Leigh Stein is proof that we write because we must. And when you answer that call, Leigh helps the words arrive and find the best place on the page. 
— Cynthia Manick, author of Blue Hallelujahs, which was workshopped in Leigh's "Your Turn Now" class


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.

In a coaching relationship, we talk once a week, by phone or online video chat, for 30 minutes. My fee is $750 for twelve weeks (can be paid in installments)

I currently have availability for new clients to start the week of January 8, 2018. 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!


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.

You should hire me if: you are struggling with chronology and structure in your memoir, you need help organizing and structuring your poetry collection, you'd like to improve the pacing in your novel, you're stuck on solving a particular problem that you're aware the book has, you'd like feedback on a certain number of pages of your work-in-progress before completing an entire first draft

You should not hire me if: this is a first draft that no one else has read yet (I highly recommend signing up for a writing class or workshop if you don't already have a writing partner or community you can trade pages with!)

My rates are:

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

$600 per 100 pages* of prose (so a 300-page book would be $1800)

* 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


Memoir writing at the 92Y (New York City)

Spring workshop will be April—May, 2018 (registration is not yet open)

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.