you dream of seeing your book published

You are a smart, talented, ambitious writer with a killer concept for a book. You have notebooks full of ideas and a Word doc on your desktop called ShittyFirstDraft.docx. Maybe you’ve stalked the shelf at your local bookstore where someday a paperback with your name on the spine will appear. Your characters visit you in your dreams. You feel a little bit haunted. Impatient. Itchy. It seems like everyone you follow on Twitter suddenly has a book deal.

You take a writing workshop. And then another. You Google “low-res MFA.” You watch the Joan Didion documentary and think it isn’t fair—you were born in the wrong decade. Maybe you should buy a typewriter, or go back into therapy.

You dream of seeing your book published.

I have a plan to help.

As a writing career coach, I work one-on-one with writers to help them overcome the hurdles standing between them and a finished manuscript. Then I walk them through the publication process and help them query literary agents. Most writers come to me with previous writing experience (in academia, freelance journalism, writing workshops), but they feel overwhelmed and uncertain about the best next steps to take.

Writing is a solitary process and it’s hard to know when you’ve taken a right (or wrong) turn without a collaborator to bounce ideas off of. Writing workshops can be a big help but they're a short-term fix. Writing groups often fall apart when members get busy, lose interest, or lack motivation.

You need someone in your corner who’s been where you want to go, and I have ten years of experience in media and publishing (beginning at the New Yorker), and three published books under my belt, in three genres. My fourth book comes out in 2020.

When I first came to Leigh, I was frozen in a glacier of writer’s block. I never wanted to look at my book again. She not only got me motivated to see my work with new eyes, but inspired me to remember why I was writing my book in the first place. In a short time with Leigh, I accomplished my goal of passing the halfway mark in my book, something that didn’t seem possible. Leigh is great because she’s wicked smart, funny, and tolerant when all you want to do is complain for an hour about how much you suck. She gives sage advice, and most importantly, she puts you back on the path. She’s an even-keeled listener, a practical coach, and she wants to see you succeed. If you’re looking to really truly finish your book, Leigh will help you get there.
— A.G.

What I do

I specialize in memoir and literary fiction. I offer:

  • Supportive one-on-one coaching

  • Editorial feedback

  • Book proposal development

  • Platform building

  • Actionable publishing advice

What I don’t do: I’m not your girl if you’re working on historical fiction, commercial fiction, or YA/middle grade, or if you plan to self-publish.

Leigh is a gifted coach who combines the psychological insight of a skilled therapist with expertise about the process and craft of writing. From the moment our phone calls begin, she’s listening intently and able to handle whatever I throw her way—confusion, despair, frustration. She responds with smart, practical suggestions for process and content, as well as relevant reading suggestions. Oh, and talking to her is also really fun.

As a reader, Leigh is a dream. Her line notes and end comments are among the most comprehensive and incisive that I’ve ever received (and this from someone who has an MFA and has taken numerous workshops).

If you’re looking for someone to help you identify and reach your writing goals, Leigh Stein delivers.
— Maggie Levine

interested in learning more?

If you’re interested in learning more about my coaching and editorial services, please fill out the form below.

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