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

September 26

Nonfiction Dialogues: Peter Godwin

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

In conversation with Lis Harris, Writing Peter Godwin is the author of six non-fiction books: 'Rhodesians Never Die' - The Impact of War and Political Change on White Rhodesia c.1970 - 1980 (with Ian Hancock), Wild at Heart: Man and Beast in Southern Africa (with photos by Chris Johns and foreword by Nelson Mandela), The Three of Us - a New Life in New York (with Joanna Coles), Mukiwa, which received the George Orwell prize and the Esquire-Apple-Waterstones award, and When a Crocodile Eats the Sun - a Memoir of Africa, which won the Borders Original Voices Award.


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October 3

A Tribute to Lucie Brock-Broido

Miller Theatre
2960 Broadway
New York, NY 10027 6:30 PM

Lucie Brock-Broido served as the Director of Poetry in the Writing Program of the School of the Arts from 1993 until her death on March 6, 2018. Widely acclaimed in the United States and abroad as one of the most distinctive and influential poets of her generation, Brock-Broido published three further collections with Knopf, namely The Master Letters (1995), Trouble in Mind (2004) and Stay, Illusion (2013), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Books Critics Circle Award. With Mary Jo Bang, Sophie Cabot Black, Henri Cole, Timothy Donnelly, Emily Fragos, Harmony Holiday, Marie Howe, Binnie Kirshenbaum, Dorothea Lasky, Robert Polito, Srikanth Reddy, Tracy K. Smith, and Kevin Young


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Writing News

Alumnus Christopher Kondrich '08 Wins National Poetry Series

Alumnus Christopher Kondrich '08 Wins National Poetry Series

Writing alumnus Christopher Kondrich '08 has had his second collection of poetry, Valuing, selected by Jericho Brown as a winner of the National Poetry Series.

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Jenessa Abrams ‘17 Wins Second Place in 2018 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

Jenessa Abrams ‘17 Wins Second Place in 2018 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

Alumna Jenessa Abrams ‘17, who concentrated in Fiction and Literary Translation at Columbia, won second place in the 2018 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest for her story Explain It To Me.

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Alumni Laura Romeyn '14 and Catherine Pond '13 Winners of Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship

Poetry alumni Laura Romeyn '14 and Catherine Pond '13 were recently named winners of the Poetry Society of America’s prestigious Chapbook Fellowship.

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Current Fiction Student Madelaine Lucas Wins 2018 Elizabeth Jolley Story Prize

Current Fiction Student Madelaine Lucas Wins 2018 Elizabeth Jolley Story Prize

Current student Madelaine Lucas won the the Australian Book Review’s prestigious Elizabeth Jolley Story Prize for her short story Ruins.

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Mile Long Opera Featuring Music by Claudia Rankine ‘93 and Singing by Staff Member Rich Dikeman

Mile Long Opera Featuring Music by Claudia Rankine ‘93 and Singing by Staff Member Rich Dikeman

From October 3rd-7th, the High Line will host the Mile Long Opera: a biography of 7 o’clock, a free performance where one thousand singers will sing about the experiences of New Yorkers.

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