Melanie Payne


Melanie is an investigative reporter for the USA TODAY Network - Florida. A Wellesley College graduate, she has worked as a newspaper reporter since 1996, starting at the Akron Beacon Journal in her native Ohio. After moving to Florida in 2004 Melanie began working as a senior writer for The News-Press in Fort Myers. She was a columnist for 11 years before joining the investigations team in 2017.

Melanie began writing plays after taking a class on playwriting in 2015. Her play TRUE COLORS  was chosen for a reading series at The Laboratory Theater of Florida in 2016 and 2017. Her play ROUTINE  was read at The Laboratory Theater of Florida in 2017 and by The Naples Players in 2018. In 2009 her play ETERNAL FLAME  was chosen for the 2019 Fade to Black Reading Festival in Houston. Melanie is the author of two nonfiction books, Champions, Cheaters and Childhood Dreams: Memories of the Soap Box Derby  (Univ. of Akron Press) and 99 Things to Know When you Have Breast Cancer  (Amazon). A nationally ranked Scrabble player, Melanie also enjoys playing golf.



My work as an investigative reporter may explain why I prefer to write plays inspired by real stories.









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Items: 13 of 3, per page
  Source Title Author Description Free sample
Melanie Payne

Edna is NOT going to let her in-laws cut her out of her beloved husband’s burial arrangements.

Melanie Payne

Maud refuses to let her sister-in-law get “top billing” on her dear brother’s gravestone—even if it means a brawl at the cemetery.

Melanie Payne

Maud and Edna go head to head over who has the final say in Floyd's burial--the sister or the wife.