‘Fantastical’ Fiction

Ohio Wesleyan Instructor Earns Praise for His Latest Short-Story Collection

By Cole Hatcher

Jeffrey Ford

DELAWARE, Ohio – His latest book, “The Best of Jeffrey Ford,” is earning praise as one of the year’s best science fiction and fantasy offerings, but the Ohio Wesleyan University part-time instructor isn’t resting on his laurels.

The acclaimed author of 11 novels, seven short-story collections, and hundreds and hundreds of individual stories and essays currently is working to complete a new story collection, which includes editing every day and penning three new pieces.

“After that,” Ford says, I’m excited to start a new novel.”

Does he have a process for his prolific outpouring of new material, which has earned him World Fantasy, Nebula, Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe, Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, and Hayakawa awards?

“I do,” says Ford, who began teaching composition classes at Ohio Wesleyan in 2013. “But it’s different for each story or novel, and I can only tell you about it in the past tense. When the piece is finished, then I realize what that process was. I don’t take notes or make outlines. I keep it all in my head, so it’s constantly mixing and bubbling together.”

The book jacket of Jeffrey Ford’s new ‘Best of’ book features art by his son, noted fantastic-genre artist Derek Ford. (Image courtesy of PS Publishing)

Ford’s latest recognition is inclusion in a recent Washington Post article featuring other writers in the genre selecting their favorites books, so far, for 2020.

In choosing “The Best of Jeffrey Ford,” writer Lavie Tidhar called Ford’s 562-page tome “the definitive collection by this modern master of the fantastical short story. It’s worth it for ‘Daltharee’ alone, a story I adore, about a strange city in a bottle.”

Ford takes the acclaim with his usual sense of aplomb, calling Tidhar’s praise “a bright moment amid solitude and toil of writing. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.”

At Ohio Wesleyan, Ford teaches English 105, the College Writing Seminar. The class focuses on writing as a tool for learning and communicating, and it helps students learn to write at the caliber required for their college classes.

Read more about Ford on his website at www.well-builtcity.com. Read more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of English at www.owu.edu/English.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at owu.edu.