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


Alumna Anissa Bouziane Presents Her First Novel at Columbia Global Centers | Paris
updated March 2017

Anissa Bouziane ‘96, a Writing Program alumna, has published her debut novel, Dune Song. While the book was originally written in English, it is first being published in Morocco in a French translation (the title in French is Le Chant de la dune).
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Clarence Coo Clarence Coo Receives Whiting Award
updated March 2017

Clarence Coo '10, a School of the Arts Theatre Program alumnus and current Manager of Academic Administration for the Writing Program, has received a Whiting Award, one of the most prestigious awards for emerging writers, for his work as a playwright.
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Writing Alumna Basu’s Debut Novel Optioned for TV
updated March 2017

Deadline reported that The Windfall, the forthcoming debut novel by Writing Program alumna Diksha Basu ’14, has been optioned for television by Paramount TV and Anonymous Content.
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Two Writing Program Alumni to Judge the 2017 National Book Awards
updated March 2017

Writing Program alumni Gregory Pardlo ‘16 and Karolina Waclawiak ‘10 have been announced as two of the judges of the 2017 National Book Awards. Pardlo, who won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, will judge in the Poetry category alongside poets Nick Flynn, Jane Mead, Richard Siken, and Monica Youn.
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Writing Roundup: March 6, 2017
updated March 2017

Over the past couple of weeks, Writing Program alumni, faculty, and current students have been busy publishing new work and, in the case of one alumnus, winning a PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing. Read more in our biweekly roundup of news about Columbia writers.
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Student Group Spotlight: IAC
updated March 2017

Periodically, we’ll be spotlighting various student organizations within Columbia’s School of the Arts. For this edition, we spoke with the Interdisciplinary Arts Council (IAC), a group that advocates on behalf of the entire School of the Arts body, provides funding...
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Victor LaValle Nominated for Nebula and Bram Stoker Awards
updated March 2017

Victor LaValle, an associate professor in the Writing Program, has been nominated for both a 2016 Nebula Award and 2016 Bram Stoker Award for his novel The Ballad of Black Tom.
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Several Columbia Affiliates Nominated for L.A. Times Book Prizes
updated February 2017

Several Writing Program affiliates have been named finalists for the 2017 L.A. Times Book Prizes. They include alumni Emma Cline ‘13, Idra Novey ‘07, and Rebecca Schiff ‘09 and adjunct professor Tash Aw.
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Victor LaValle to Publish Frankenstein-Inspired Comics Series
updated February 2017

Boom! Studios, a publisher of comics and graphic novels, announced that Victor LaValle ‘98, an alumna and faculty member of the Writing Program, will write a new monthly comic series, Destroyer. He will collaborate on the project with artist Dietrich Smith.
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Student Group Spotlight: CA/T (Columbia Artists/Teachers)
updated February 2017

Periodically, we’ll be spotlighting various student organizations within Columbia’s graduate Writing Program. For this edition, we spoke with CA/T, a group that enables students in the Writing Program to teach writing classes in local high schools, at Columbia, and beyond.
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Writing Roundup: February 13, 2017
updated February 2017

Over the past couple of weeks, School of the Arts alumni, faculty, and current students have been busy publishing stories, poems, essays and, in the case of one adjunct faculty member, a new book.

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

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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.