Persuasion, College of Saint Benedict | Saint John's University, 2014.

Melissa Leilani Larson

Hi, my name is Mel and I'm a writer. Feel free to browse the site to learn more about me and my work. Thanks for stopping by! 

Recent Happenings

Mel has been selected to receive the 2018 Smith-Pettit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Mormon Letters. This is a huge and unexpected honor. The award will be presented at the Association for Mormon Letters annual conference in Berkeley, CA in March 2019.

Mel will adapt Rabindranath Tagore’s classic play The Post Office as part of a UN conference coming to Salt Lake City in the summer 2019. The play will feature a cast of local high school students.

Mel’s book of two plays Third Wheel is presently on sale for $7.95. It’s available in both paperback and ebook formats, so grab a copy today! If you’re on the fence, Rebecca Child Bateman says in her review, “Larson's characters are beautifully human, relatable, complex, recognizable. Her writing is clean, natural, and intelligent. She has taken two groups of very real Mormon families and thrown them into (not so far-fetched) situations that create a wonderful TENSION…. Larson's plays are a perfectly matched set. She has pulled open the curtains on the next door neighbor and the one up the street and let us peer inside. Or, perhaps it is our own blinds drawn, our own vulnerability revealed to the neighbors.”

Acting as Utah’s Proxy Regional Rep for the Dramatist Guild, Mel wrote two articles for the Guild’s magazine, The Dramatist, this past fall. The most recent details the beginnings of the Great Salt Lake Fringe and the other celebrates Mel’s colleague Rachel Bublitz and her Submission Mission.

Mel was interviewed about being a playwright and screenwriter for the website

Mel wrote the screenplay for Jane and Emma, a new film about the friendship between Black LDS pioneer Jane Manning James and Emma Hale Smith. The film is currently playing in select cinemas in the U.S. and Canada and is slated for Blu-Ray/DVD release in spring 2019 (You can pre-order the Blu-ray or DVD here). If you are interested in hosting a screening of Jane and Emma in your area, find out more here. Check out the trailer: