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's newest play Mountain Law is part of Plan-B Theatre's annual Script-in-Hand free reading series. The reading will be March 7 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are free but required. It's my understanding that all the tickets have been claimed, but there is a waitlist.  When you click the link, be sure to choose the right date: March 7 (though the reading on April 11 will be pretty great too!). If the link doesn't give you the option to waitlist, it's possible the waitlist is full (sorry, I will take a bit of pleasure in that particular inconvenience). It is probably still worth it to come to the Rose Wagner Studio Theatre around 6 or 630 p.m. March 7th and see if a seat opens up. 

Mel's work-in-progress adaptation The Girl Who Drank the Moon received a staged reading at Utah Valley University December 6, 2017. It was great to hear the piece aloud, and UVU and Mel is continuing work on the next draft. 

Julie Bowman reviewed Third Wheel for the Fall 2017 issue of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. "Intimacy is the critical strength of these plays.... Third Wheel shows us characters with pain points that prompt us to discuss their conditions. These dilemmas matter a great deal to the spectrum of conversations currently underway in the LDS community. It's worth reading, staging, and discussing these plays." 

Conor Hilton shares some wonderful insights in his review of Mel's new play collection Third Wheel. "These are the sorts of stories that we need more of. Stories that confront some of our biggest challenges and concerns and struggles as a faith community... [T]he way the characters respond felt so real and true. Probably the best depiction of receiving a spiritual prompting I’ve ever encountered."

Utah Valley University has commissioned Mel to write a new Theatre for Young Audiences play for their 2019-2020 season. Mel is presently writing the script and workshopping the first draft in UVU's New Script Workshop class.

Mel's first book, Third Wheel, debuted on July 24th from BCC Press. She subsequently spoke on a panel with two other prominent LDS women authors, Mette Harrison and Rachel Hunt Steenblik as well as artist Ashmae Hoiland, at a packed launch event July 25th. Third Wheel is now available on

Mel was invited to be the featured writer for the 2017 spring quarter at the LDS women’s journal Segullah. Read her interview, and check out excerpts from Little Happy Secrets , Pilot Program, and Sweetheart Come.

Mel was one of 12 Utah-based playwrights whose short plays comprise the evening (In)divisible, premiering June 8-18 at Plan-B Theatre. 

Mel scripted a commercial for a new campaign aimed at helping people better understand the Better Business Bureau and its mission. The final product looks pretty great: