The Writing Program

Columbia MFA in Writing - Overview

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:

April 10

Creative Writing Lecture: Elizabeth McCracken

Room 501, Dodge Hall 7:00 PM

Series organized by Ben Marcus, Writing Elizabeth McCracken is the author of six books: Here's Your Hat What's Your Hurry, The Giant's House, Niagara Falls All Over Again, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, Thunderstruck & Other Stories, and most recently, Bowlaway (February 2019). This event is free and open to the public. No RSVP is required; it is first come, first served. Also, please note that doors will open to Columbia Writing students at 6:30pm, and will then open to the general public at 6:45pm, so we do encourage guests to arrive early in order to ensure seating.


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April 11

Talking Translation with Margaret Jull Costa and Ana Luísa Amaral

413 Dodge Hall
2960 Broadway
New York, NY 10027 7:00 PM

Organized by Susan Bernofsky, Literary Translation at Columbia, Writing Ana Luísa Amaral has published over thirty books of poetry, a play, a novel, essays, and several books for children. She was translated into over twenty languages and published in several countries. She herself has translated the poetry of Emily Dickinson, William Shakespeare or John Updike. Margaret Jull Costa has been a literary translator for over thirty years and has translated works by novelists such as Eça de Queiroz, José Saramago and Javier Marías, as well as the poetry of Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, Ana Luísa Amaral and Fernando Pessoa.


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Writing News:

Alumna Jennifer Sears '05 Wins 2018 NEA Fellowship

Writing alumna Jennifer Sears '05 received a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Prose and a 2018 Artists Fellowship in Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).

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Alumna Ari Braverman '17 Has Debut Novel Forthcoming

Alumna Ari Braverman '17 Has Debut Novel Forthcoming

Fiction alumna Ari Braverman '17 announces that her first book, The Ballad of Big Feeling, acquired by Melville House, is forthcoming.

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Writing Roundup: Week February 24, 2019

Writing Roundup: Week February 24, 2019

Over the past couple of weeks, Writing students, faculty and alumni have been busy publishing new work. Read more in our weekly roundup.  

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Professor Susan Bernofsky Awarded 2019 Friedrich Ulfers Prize

Professor Susan Bernofsky Awarded 2019 Friedrich Ulfers Prize

Translator and professor Susan Bernofsky was announced as the 2019 winner of the Ulfers Prize.

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