Local writer takes talents to the holiday screen


Molly Agriss

1985 NP grad Wendy Mechior sits in a cozy Hallmark scene at North Penn High School.

What’s the key to becoming a pastor, presidential campaign speech writer, and screenwriter? To Wendy Melchior, you just have to get on the plane.

When Melchior was presented with an opportunity she decided to get on a plane and fly out even though she had no idea what she was doing.

Melchior is a 1985 North Penn graduate. Her passion for writing began in the halls of North Penn High School during her English class.

Melchior’s graduation photo from 1985.

“We had to memorize one, I think we were like told Hamlet or King Lear or something. But we had to pick one. We had to memorize it, and then we had to perform it in front of the class. Dr. Meyers was this really smart and interesting guy, and he used to teach one unit where he got up on top of his desk and acted like an albatross. Yeah,  he was just a really great teacher, a great educator. And so we had to do these soliloquies so I got up and gave my soliloquy, and I went, you know, to go back to my seat and Dr. Meyer said ‘Wendy stop.’ And he said, “I’ve been teaching for a very long time. And that’s the best interpretation of Shakespeare I have ever heard.’ And I was like, really, you know, it was just a moment where I realized, ‘oh, gosh, I might be onto something,’ because I did understand it and I loved it and those kinds of things, and he that he just breathed and spoke that encouragement into me,” Melchoir reflected.

Melchior continued her education in Boston. She started as a communication major with an emphasis on theater arts. However, one of her professors pushed her to take her talents even further.

“It was my professor who said to me, ‘Wendy, I don’t think that you’re getting enough here. I want you to audition to be an intern for the Royal Shakespeare Company and there were these auditions at a school called Brandeis University in Boston.’ And they took one male and one female a year,” Melchior stated.

The Royal Shakespeare Company changed her path and led her to a new dream of being an actor. She ended up working in London to pursue this dream. However, on a visit home, out with her friend, Melchior met the love of her life. She ended up moving home from London and found herself back where she started.

“So I had quite the variety of jobs. I worked for WNPV for a while. I worked in retail for a while. I worked at an Alzheimer’s unit at a nursing home for a while where I actually put on a play with the people who had dementia. No kidding. That’s a whole ‘nother chapter…And I just decided that I was going to go to seminary. Now I know that sounds really crazy, but I had grown up in church, and it was very important to my parents. And I kind of really always kind of explored the spiritual side of myself. So I went to seminary and I became a pastor,” Melchior explained.

After 14 years in the ministry Melchior decided to take a turn in her career path.

“So [after] I leave the church, a friend calls me a friend, a very good friend of mine, who at that time lived in Phoenix, Arizona. And he says to me, Wendy, there’s this woman I know. She’s running for governor and she can’t find a speech writer she’s happy with. He told me to just come out and meet her and the campaign will pay for it,” Melchior explained.

Having no experience in speech writing Melchior was hesitant but realized this was another opportunity life had presented to her so she decided to get on the plane.

“All kinds of opportunities present themselves, just get on the plane. Just get on the plane because you don’t know, and I turned out to be good at it,” Melchior stated.

After meeting with the candidate, Melchior realized that she actually had a knack for speech writing.

“I kind of turned out to be the candidate whisperer so it just worked out for me…So I did that for quite a few years to the point where I ended up on a presidential campaign,” Melchior said.

In 2016 Melchior’s husband was diagnosed with Leukemia. Just the year before, his brother had also passed away from cancer. Melchior had been flying to Arizona every Monday to Friday but this schedule wasn’t going to give her family the support they needed. So again, Melchior came back home.

“So I came home and at first I wrote TV ads, radio ads, you know, for some of the consultants that I had worked for and that kind of thing, but without being on the road. I wasn’t going to be in the room at the table like I had been before. So I knew I had to make a change,”

At a party, one of Melchior’s friends introduced her to a woman who used to work for Disney. They decided to put their heads together and devise a way to get back into the business.

“Look, you don’t have any credits, and I’ve been out of the game for 10 years. So we’re gonna have to start with cheesy. We’re gonna have to start with people I know. She said so we’re going to have to start in, like Hallmark Christmas world,” Melchior stated.

Stream ‘Record Breaking Christmas’ 12/15 (Wendy Melchior)

Melchior hadn’t even watched a Hallmark Christmas movie before. Even though the movie style was not her taste, she gave it a shot. Melchior found herself successful despite wanting to break the “rules” and make the movies a little more different.

“So in two years, we sold 13 movies, and then I’m like, okay, now I’m gonna start to break some rules. And so I am starting to slowly do things differently. I had one that was on the air on November 6, which you can stream. It’s called ‘Well Suited for Christmas.’ It is a cheesy Christmas movie. It is a cheesy romance Christmas movie, but I threw four kisses in and I put some G-rated heat in, you know,” Melchior said jokingly.

Melchior’s most recent movie is called “Well Suited for Christmas” and you can watch it on Amazon prime and Lifetime. Her next movie is coming out today, December 15th, ‘Record Breaking Christmas.’ It airs on Lifetime at 8pm. Melchior is already working on her next project, a book, which you can find in the near future. To keep updated with all of Melchior’s projects you can follow her on Instagram and Twitter, @wstewartwriter.
Melchior’s story from a small town to a big career is inspiring to young writers or anyone pursuing their passions at a young age. Melchior’s advice to everyone is to just go for your dreams.

Molly Agriss

“But [discipline], that’s also something that you really can learn, that you can practice steps when you’re writing something-  when it’s just not happening for you, but you force yourself to sit there even if you get two paragraphs on the paper that day. That’s the discipline because, you know, there will be a day when wow, you can’t type fast enough. So you take that creativity, take that discipline and you get on the plane, that’s it,” Melchior concluded.