Photos by Fritz Liedtke
I serve writers as an editor, consultant, coach, and brainstormer
— celebrating and cultivating creativity, beauty, and excellence.
Work with me
- substantive editing (let’s develop your vision and improve your work);
- writing counsel by phone;
- writing counsel and critique by correspondence;
- writing counsel in person;
- mentorship (regularly scheduled phone conversation or correspondence);
- copy editing and proofreading (let’s polish the finer points).
Follow "My Box of 64"
When I was a kid, I didn’t want any old box of crayons. I wanted the big one — “the box of 64.” It represented creative freedom and explosive potential. All the colors! “My Box of 64”, beginning in 2017, will be an audio journal about creativity, vision, and revision. More importantly, it will be about how art is a path into abundant life.
About JeffreyTen reasons to consult with me on writing and creativity
Illustration by Ken Priebe
- I’m a four-time novelist, an award-winning arts reviewer and memoirist.
- I’m a professor in undergraduate and graduate programs, teaching courses in composition and creative writing at Seattle Pacific University, and film studies courses at Houston Baptist University..
- I have a master’s degree in creative writing (non-fiction).
I speak frequently about writing and creativity at conferences, universities, and churches — and I was the keynote speaker at an educators’ conference in The Netherlands.
- I’ve taught workshops and led seminars on creative writing and film for a decade.
- I have more than a decade’s experience as an editor for university publications.
- My four acclaimed fantasy novels — including Auralia’s Colors and The Ale Boy’s Feast — are published by Random House (WaterBrook Multnomah).
- My moviegoing memoir — Through a Screen Darkly, available from Baker Books — is endorsed by such diverse voices as filmmaker Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange, Sinister), Eugene Peterson (pastor), and Gregory Wolfe (author and publisher). It has become a popular text in university courses on cinema, culture, and faith.
- My award-winning arts writing (reviews, columns, and essays) have been published in Image, Paste, Christianity Today, Books & Culture, and many other magazines and websites, over the last 15 years.
- Pacific Northwest Magazine (a publication of The Seattle Times) published a cover story on my film criticism, and my work has been recognized in The New Yorker.
To browse a selected list of my publications, download my CV.
I hope you’ll find that we have good reasons to work together on your own creative writing.
I look forward to meeting you!
Services & Rates
I would love to help you improve your work. Review the possibilities listed below and contact me if you have questions. We might even custom-design an exchange particular to your needs.
My availability as an editor will vary based on my writing and teaching schedules month to month.
In the rates quoted below, a “page” represents the industry standard of 250 words.
Substantive editing & summary thoughts
Would you like me to produce an in-depth, paragraph-by-paragraph commentary on your writing? I would be glad to offer you some thorough substantive editing.
My responses would include
- revision-focused questions,
- a critique of the story,
- comments on style, grammar, word choice, continuity, etc., and
- a letter summarizing strengths, weaknesses, and recommendations.
Email me with a 2- to 4-page sample of your writing and we’ll discuss possibilities.
If you want a sample of the kind of edits you would receive, I may be willing to send you one page of work for free.
I charge writers for a minimum of half an hour of work. Beyond that, I charge by 30-minute increments.
$50 – $75 an hour (editing 3–5 pages an hour)
depending on the strength of the sample.
Would you like me to read some of your work and respond with a 1,000- to 1,500-word letter of reactions, responses, critique, questions, and counsel?
$200 for a review of 5-10 pages of your writing (2-4 working hours).
$300 for a review of 11-20 pages of your writing.
Consultation phone call
Would you like to brainstorm with me about your book idea? Want to break through a spot in your writing where you feel stuck? Need inspiring recommendations for your reading? Do you want to pick my brain regarding my experiences as a writer of fiction, creative nonfiction, and the teaching of creative writing? Feeling frustrated with the writing life? Need some encouragement based on experience?
I’m open to all kinds of conversation. Email me and tell me what you’d like to discuss.
$200 for the first 60 minutes
$60 for each additional hour ($1 per minute)
Would you like to meet regularly by phone, Skype, email, or even in-person to talk about your writing? I can offer attentive listening, counsel, critique, craft exercises and assignments. We might work together toward the completion of a short story or an essay, if that interests you.
Email me and let’s discuss possible calendars for phone conversations and/or correspondence. We could connect once a week, once a month, three times a year, or some other mutually convenient program. And hey, if we have fun, this could be a lasting partnership.
