Writing

The Columbia University MFA Writing Program is highly regarded for its rigorous approach to literary instruction and for its faculty of acclaimed writers and editors who are devoted and dedicated teachers. The faculty, the students, and the curriculum represent and foster a full range of artistic and literary diversity. Students are encouraged to make the most of their own artistic instincts and to realize as fully as possible, beyond any perceived limitations, their potential as writers.
 
At the core of the curriculum is the writing workshop. All workshops are small (7 to 12 students), ensuring that all students present work at least three times per semester. Students receive substantial written responses to their work from their professors and classmates; they also have regularly scheduled one-on-one conferences with faculty. The second-year thesis workshops (6 to 9 students) are dedicated to shaping each student’s work into book form.
 
The Columbia MFA is a two-year program requiring 60 credits of course work to complete the degree and can take up to three years to complete the thesis. Students concentrate in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction, and also have the option of pursuing a joint course of study in writing and literary translation. Most MFA programs require 48 credits or as few as 36 credits, but the Columbia Writing Program considers the study of literature from the practitioner's point of view—reading as a writer—essential to a writer's education. Every semester, students take a workshop and, on average, three craft-oriented seminars and/or lectures designed to illuminate, inform, clarify, augment and inspire each student’s experience and practice as a writer.  New seminars, lectures and master classes are created every year.

News


Alumni Luckert and Nguyen Receive 92Y's Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize
updated April 2017

Two alumni of the Writing Program, Erika Luckert ’16 and Diana Khoi Nguyen ’12, have been announced as winners of the 2017 Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Contest, which is put on jointly by the 92nd Street Y (92Y) and Boston Review.
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School of the Arts Alumni Recieve 2017 Guggenheim Fellowships
updated April 2017

Six School of the Arts alumni have once again received Guggenheim Fellowships this year: Gregory Pardlo ‘16 and Claudia Rankine '93 in Poetry; Brian Seibert '05 in Dance Studies; Antonio Méndez Esparza '08 in Film/Video; and Rogelio Martinez '96 in Drama & Performance.
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School of the Arts Faculty Hilton Als and Lynn Nottage Win 2017 Pulitzer Prizes
updated April 2017

School of the Arts Faculty Members Hilton Als, Associate Professor of Writing, and Lynn Nottage, Associate Professor of Theatre, have been awarded 2017 Pulitzer Prizes in Criticism and Drama, respectively.
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Writing Roundup: April 10, 2017
updated April 2017

Over the past couple of weeks, Writing Program alumni, faculty, and students have been busy publishing new work and, in the case of one affiliate, winning an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award. Read more in our biweekly roundup of news about Columbia writers.
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Translation by Writing Program Professor Susan Bernofsky Longlisted for Three Percent Award
updated April 2017

The award, now in its 10th year, is given out by Three Percent, an online magazine about translation and international literature operated by the University of Rochester, and is awarded to one translated work of fiction and one translated work of poetry.
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Three School of the Arts Affiliates Win American Academy of Arts and Letters Awards
updated April 2017

Two School of the Arts faculty members, Paul Beatty and Lynn Nottage, and an alumnus, Ayad Akhtar ’02, are among the recipients of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Awards, which were announced Thursday.
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Mai Der Vang's Afterland Released by Graywolf Press
updated March 2017

Graywolf Press has published Afterland, the debut poetry collection by alumna Mai Der Vang ’14. The publication of the book is part of Vang’s 2016 Walt Whitman Award, which she received last spring.
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Claudia Rankine Wins Bobbitt Prize for Poetry
updated March 2017

Writing Program alumna Claudia Rankine ’93 has been awarded the 2016 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry for her book Citizen: An American Lyric, which was published in 2014.
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Writing Roundup: March 27, 2017
updated March 2017

Over the past couple of weeks, Writing Program alumni, faculty, students, and staff have been busy publishing new work and, in the case of one affiliate, winning a 2017 Whiting Award. Read more in our biweekly roundup of news about Columbia writers.
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Alumna Crystal Hana Kim Wins PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers
updated March 2017

PEN bestows the award each year on 12 emerging writers who have published a debut work of short fiction in a magazine or on a Website during the previous calendar year. Kim received the award for her story “Solee,” which was published in The Southern Review.
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School of the Arts Alumni Respond to Proposed NEA/NEH Cuts
updated March 2017

Back in January, shortly before Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, multiple outlets including ARTNews and Variety reported that the incoming White House was rumored to be compiling a budget that, in addition to making other cuts, would defund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Writing Program
415 Dodge Hall
Mail Code 1804
2960 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 854-4391
writing@columbia.edu

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© 2017 Columbia University School of the Arts | 305 Dodge Hall, Mail Code 1808 | 2960 Broadway | New York, NY 10027 | (212) 854-2875 | EMAIL
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.