Photograph by Trey Burnette

Leanne Phillips is an award-winning writer, a book coach certified in both fiction and memoir, and a professional editor. She specializes in working with busy women writers, new writers, and writers who are working on their debut novels or memoirs.

Leanne enjoys working with literary, upmarket, book club, commercial, and young adult fiction, as well as memoir. She also enjoys working with genre fiction, particularly in the historical fiction, science fiction, and crime/legal thriller genres.


  • 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 Paralegalism (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 through Author Accelerator. Certified in both fiction and memoir.
  • 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, Walter Mosley, and Harlan Coben.


  • Fiction Editor at Kelp Journal (2021 to present)
  • Books Editor at GXRL (2021 to 2023)
  • Multimedia Editor, Books Editor, and Lead 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.
  • Planning Team, Bombay Beach Lit Fest 2023.
  • President of SLO NightWriters. Previously served on the Board of Directors in various capacities, including as Membership Director, Secretary, and refreshments coordinator.
  • Voting member of the Central Coast Paralegal Association. Previously served on the Board of Directors in various capacities, including Vice President, Secretary, Program Director, and Webmaster.
  • California Certified Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Crisis Counsel, previously serving in a volunteer capacity for Lumina Alliance (formerly RISE).
  • Volunteer at the North County Women’s Shelter’s Temporary Restraining Order Clinic, preparing TRO applications and declarations.
  • Volunteer at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival.
  • For more about Leanne’s work as a writer, visit

Professional Affiliations

  • Author Accelerator Certified Book Coach
  • 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

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)