Creative Writing: Master Class in Fiction

Open to students entering grades 11 or 12 or freshman year of college in the fall
II - July 21–August 7, 2020
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 10:00–11:00 a.m., 11:15 a.m. –12:45 p.m., and 3:15–4:45 p.m., with optional elective 2:00–3:00 p.m.
See representative biographies below.

Course Description

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.


Courtney Bowman

Courtney Bowman is a writer in New York City. A former president of The Harvard Lampoon, she went on to write for the half-hour sitcom Garfunkel And Oates. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and she has published two parody books with Random House: Nightlight and Killing Bill O'Reilly. She is currently a teaching fellow at Columbia University and is expected to receive her MFA in 2017.

Ari Braverman

Ari Braverman is from Iowa City and Denver by way of New Orleans. She has been awarded multiple fellowships from Columbia University, was a semi-finalist in the 2016 American Short(er) Fiction Contest, and was nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize. Some of her recent stories have appeared at BOMBTammy Journal and at SmokeLong Quarterly. She is an assistant editor at Conjunctions, and she lives in Harlem, New York.

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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.