About the Fiction Concentration


The Fiction concentration prides itself on its standards of excellence, its commitment to our students and its artistic and aesthetic diversity. Adhering to any particular school of writing would be antithetical to our mission as well as impossible given the multiformity of writers on our faculty: Paul Beatty, Nicholas Christopher, Deborah Eisenberg, Richard Ford, Heidi Julavits, Binnie Kirshenbaum, Victor Lavalle, Sam Lipsyte, Ben Marcus, Ben Metcalf, Orhan Pamuk, Elissa Schappell and Gary Shteyngart. Our adjunct faculty boasts such writers as Mia Alvar, Tash Aw, James Canon, Angela Flournoy, Rivka Galchen, Rebecca Godfrey, Hari Kunzru, Paul LaFarge, James Lasdun, Maureen Howard, Rob Spillman, Sadie Stein, Darcy Steinke, Lara Vapnyar, Adam Wilson and James Wood among others. Our adjunct faculty also includes editors from Random House, FSG, Grove, The Paris Review and Tin House. These brilliant writers and editors are equally brilliant teachers who work closely with their students to help them develop their own voices, styles and form, to make the work better. At the same time, students are encouraged to take risks, to push beyond the known and try something new to that particular student. In addition to workshops, students take seminars that are designed specifically for reading as writers. The depth and breadth of the seminars are astounding and exciting. To study Fiction at Columbia is transformative.


The Fiction concentration is exciting for a myriad of reasons: the illustrious writers and editors on faculty, the scope of artistic diversity, the variety of course offerings, the intensity of rigor and the relaxed collegiality. But what is truly incomparable is the depth of attention given to each student’s work, and the depth of commitment expected from the student in return.

Binnie Kirshenbaum, Fiction Concentration Director

Fiction News

Several Columbians Named to Granta List of Best Young Novelists

The literary magazine Granta has published its decennial list of the best young American novelists. The list, which includes 21 fiction writers under the age of 40, among them, five Columbia affiliates—alumni Jesse Ball '04, Emma Cline ’13, Dinaw Mengestu&nbsp

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Mai Der Vang's Afterland Released by Graywolf Press

Graywolf Press has published Afterland, the debut poetry collection by alumna Mai Der Vang ’14. The publication of the book is part of Vang’s 2016 Walt Whitman Award, which she received last spring.

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Crystal Hana Kim '14 Wins PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers

Writing Program alumna Crystal Hana Kim ‘14 has won a 2017 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers.

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