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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Upcoming Events

Stay tuned for Fall 2018 Events!

Writing News

Alumni Longlisted for 2018 Best Translated Book Award

Alumni Longlisted for 2018 Best Translated Book Award

Katrine Øgaard Jensen '17 and Liz Clark Wessel '12 have been longlisted for the 2018 Best Translated Book Award in fiction and poetry, respectively. 

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Five Faculty Members Recognized by LA Times Book Prize, Two Winners

Five Faculty Members Recognized by LA Times Book Prize, Two Winners

This year, five Writing Faculty members have been recognized by the prestigious Los Angeles Times Book Prize, 2 won awards and 3 were long-listed. 

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Current Student Daphne Palasi Andreades Receives Support for Novella, 'Brown Girls'

Current Student Daphne Palasi Andreades Receives Support for Novella, 'Brown Girls'

Current Writing student Daphne Palasi Andreades has been awarded fellowships and residencies to continue work on her novella, Brown Girls, which she started at Columbia.  

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Writing Roundup: Week of May 2, 2018

Writing Roundup: Week of May 2, 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.​   Michele Herman ’85

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Sarah Perry '13 Wins Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award

Sarah Perry '13 Wins Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award

The Publishing Triangle announced Sarah Perry '13 as the winner of the Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award for her memoir, After the Eclipse: A Mother's Murder, a Daughter's Search.  

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Writing Roundup: Week of April 18, 2018

Writing Roundup: Week of April 18, 2018

Over the past couple of weeks, Writing Program Students, Faculty and Alumni have been busy publishing new work. Read more in our biweekly roundup.​

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