Now is the best time in history to be a writer. But only one thing will help your story stand out: professional quality. Whether you're working on your first novel or fifth, revising a memoir, or adapting a screenplay to fiction, you've come to the right place.

I can save you months of frustration by helping you…

  • Decide which story to write
  • Nail your premise line
  • Strengthen your structure 
  • Solve your story problems
  • Hook your reader on the first page
  • Choose your best Point of View
  • Create more character-driven plot 
  • Hold on to the parts you love
  • Apply advanced prose techniques
  • Outline your next draft
  • Hone your query and synopsis

As a private developmental editor and the Novel Consultant for Truby's Writers Studio, I've helped writers shape bestsellers and critical darlings praised by the New York Times and USA Today  to People Magazine and Publishers Weekly.

Over the past twenty-five years, I’ve taught at the Writers Program at UCLA Extension, run private workshops, and coached seminars at national conferences. I contribute essays and how-to articles to magazines and newsletters and serve as a judge for the Women's Fiction Association’s Rising Star competition. My clients come mainly from referrals and agents.

While I have degrees from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the MFA program at Antioch, my knowledge is more than academic. As the award-winning author of seven books, including novels, nonfiction, and memoir, my experience is real. And as an active writer in today's publishing world, I understand your struggle.

Leslie Lehr

How Would You Like to Work?

  • Hourly Consultation

    Are you stuck on a story problem? Torn between ideas? Frustrated with a work-in-progress? Translating the vision in your head into words on the page is harder than it looks. A one-on-one discussion can save you months of struggle. Together, we can shape the story that you want to tell.

  • Novel Jumpstart

    Do you have a story idea, but aren’t sure where to start? A rough draft that could go a number of ways?  A manuscript that went off the rails? Jumpstart the writing process with expert focus on your story and several rounds of feedback. First, we’ll discuss your goals, refine your premise, and examine what you have so far.  Next, I’ll suggest ways to develop your characters to create plot, hit the genre beats, and strengthen the structure. Finally, we'll discuss how to increase the narrative drive, solve prose issues, and outline your next steps. Ultimately, you'll have the tools - and the confidence - to continue on your own.

  • Manuscript Breakdown

    My goal as a developmental editor is to help shape your story to be as strong as possible. This includes both plot and prose techniques that add clarity, depth, and narrative drive. By analyzing what you already have, I can spot opportunities, connect the dots, and prompt solutions that enhance your style. If your manuscript runs too long or too short, I can show you how to reshape it to attract today's readers. A detailed contract will outline the specifics including conversations, an in-depth written report, light line editing, and the one thing most editors do not provide – a potential outline for your final draft. Price is based on word count/estimated hours.

  • Query Letters

    Want to land an agent or indie publisher? Successful query letters are sales tools with a style of their own. Save time and skip the learning curve so you can focus on the important part: the manuscript.