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Writer Mary Melton at Case Study House No. 22 in Hollywood Hills

At Case Study House No. 22 in the Hollywood Hills. Photograph by Kim Cross

Current Projects:

The former editor-in-chief of Los Angeles magazine, Melton cofounded an editorial consulting firm, Smakdab, that has grown out of her award-winning journalism career as an editorial director, editor-in-chief, and writer at newspapers and magazines. She works with corporations, media companies, agencies, nonprofits, and authors to create compelling storytelling across any and all platforms.

Her podcast, Riveted, explores the art of great storytelling. She is co-creator and co-host of the show with journalist Amy Wallace. The show's debut season was nominated for two Webby Awards: Best Interview/Talk Show Podcast (limited series), and Best Creativity and Marketing Podcast.

Since starting her own company, Melton has developed close relationships with several clients:

As a consultant, Melton has also worked frequently as an editor-for-hire:

Melton's interests as a writer are far-reaching. One of her stories inspired a piece she performed on four tours in seven cities across the United States for Pop-Up Magazine.


Another story she wrote, A Mother’s Road for Alta Journal, won the 2021 Los Angeles Press Club Award for Travel Writing and the FOLIO Eddie Award for Long Form Feature Content. It’s an account of a road trip Melton took on Route 66 with her son, who is on the autism spectrum.

She hosts conversations and is available as a moderator for select events. Throughout her career she has led public forums with a wide range of political, business, health, education, and arts leaders, including:

  • Secretary of State Colin Powell

  • Law & Order creator Dick Wolf

  • Actor-preservationist Diane Keaton

  • Director of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas

  • The creative team behind Breaking Bad

Melton remains fascinated by her ever-evolving hometown of Los Angeles and is working on several creative projects further exploring the city's complexities and contradictions. 

  • Instagram
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