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.
“While novel-writing used to be just a passion, now it's something that I've built upon with more technical expertise.” — From a program course evaluation
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.
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.
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.