“The teachers were very friendly and knowledgeable and workshops were always constructive and informative.” – Ethan F. | Novato, California
For students who seek intensive experience with the writing of fiction. Students explore diverse styles of and approaches to fiction, and learn essential skills for writing their own short stories and novels. They participate in rigorous daily workshops and discussions on craft, as well as one-on-one teacher conferences.
Applicants must submit two writing samples, 5-10 pages total (longer submissions are acceptable). Prior workshop experience is preferred.
Students may choose an optional elective as a supplement to the three required daily class meetings. Please note that participation in an elective will prevent students from partaking in most other midday activities
Comedy Writing: Students spend class time reading, writing, and performing comedy.
Genre Fiction: Students spend class time reading and writing different types of genre fiction, including science fiction, horror, crime, fantasy, and mystery.
Journalism: Students produce a news blog, including but not limited to campus and neighborhood news, book/music/art/restaurant reviews, interviews/profiles, and op-eds.
Publishing House: Students work as editors to create their own literary magazine, which is published at the end of the program.
Write What You Don’t Know: Students read authors who have perfected the art of writing in persona; exercises are designed to help students practice writing from points of view that are distinctly not their own.
Exquisite Corpse: Students wishing to focus more on poetry read a wide and stimulating selection of poems, and work toward finishing a chapbook at the end of the program.
Independent Project: Students complete an additional writing project and take part in extra conferences.
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.
Madelaine Lucas is an Australian writer and musician based in Brooklyn, NY. She studies in the fiction MFA program at Columbia University and is currently at work on a collection of inter-linked short stories. She is also the associate editor of the literary annual NOON.