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

PRIVATE COACHING

Writers at all stages of their careers experience periods of self-doubt, fraudy feelings, insatiable craving for validation, and loops of negative self-talk. We wrestle with time management, procrastination, and resisting the siren call of the Internet. On top of all this, memoirists and essayists have the unique pleasure of transforming their most painful experiences into pages that will resonate with complete strangers.

As a writing coach, I can help you work through the obstacles standing between you and your best work, stay accountable to your specific writing goals, and reconnect with the spark that made you fall in love with writing in the first place.

I work with my private clients in one of two ways:

  • We talk every week by phone or online video chat, for 45 minutes, about the writing process. I listen to where you're at, help you troubleshoot, and hold you accountable to your writing goals. Manuscript critique is available for an additional fee.
  • We talk once every other week by phone or online video chat, for 45 minutes, and I also read and critique 10 pages of new writing before our call. This way, you are getting regular feedback on both your process and what you're producing.

As of February 2018, my private coaching fee is $1500 for twelve weeks (can be paid in three installments)

If you are interested in learning more, please fill out the short form below and I'll schedule a complimentary call with you to see if it's a good fit!

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.

MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE

I offer manuscript critique for writers who are serious about finishing and publishing their books. As the author of a memoir, a novel, a poetry collection, and numerous essays in major publications, I bring experience in multiple genres, plus a decade of experience in the publishing and media industries.

With my critiques, I offer both micro- and macro-level suggestions. You'll get comments and edits from me on every page, plus big-picture feedback on structure, plot, voice, point of view and narrative distance, themes, language, scenes and dialogue, characters, and pacing. I will tell you what I love about your work and I will also give my suggestions for next steps, depending on what your specific goal is.

As of February 2018, my rates are:

$500 for full-length poetry collection (up to 80 pages)

$7.50 a page* for prose, with 100 page minimum engagement (minimum is waived for private coaching clients)

* Pages must be standard format: double-spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman, 1 inch margins

If you are interested in learning more, please fill out the short form below and I'll schedule a complimentary call with you to see if it's a good fit!

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Not only is Leigh a sympathetic reader, an excellent and super fast editor, but she also has great ideas about where your work could find a good home and shine there. She is happy to give you the benefit of her vast contemporary reading and enormous network of fellow writers. I learned more from her in 9 months than from all my previous teachers.
— Julie Hart

IN-PERSON WORKSHOPS

Memoir writing at the 92Y (New York City)

Spring workshop will be April—May, 2018
Register now

Steve Almond has said, "write about what you can't get rid of by other means." The memoir is a genre driven by obsession: what happened (how could that have happened), what was said, what was lost, what was broken, what was mended. This class is for writers who are haunted by a true story they feel compelled to tell. In this workshop, we'll learn strategies for telling that story, by playing with chronology and structure, balancing the voice of wisdom and hindsight with the voice of innocence, and writing vivid scenes that capture another time and place. The workshop will include assigned reading, writing exercises, and discussion of student work. 

I'll be on the faculty at the next Pawleys Island Writers' Conference in South Carolina. Details and registration info here!

I'll be on the faculty at the next Pawleys Island Writers' Conference in South Carolina. Details and registration info here!

Are you a writer who has trouble overcoming doubts, staying focused, and producing your best work? Sign up for my weekly newsletter where I share my best tips for being more productive, silencing your inner saboteur, and finishing the book that could change your life (you know what it is!).

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