Timothy Donnelly's poetry workshop
Photo by Joel Jares

Writing MFA:
Required Creative Materials

Writing applicants must specify a concentration in Fiction, Nonfiction, or Poetry.

All manuscripts (except in poetry) must be double-spaced. Creative materials should be in a 12-point font.


ALL applicants MUST submit the following:

1. Essay: No more than 1,000 words, applicants should provide a response to a work of literature in their concentration written and published within the past ten years.

2. Personal Statement: No more than two double-spaced pages. (Tell us, briefly, what you hope to get from the Writing Program; what you have read lately that has been especially illuminating to you as a writer; and what you are currently working on.)


Applicants must ALSO submit materials for the concentration they specify, as outlined below:

Fiction: No more than 25 double-spaced pages--one or several stories, a portion of a novel, or a combination. If submitting a novel excerpt, please attach a brief plot synopsis.

Nonfiction: No more than thirty double-spaced pages of nonfiction of literary quality--one or a combination of works of memoir, personal essay, opinion, reportage, biography, and/or criticism. Academic papers are acceptable though not encouraged; the faculty committee will evaluate them on the basis of literary skill rather than scholarly excellence per se.

Poetry: No more than ten single-spaced pages of poetry, with no more than one poem per page.
 
Literary Translation at Columbia, a part of the MFA in Writing Program, offers students the chance to pursue a joint course of study in writing and translation. Students may mention their interest in the joint course of study in their admissions statement but they don't have to formally declare their commitment to completing it until the end of their first semester in the MFA program.
 
 
The above is only a list of Creative Material requirements. You must also submit your Application, Undergraduate Transcript, three Letters of Recommendation and Application Fee. Please see the Apply page for all information.