Summer Writing Course | Fiction Workshop

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Session 1 (May 23-July 1), MW, 5:30-7:40
Instructor: Amy Koppelman
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Session 2 (July 5-August 12), TTh, 10AM-12:10PM
Instructor: Rachel Sherman

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Aside from providing the opportunity for students to write fiction, this introductory creative writing course exposes students to a critical vocabulary of the genre, stylistic techniques and forms prevalent within it, as well as readings within, and at the boundaries of, the genre. Students engage in textual analysis, and will learn to locate readings in a larger literary and literary- historical context. Finally they develop a sense of process and revision within the genre.

Every week, in addition to workshopping student fiction, students will read and respond creatively to various questions of form and technique raised by a piece of published fiction that we’ve read and discussed. The professor refers to these assignments as “drills.” These are homework problems designed to help you hone specific skills in fiction writing that we have discussed in class and that have been demonstrated in the reading. These drills are meant as a supplement to the stories you will work on for workshop. The drills are meant to encourage experimentation with craft and form, introduce a variety of technical strategies, test your understanding of these concepts, and help you learn to keep readers engaged.

The readings have been selected not only for their formal qualities, but with an eye toward modeling a global and diverse view of the writing world. The reading list might include a list of writers like this: Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Amy Hempel, Lysley Tenorio, Jorge Luis Borges, John Cheever, Duong Thu Huong, Susan Steinberg, Luisa Valenzuela, Patricia Smith, Dino Buzzati, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Raymond Queneau.

Tuition & Fees
The 2016 rate for current degree seeking students and visiting students is $1630 per point. Students enrolled in postbaccalaureate and certification programs can review tuition and fees here.

Materials Fee: $20
For questions about School of the Arts summer courses, including those concerning admissions, registration, and billing, please contact the School of Professional Studies summer team at, or 212-854-9666. With questions about specific course content, please contact Writing Departmental Representative Dorothea Lasky at

About the Instructors

Amy Koppelman is the author of three critically acclaimed novels, A Mouthful of Air, I Smile Back and Hesitation Wounds.  She received her undergraduate degree from University of Pennsylvania, and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. Koppelman and her screenwriting partner adapted I SMILE BACK for the screen. The film, starring Sarah Silverman, premiered at the 2015 Sundance, Toronto and Deauville Film Festivals. The film was released by Broad Green pictures.  Amy lives in New York City with her family. She is an outspoken advocate for women’s mental health.
Rachel Sherman
Rachel Sherman holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. Her short stories have appeared in McSweeney’s, Fence, Open City, Conjunctions and n+1, among other publications. more
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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.