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.more
Current student Antoinette Bumekpor at TEDx Columbia University
Stay tuned for Fall 2018 Events!
Interview: Kelli Trapnell '14, Winner of 2018 NYFA Fiction Fellowship
Alumna Kelli Trapnell '14 has been named a 2018 Fiction Fellow by the New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA) and New York Fine Arts (NYFA).read more
Debut Book By Alumna Hope Ewing '13 Explores Women & Gender Non-Conformists Working in the Alcohol Industry
Alumna Hope Ewing '13 will publish her nonfiction book, Movers and Shakers: Women Making Waves in Spirits, Beer, and Wine on October 9th, 2018 through Unnamed Press.read more
David Gordon '06 Publishes Third Novel, 'The Bouncer', to Critical Acclaim
Alumnus David Gordon '06 (GS '91) released his third novel, The Bouncer, through Mysterious Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic this week.read more
Erika Luckert ‘16 Finalist for Berkshire Prize
Alumna Erika Luckert’s '16 manuscript, Prepared Ground, was a finalist for Tupelo Press' 2018 Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book of Poetry. The prize was judged by the renowned poet, Carl Phillips, author of books such as Silverchest: Poems and Double Shadow.read more
Devi Laskar '96 to Publish Debut Novel, "The Atlas of Reds and Blues"
Alumna Devi Laskar’s '96 debut novel, The Atlas of Reds and Blues, will be published February 2019 by Counterpoint Press.read more
Alumnus Aaron Poochigan '16 & Professor Anne Bogart Work on 'The Bacchae'
Writing Alumnus Aaron Poochigan '16 has been commissioned to translate Euripides’ play, The Bacchae, into verse. The show is directed by Theatre Professor and Directing Concentration Head Anne Bogart.read more