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

November 28

Nonfiction Dialogues: Anne Fadiman

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

In conversation with Lis Harris, Writing Anne Fadiman’s most recent book is The Wine Lover’s Daughter: A Memoir. The Francis Writer-in-Residence at Yale, she is also the author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, which won the National Book Critics’ Circle Award for Nonfiction, and two essay collections, Ex Libris and At Large and At Small. The former editor of The American Scholar, she is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received Yale's Brodhead Prize for Teaching Excellence. 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. writing@columbia.edu


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December 5

Creative Writing Lecture: Samantha Hunt

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

Series organized by Ben Marcus, Writing Samantha Hunt is the author of The Dark Dark, a story collection and three novels; Mr. Splitfoot, a ghost story; The Invention of Everything Else, about the life of Nikola Tesla; and The Seas, winner of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award. Hunt is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. She won the Bard Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner. She teaches at Pratt Institute. 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. writing@columbia.edu


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Writing News

Writing Student Katrin Redfern's Exhibit 'Hazda: The Roots of Equality,' Opens Today

Current student Katrin Redfern is a producer for the exhibit Hadza: The Roots of Equality.

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Debut Book by Alumnus Ian Port '16 Coming in January

Debut Book by Alumnus Ian Port '16 Coming in January

Nonfiction writing alumnus Ian Port '16 has his first book, titled The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll, coming out via Scribner this January.

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Professor and Alumna Sigrid Nunez '75 Wins the National Book Award

Professor and Alumna Sigrid Nunez '75 Wins the National Book Award

Fiction professor and alumna Sigrid Nunez '75 won the 2018 National Book Award in fiction for her latest novel The Friend.

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Writing Roundup: Week of October 28

Writing Roundup: Week of October 28

Over the past couple of weeks, Writing students, faculty and alumni have been busy publishing new work. Read more in our weekly roundup.   Katrin Redfern '19 is a producer for the exhibit Hadza: The Roots of Equality.  

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Katrine Øgaard Jensen Wins 2018 National Translation Award for Poetry

Katrine Øgaard Jensen Wins 2018 National Translation Award for Poetry

Writing and translation alumna Katrine Øgaard Jensen '17 was recently named the winner of the 2018 National Translation Award in Poetry by the American Literary Translators Association for her translation of Third-Millennium Heart from the Danish by poet, Ursula Andkjær Olsen.

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Current Student Erica Stisser Named Winner of William Faulkner Literary Prize

Current Student Erica Stisser Named Winner of William Faulkner Literary Prize

Current student Erica Stisser was named a winner of the 2018 William Faulkner Literary Prize for her short story, “A Vague Recollection.”

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