Fiction Workshop

This Summer 2014 course is now closed. Please join our mailing list to find out more about our Summer 2015 course offerings.
WRIT S1001 001
3 Points
Session II: July 7 - August 15
T, R 5:30 - 7:40 PM
Instructor: James Hannaham

WRIT S1001 002
3 Points

Session I: May 27 - July 3
T, R 11:00 AM - 1:10 PM
Instructor: Rachel Sherman
WRIT S1001 003
3 Points

Session II: July 7 - August 15
M, W 12:30 - 2:40 PM
Instructor: Elizabeth Gaffney
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
Most summer courses are offered at the standard Continuing Education tuition rate of $1,512 per point ($4,536 for a 3-point course and $9,072 for a six-point intensive). For more detailed information, please see "tuition and fees":

Materials Fee: $20

About the Instructors

James Hannaham’s first novel, God Says No (McSweeney’s), was named an honor book by the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Awards. His short fiction has been published in BOMB, The Literary Review, Open City, JMWW, One Story, Fence, and will appear in Story Quarterly. His criticism and journalism have appeared in The Village Voice, Spin, and, where he was on staff. His second novel, Delicious Foods, will appear from Little, Brown in 2015.
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. Her first book, The First Hurt, was short-listed for the Story Prize and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and was named one of the 25 Books to Remember in 2006 by the New York Public Library. Her first novel, Living Room, was released in 2009, also to broad critical acclaim. She teaches writing at Rutgers and Columbia Universities, and at Lark Cafe. She blogs for the Parenting Section of The Huffington Post.
Elizabeth Gaffney
Elizabeth Gaffney is the author of the novels Metropolis and When the World Was Young and the editor at large of the literary magazine A Public Space. 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.