Rates for this vary widely, depending on the frequency of meetings, the needs of the client, and the nature of the work. Typically, I’d charge $60 to $150 per hour.
Just looking for some good copyediting of your work?
I work with Spine-Line Editing to provide these services. My wife Anne is an accomplished and certified freelance editor, so Spine-Line Editing happens under my own roof.
See SpineLineEditing.com for information and rates.
Write with me
Would you like to co-write a short story?
Here’s how this goes:
- You send me a pitch for a story. If I’m hooked, we continue. (I might want to correspond a bit first, exploring possible variations on your idea.)
- You send me a draft of 1,500–7,000 words.
- I engage in some kind of revision (which may involve substantial rewriting) and send it back to you.
- Then you can do what you like: Publish it on your blog, submit it to a contest, read it to your friends, or turn it in to a literary journal. The rights belong to you. Any monetary gain from the story beyond our initial contract is yours. One condition: It is published under your name, followed by “with Jeffrey Overstreet.”
$2,500 (flat fee)
TestimonialsHere's what people are saying about me
“Jeffrey’s humor and collaborative tone have made me feel less like a client and more like a co-conspirator. In his first round of comments he expressed excitement and curiosity about my story, nailed all my pet weaknesses and bad habits, made me laugh, and gave me specific tools to help as I move forward. It was a thrill to hear him read bits of my story back to me in his video comments, and a relief to receive his mentorship when I hit my first wall. This is my first serious attempt at revision and he knew I felt some angst about this, but while I anticipate some hard work ahead he’s left me feeling that this scary new venture is something I can do and even enjoy doing.”Laure
“When I first had an idea for a project that might turn into a book, I wanted to discuss it with someone who I trust and whose opinions I respect. I reached out to Jeffrey. We talked for 45 minutes on the phone about my tiny seed of an idea. Jeffrey provided very helpful feedback and encouragement. I appreciate his thoughts about various directions I can go as I start this project, and I look forward to checking in with him again in the future after things start to take shape.”Charlotte
“… [T]he spirit of the Inklings is alive and well and at least one living writer could have held his own at their table!”Dick Staub
“In Auralia’s Colors, Overstreet masterfully extends the borders of imagination.”Gina Ochsner
“Overstreet’s writing is precise and beautiful, and the story is masterfully told.”Publisher's Weekly
“As a first time fiction author, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of professional editing and publishing. Jeffrey has been a pleasure to work with and has made the entire editing process enjoyable; something I was not expecting. His exceptional feedback really elevated my manuscript to a higher level. His edits and more substantive suggestions provided me with creative ideas for improving my narration, character conversations, and even incorporating new scenes that will take the reader through a more relatable and exciting journey. Further, his understanding of what publishers are looking for is invaluable as I move on to the next stage of the publication process.”Julianne
“Jeffrey is … one of my favorite film critics. He writes with great lucidity and compassion about all sorts of movies, from all sorts of angles, but what I value most about his work is the theological-moral perspective he takes on things. He’s not a dogmatic scold, sifting through popular art looking for work that fits a rigid world view; he’s more interested in Looking Closer, as his blog title suggests, to discover what, if anything, the work is saying.”Matt Zoller Seitz
“Jeffrey Overstreet is a trespasser. He’s constantly moving outside of the borders of what church and culture deem to be ironclad, eternal categories (sacred vs. profane, high culture vs. popular culture) — and he has a knack for bringing people along with him. His passport? The imagination. In his writing on film, he has used the mighty megaphone of Christianity Today to challenge its readers to take a more mature, holistic approach to film. His film criticism doesn’t count swear words or anatomical parts; rather, it speaks of beauty, paradox, and what it means to be human. Overstreet has pursued this vocation with such integrity and forcefulness that the secular media have picked up on it — precisely because he dares to trespass against the arbitrary categories of what is deemed ‘religious’ and what is considered ‘public.’ He brings this spirit of freedom to all that he does, from his many illuminating posts on various online message boards to his writing for Seattle Pacific University’s publications to his newest venture: fantasy novels. Even there he’s crossing boundaries, bringing a more literary sensibility to a genre that’s often mere swords and sorcery. When you trespass with Jeffrey Overstreet, you don’t have to ask for forgiveness.”Image