Columbia university creative writing fellowship

Senior Showcase Reading

New York City is as vibrant as ever, home to writers from all over the world, and Columbia's literary legacy continues unabated. Home now to a top-ranked graduate MFA program in creative writing, an undergraduate program that allows students to pursue their craft under the diligent supervision of a world-class faculty, the Columbia literary experience includes rigorous writing workshops at all levels in fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, dramatic writing, and screenwriting, and seminars designed exclusively for creative writing students.

Student writers not only have access to these provocative and rigorous courses, but they also can partake in the larger offerings of Columbia's thriving School of the Arts : the readings, lectures, performances, and plays that bring together the world's most gifted artists and writers, who come to Columbia to test their vision and explore the enormous power of literary art. While students develop and hone their literary technique in workshops, the creative writing seminars which explore literary technique as well as history broaden their sense of possibility by exposing them to the various ways, historically, that language has been used to make art.

As a supplement to the workshops and seminars, related courses for the major can be drawn from departments such as English, Comp.

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Lit, Philosophy, History, and Anthropology, among others. Students will determine, in consultation with their faculty advisors, the related courses that will best inform their creative work. The writing workshop is the core element in the practice of creative writing, and it should be a selective and highly rigorous course.


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Students in the workshop produce original works of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, and submit them to their classmates and professor for a close critical analysis. Workshop critiques which include a detailed written report, as well as thorough line-edits assess the mechanics and merits of the piece of writing, while individual conferences with the professor distill the various critiques into a direct plan of action to improve the work.

A student writer develops by practicing the craft under the diligent critical attention of his or her peers and professor. This dynamic is meant to continually assist the student writer toward new levels of creative endeavor. The creative writing seminars are modeled on the courses offered by the graduate Writing Division of The School of the Arts, and provide the intellectual ballast that informs and deepens the work of the creative writing student.

What My Creative Writing Major was Like

Students in the creative writing seminars read a book each week and engage in round-table discussions about the artistic attributes of the texts, in order to better understand how literature might be made. By engaging in a deep analysis of outstanding and diverse works of literature, the creative writer can build the resources necessary to produce his or her own accomplished creative work.

Creative Writing Faculty

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 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.

First year and beyond

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. New seminars, lectures and master classes are created every year. Wendy S. Her lyrical work with composer Derek Bermel has been performed widely.

Lenfest Center for the Arts, W.

Combining a decade of historical research with political analysis, Harris creates a moving portrait of one of the most complicated and controversial conflicts of our time.