II - July 21–August 7, 2020
“I have changed as a writer and my confidence in writing has improved.” – Rainna G. | Mumbai, India
This course serves as an exploration of the creative writing process, including idea generation, creation and development of drafts, and basic editing skills. Through frequent and diverse exercises, students develop their use of voice, imagery, characterization, dialogue, and narration. Students work in poetry, prose poetry, drama, and fiction. Works produced by professional writers as well as by students in the class form the basis of discussion in the workshop process.
Applicants must submit 3-5 pages of any kind of writing demonstrating a command of grammar and punctuation.
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.
Theresa Hottel is an MFA candidate in fiction writing at Columbia University. She received her BA at Oklahoma City University where she won the Kimberly Fuller Award for Creative Writing. She is currently working on a novel about ghosts and the Dust Bowl.
Lizzy Steiner is an MFA candidate in fiction from Sarasota, Florida. She holds a BA in English and French from Wesleyan University. During her time at Columbia, she has worked as a high school writing instructor and teaching site coordinator for the Columbia Artist/Teachers (CA/T) program.