammar edits but does access how much of a copyedit on the writing will be needed later on.

Turn-around Time:  
For film, TV, and play scripts it is normally 3 weeks from the time the project is received with 2/3 of the payment.
For book manuscripts it can vary depending on the project's length, but is normally done within 3 - 4 weeks.  (The timeframe is discussed up front so deadlines will be set and 2/3 of the payment is also due up front.)  
Note:  The other 1/3 of the payment is due upon receipt of the project being returned to you for all of the above mediums.

One Act Play (up to 70 pages): $750.00  
Two or Three Act Play (90 to 120 pages): $1,250.00  
Half Hour TV Script: $550.00  
One Hour TV Script: $750.00   
TV Series Pilot & Book Bibles: Starts with the above prices for pilot episode and then the book bible review varies based on length. 
Short Film (up to 30 pages): $450.00  
Short Film (31 to 60 pages): $750.00  
Screenplay (90 to 110 pages): $1,250.00  
Book Manuscript: $5.50 per page based on 250 words per page, DS, evaluation only (Example: A 90,000-word novel would be 360 pages, $1,980.00 total)

BONUS:  A complementary, 30-minute consultation on the phone to go over any further questions you may have about the notes is gifted to all script consulting clients after your manuscript is returned and final payment is received.  ​
(Note: All editing work is done after a script's evaluation/consultation has been completed first.) 
Script Consulting 
Whatever your specific writing needs are, Melissa will work with you to help you achieve them by discussing whatever concerns you, be it a specific project you want to start or are stuck on, goals for your project after it is finished, the correct manuscript format to use, or whatever else you want to learn.  

Sessions are done over the phone, Skype, or Zoom and can be scheduled for up to 2 hours at a time.  You can schedule a one-time session or schedule them weekly if you need more inspiration and guidance to help you get through a project from start to finish.

Fee: $75.00 per hour                        Click Here to Read Some Free Writing Tips to Get You Started

Interested in seeing if Melissa can help you with your writing needs?
Please Note:

Writing is hard work, and great writing is even harder.  The above services are what most clients need to see where they stand with a project and where to go from that point with it.  Both services entail a lot of time and information on a set budget and I do my best to give professional advice based on my experiences working in all mediums to help fellow wordsmiths succeed.  

But I am also (thankfully) a working writer myself and my time is becoming more limited with being able to help with writing and editing services unless it is to be hired as a professional writer-for-hire for a producer or production company.  This is also why I no longer offer copyediting services (see below for how you can find a good one to use).    

To read testimonies from those I have worked with, please see my Client Projects page.
To read client testimonies, please go to the Client Projects page.