The Writing Program

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 coursework 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.

 

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our beloved Lucie Brock-Broido. As Professor and Director of the Poetry concentration, Lucie was a brilliant guide for generations of students, an esteemed member of the Writing faculty, and a beautiful presence in all of our lives.

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Current student Antoinette Bumekpor at TEDx Columbia University

 

 

Upcoming Events

Stay tuned for Fall 2018 Events!

Writing News

Alumna Mary South '14 Announces Two-book Deal

Alumna Mary South '14 will have two books published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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Interview: Alumnus Aaron Garretson '11 Wins San Diego Public Library's Inaugural Short Story Contest

Interview: Alumnus Aaron Garretson '11 Wins San Diego Public Library's Inaugural Short Story Contest

Alumnus Aaron Garretson '11 figured he’d be an unlikely winner of the San Diego Public Library’s inaugural short story contest after taking an old story and reworking it to fit the word count.

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Alumna Karen Havelin '13 to Publish Debut Novel Dealing with Chronic Illness

Alumna Karen Havelin '13 to Publish Debut Novel Dealing with Chronic Illness

Alumna Karen Havelin ’13 is coming out with her debut novel, Please Read This Leaflet Carefully (Dottir Press, May 2019), which deals with themes such as chronic illness, relationships, motherhood and sexuality.

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Meghan Flaherty '13 Publishes Debut Memoir, 'Tango Lessons,' to Wide Acclaim

Meghan Flaherty '13 Publishes Debut Memoir, 'Tango Lessons,' to Wide Acclaim

Tango Lessons, a debut memoir that has been garnering praise and recognition from a number of outlets and literary voices, written by Alumna Meghan Flaherty '13 was named One of the Most Anticipated Titles of 2018 by The Rumpus.

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Alumna Lauren Wilkinson '13 to Publish Debut Novel 'American Spy'

Alumna Lauren Wilkinson '13 to Publish Debut Novel 'American Spy'

Alumna Lauren Wilkinson '13 is coming out with her debut novel, an espionage thriller about a black female spy who goes undercover in Africa during the Cold War.

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Writing Roundup: Week of June 13, 2018

Writing Roundup: Week of June 13, 2018

Over the past couple of weeks, Writing Program students, faculty and alumni have been busy publishing new work and garnering recognition. Read more in our biweekly roundup.   Phillip Lopate (Faculty)

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