Photography by Trey Burnette

Leanne Phillips is a professional writer, book coach, and editor specializing in creative work and legal editing. She works with writers of literary, upmarket, commercial, and young adult fiction, as well as writers of memoir and essays. Leanne has 30+ years 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 realist fiction, historical fiction, and genre fiction, including science fiction, speculative 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.
  • Associate of Science degree in Paralegal (ABA-approved program), College of the Sequoias.
  • Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Studies, Cuesta College.
  • University of California at San Diego Extension Copyediting Certificate (graduating June 2022)
  • Author Accelerator Book Coaching Certification (currently completing certification requirements, anticipate certification summer 2022)
  • Continuing Education: Leanne continues her writing, book coaching, editing, and legal education through UC Riverside Palm Desert residency lectures and learning opportunities as an alum; through various online lectures, courses, and workshops; through ABA-approved CLE courses in the law; and through completing writing masterclasses with writers like Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, Judy Blume, and Walter Mosley.


Leanne’s undergraduate English literature studies included women’s fiction, the fiction of fallen women, text-image interaction in literature, and the novels of Jane Austen. Her history minor research included the history of science fiction and the history of witch hunts.

  • Fiction Editor at Kelp Journal
  • Books Editor at GXRL.
  • Former Multimedia Editor, Books Editor, and Lead Copyeditor for The Coachella Review
  • Former Fiction and Poetry Editor for Byzantium.
  • 30+ years as a paralegal, with experience in civil litigation, criminal law, and family 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

  • The Chicago Manual of Style (prose editing)
  • California Style Manual (legal editing)
  • Garner’s Modern English Usage

Professional Affiliations

  • ACES: The Society for Editing.
  • EFA (Editorial Freelancers Association).
  • SD/PEN (San Diego Professional Editors Network).
  • SLO NightWriters.
  • Central Coast Paralegal Association.