"As an accomplished novelist (Garden of Dreams is a stunning novel) and seasoned producer, Melissa Siebert provided us with insightful feedback on two screenplay projects, one a political thriller and the other an action drama. She has a nuanced grasp of narrative and characterisation, and an extraordinary eye for detail. Melissa is constructive in her feedback as script editor, empowering the writer to find his or her own solutions to script challenges. I recommend Melissa’s services highly, both as a writer and a script editor."
Meg Rickards / Writer, Director, Boondogle Films / Cape Town
"Melissa Siebert's contributions helped elevate Wild magazine to award-winning status. Her articles were in a class of their own: meticulously researched, but with a vibrancy that only comes from looking at the subject from a fresh point of view. Her contributions were pitch-perfect for the readership of Wild. Melissa cares deeply for our natural heritage, but never loses sight of the human element too. On top of that, she knew how to tell an irresistible story. She always tackled assignments with abundant enthusiasm, and in turn energised the editorial staff as well as readers, as the feedback we received testified."
Joan Kruger / Director, TIP Publishing / Cape Town
"It was my pleasure to have co-taught several journalism courses with Melissa at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Film and Media Studies, where we operated as a kind of Bonnie & Clyde duo of the writing world. She’s a dazzling teacher who brings energy, vibrancy and humour into a room; her enthusiasm for her subject as well as her students is palpable. Melissa brings her illustrious university background as well as huge field experience to bear in everything she does.
She’s unfailingly supportive and a problem-solver, always at the ready to offer students creative ideas on how to improve their writing, from an overarching concept to finding an interview source to sharpening a title or opening sentence. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned hand, if you’re looking for an inspiring, talented, compassionate and insightful guide through the writing process, look no further."
Andre Wiesner / Writer, Editor, Publication Developer / Cape Town
"Melissa has worked with us at Transfrontier Parks Destinations, on a freelance basis, over the last ten years, and consistently delivers top-notch copy. Writing for our website and marketing materials, she’s written about nearly every aspect of the five community-owned properties we manage in South Africa – including a book, African Ivory Route Experiences, on hand at the eight camps along Limpopo’s African Ivory Route. She’s a consummate professional, never missing a deadline and keen to give her clients what they ask for, even exceeding expectations."
Eleanor Muller / TFPD Marketing Manager / Cape Town
"Melissa Siebert is not only an exceptional author, editor, and journalist -- she is also an exceptional human. A resourceful and creative storyteller, she embraces all her projects with an adventurous and tenacious spirit. As scriptwriter/story consultant, she’s recently been helping me develop a documentary series – and I completely trust her instincts and choices. Melissa also recently created short film scripts for my youth tv and film training programs – original, quirky and appropriate for our young actors, they have been an excellent vehicle for their film projects.
Melissa is a wonderful asset to any storytelling project or collaborative team, and I always look forward to an opportunity to work with her."
Siobhan Hodgson / Director, Producer, Photographer and Founder of Intombi Pictures and the Young Actors Studio / Cape Town
"On a trip to promote the opening of Singita's newest lodge, Singita Kwitonda, Melissa travelled with me and a photographer to Rwanda and subsequently wrote ten colourful, informative stories for us which we used in various forms across several platforms. Melissa’s keen interest in Africa’s wildlife and wilderness has seen her travel far and wide, and her passion for the diversity of people and cultures of this continent is clear in all the work she does – specifically as a writer chronicling stories that resonate with readers who value off-the-beaten-track destinations. Whether it’s engaging with trackers in Rwanda’s remote mountainous areas, retracing the steps of Dian Fossey, or exploring the busy city streets of Kigali – her writing is always informed by her eye for detail and human-interest angles."
Adrian Kaplan / General Manager-Marketing Singita / Cape Town
"As a publisher, editor and writing coach, I have worked intensely with Melissa Siebert. Melissa is highly gifted and writes like a dream. Additionally, she is an excellent editor."
Melinda Ferguson / Author & Publisher, Melinda Ferguson Books / Cape Town
"Writing a novel or screenplay can be a daunting task to accomplish on your own. Rather work with published author and accomplished journalist Melissa Siebert to shape your work into a masterpiece. Melissa’s keen eye, detailed notes and affordable rates helped me move the first draft of my next screenplay into a layered, fleshed-out piece of work ready to be sent out to the industry. Working with an editor of Melissa’s caliber will be worth every penny spent."
Bonnie Rodini / Director, Producer, Screenwriter and Casting Director / Cape Town
"Melissa taught me during my undergraduate and postgraduate years at the University of Cape Town. I found her classes to be incredibly beneficial to my growth as a writer. Her breadth of knowledge in journalism, particularly feature and investigative journalism, later inspired me to follow my own passion for writing and research. Her teaching has also hugely influenced the work I have done over the past twelve years as a wildlife conservation journalist."
Kate Collins / Wilderness Safaris Digital Marketing Manager / Johannesburg
"Melissa Siebert is an excellent journalist and writer with a wide range of experience, having
also worked as a documentary maker, scriptwriter, researcher, editor and teacher/trainer. Her
passions lie largely with human rights and social justice, as well as with the natural world and
environmental activism. Her acclaimed, beautiful novel Garden of Dreams – which I had
the pleasure of introducing at her 2014 book launch in Cape Town -- explores the devastating
impact of child trafficking in India and the tragic consequences of putting the political before
the personal in family life.
Melissa has been an invaluable first reader of my novels over many years, and I enormously
value her insights, observations, and recommended edits. I absolutely trust her judgement. I
highly recommend her in any editorial capacity."
Michele Rowe / Author and Screenwriter / Cape Town