II - July 21–August 7, 2020
Students should come in with an idea for a novel, or a novel currently in progress that they are looking to receive feedback on. Prior workshop experience is preferred but not required.
“It pushed me to really examine and improve my writing.” — From a program course evaluation
Whether you are interested in writing literary fiction, young adult, fantasy, sci-fi, or mystery, certain truths about crafting a novel hold true across genres. This course is designed to teach students the ins-and-outs of novel writing, from conception to outlining to the writing itself. We focus on how to structure a novel as well as establishing conflict, world-building, character work, pacing, and how to create an effective scene.
Course participants share their writing in a workshop setting and receive in-depth feedback from both their peers and the instructor. By the end of the three weeks, they will have completed an original outline and the first three chapters of their novel. They leave with a greater understanding of what it means to craft a long-form work of fiction—and having become stronger and more confident in their overall writing skills.
Applicants must submit one or two writing samples, 5-10 pages total (longer submissions are acceptable), and one paragraph summarizing an original novel idea (this can be a new concept or something you have already been working on).
Courses in creative writing are offered in conjunction with the Writing Program at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Overseen by Chair of Creative Writing Timothy Donnelly, Professor Alan Ziegler, and Director of Creative Writing for Pre-College Programs Christina Rumpf, the creative writing courses are designed to challenge and engage students interested in literary creation, providing them with a substantial foundation for further exploration of their creative work.
Rachel Carter is the author of the So Close to You series with HarperTeen. She attended the University of Vermont and Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction creative writing. She has taught at Columbia University, Champlain College, and Southern New Hampshire University, and her nonfiction has appeared in The New Republic, The Faster Times, and Booktrib. She currently lives in Brooklyn and is a Visiting Professor of creative writing at Montclair State University.
Hilary Leichter's writing has appeared in Conjunctions, n+1, The New Yorker, Bookforum, American Short Fiction, The Southern Review, and New York Magazine's The Cut. She has been awarded fellowships from the Folger Shakespeare Library and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her debut novel, Temporary, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press/Emily Books in March 2020.
Anya Yurchyshyn is the author of the memoir My Dead Parents and of numerous works of short fiction. Her writing has appeared in Esquire, Granta, Oprah Magazine, N+1, BuzzFeed, Lenny, Bustle, Refinery29, Mod Art, Guernica, and elimae; she is a frequent contributor to NOON. Her story “The Director” was included in Best Small Fictions of 2015. She holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and has received fellowships from Columbia and from the MacDowell Colony.