Melissa Birks

Melissa Birks


Los Angeles, California

Member Since:
November 2014
Last online:
2 days ago
Invites sent:

About Melissa

I write features and specialize in historical fiction. I enjoy mining history for hidden gems -- people who may have fallen to footnotes but who have rich stories to share. As a former journalist, I am skilled at research, including navigating databases of old newspapers to pluck just the right headline or anecdote that will lend an authentic flair to my script. As a writer for my entire professional career, I am skilled at deftly weaving facts with fiction.

My subjects often focus on a unique genre of true crime: serial killers. A Jack the Ripper origin story that I wrote placed as a quarterfinalist in the Nicholl Fellowship in 2010. That script took place at a Victorian-era zoo and, indeed, was inspired by a seasonal job I once held as a tour guide at a large zoo. An animal lover, I also write about the human-animal bond, a theme best expressed in a recent project about a Victorian-era elephant and his keeper.

I am a Michigan native who worked for five small and mid-sized newspapers around the country before pursuing my screenwriting goals. I moved to Los Angeles three years ago after earning my MFA in screenwriting from DePaul University in Chicago.

Unique traits: Short (4-feet-11-inches and possibly shrinking). Horse lover who once spent six weeks in Spain as a groom. Youngest of five and only daughter.



  • Jumbo's Keeper

    Jumbo's Keeper Budget: $10M - $30M | Historical When an introverted, awkward zoo keeper transforms a sickly baby elephant into the celebrity sensation Jumbo, he must battle notorious circus impresario PT Barnum over control of the beloved animal. Inspired by true events.

  • Girl of The Palio

    Girl of The Palio Budget: $5M - $10M | Sports In Siena, Italy, a talented but reckless young jockey threatens local tradition when she vows the be the first woman in recent history to race The Palio, a centuries' old, rough-and-tumble race around the city plaza.

  • The Confessor

    The Confessor Historical Drama In 1936 New York, a vigilant psychiatrist battles a prosecutor and the court of public opinion when he fights to spare the life of confessed child killer Albert Fish.


Share This Profile

register for stage 32 Register / Log In