Photograph by Trey Burnette

Leanne Phillips is a professional writer, writing coach, and editor specializing in creative work and legal editing. She works with writers of literary, upmarket, commercial, book club, and young adult fiction, as well as writers of memoir and essays. In addition to her work with creative writing, Leanne has 30+ years researching, writing, and editing in the legal field and provides professional editing services to attorneys for briefs, points and authorities, and other legal documents.

Leanne enjoys working with adult and YA fiction, historical fiction, and genre fiction, including science fiction, romance, horror, crime, and thriller, and of course, anything to do with the law.


  • Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts (fiction, with cross-work in creative nonfiction), University of California at Riverside, Palm Desert.
  • Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in history, from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, California.
  • Associate of Science degree in Paralegal (ABA-approved program), College of the Sequoias, Visalia, California.
  • Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Studies, Hartnell College, Salinas, California.
  • Copyediting Certificate, University of California at San Diego Extension
  • Book Coaching Certification (currently completing certification requirements, anticipate earning certification by the end of 2022)
  • Continuing Education: Leanne continues her writing, book coaching, editing, and legal education by attending UC Riverside Palm Desert residency lectures and learning opportunities as an alum; by enrolling in various online lectures, courses, and workshops; by taking ABA-approved CLE courses in the law; by taking editing courses through the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) and ACES: The Society for Editing; and by completing writing masterclasses with writers like Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, Judy Blume, and Walter Mosley.


  • Fiction Editor at Kelp Journal (2021 to present)
  • Books Editor at GXRL (2021 to present)
  • Multimedia Editor, Books Editor, and Copyeditor for The Coachella Review (2019-2021)
  • Fiction and Poetry Editor for Byzantium (2017-2018)
  • 30+ years as a paralegal, with experience in civil litigation, criminal law, family law, municipal law, employment law, contracts, and business law.
  • Leanne currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Central Coast Paralegal Association.
  • For more about Leanne’s work as a writer, visit

Style & Usage Guides include:

  • The Associated Press Stylebook (AP style; journalism)
  • BuzzFeed Style Guide (internet and social media)
  • The Chicago Manual of Style (prose editing, published works)
  • California Style Manual (legal editing)
  • Garner’s Modern English Usage
  • MLA Style Manual (language arts, cultural studies, humanities)

Professional Affiliations

  • ACES: The Society for Editing
  • AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs)
  • Central Coast Paralegal Association
  • EFA (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • National Book Critics Circle
  • SD/PEN (San Diego Professional Editors Network)
  • SLO NightWriters