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


Poet Claudia Rankine '93 is a MacArthur Fellow
updated September 2016

Columbia University School of the Arts Writing Program alumna Claudia Rankine '93 has been named to the 2016 class of MacArthur Foundation Fellows.
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Booker Prize Shortlist Includes Writing Program Faculty Paul Beatty
updated September 2016

Writing program Assistant Professor Paul Beatty’s novel The Sellout (Oneworld) has been shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize.
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Dean Carol Becker Releases New Memoir
updated September 2016

The book is a personal meditation on loss, end-of-life care and spirituality, centered around Becker’s relationship with her dying mother and her attempts to ensure that the 98-year-old’s final moments are dignified and meaningful.
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Taylor Larsen Publishes First Novel, Stranger, Father, Beloved
updated August 2016

Taylor Larsen ’06 recently released her first novel, Stranger, Father, Beloved, published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster.
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Man Booker Longlist 2016 Includes Writing Program Faculty, Alumnus
updated August 2016

The 2016 Man Booker longlist includes School of the Arts faculty and alumni. Writing Program faculty member Paul Beatty was selected for his book, The Sellout (Oneworld). Alumnus David Means '87 was selected for his debut novel, Hystopia (Faber & Faber).
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Writing Program Alumna, Student Awarded 2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants
updated July 2016

Alicia Maria Meier ’15 and current student Amanda Lee Koe have been awarded 2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants, for novels translated from the Catalan and the Chinese.
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Richard Ford Wins Princess of Asturias Award for Literature
updated June 2016

Professor Richard Ford, has been awarded the 2016 Princess of Asturias award for literature. The Spanish award of 50,000 euro honors leaders in the arts as well as in science and the humanities...
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Emma Cline's Debut Novel Published to Much Acclaim
updated June 2016

Emma Cline’s ’13 much-anticipated debut novel, The Girls, has been published to great acclaim. The novel, which follows 14-year-old Evie as she joins a Manson-like cult...
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Martin Pousson Releases Second Novel
updated June 2016

Martin Pousson ‘99 has published his second novel, Black Sheep Boy, with Rare Bird Books. A collection of linked narratives centered around a young queer man coming of age in the Bayou lands of Louisiana...
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Edie Falco, Award-Winning Actress from The Sopranos and Nurse Jackie, Will Address School of the Arts Graduates at Columbia University
updated May 2016

Edie Falco, the award-winning actress best known for her roles in The Sopranos and Nurse Jackie, will be the speaker at the Celebration of Graduates, Wednesday, May 18, 2016.

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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© 2016 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.