Novel-Writing Intensive

Open to students entering grades 9 through 12 or freshman year of college in the fall

III - August 5th - August 9th, 2019 (Course Filled)

Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 10:10 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 2:10–4:00 p.m.
Rachel Carter, Anya Yurchyshyn

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.

Course Description

This intensive, one-week course is designed to teach students the ins-and-outs of novel writing, from conception to outlining to the writing itself. Whether interests lie in literary fiction, young adult, fantasy, or any other genre, we focus on how to structure and plot a successful novel. We also touch on 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 week, students will have completed an original outline and at least one full chapter of their novel. Not only does this course impart a greater understanding of what it means to craft a long-form work of fiction, it will also help students become stronger and more confident in their overall writing skills.

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

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, Baruch College, and Champlain College, and her nonfiction has appeared in The New Republic, The Faster Times, and Booktrib, where she's a regular contributor. These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont. 

Anya Yurchyshyn

Anya Yurchyshyn is the author of the memoir My Dead Parents and 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 from NOON 2014, “The Director,” was included in Best Small Fictions of 2015.
She received her MFA in Fiction from Columbia and has received fellowships from the university as well as the MacDowell Colony.

Back to the Course Guide

Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.