This workshop is geared toward students who have an interest in creative writing and would like to develop their skills and writing practice across genres. Students read and write free verse poetry, short prose, drama, fiction, and creative nonfiction with the goal of developing a final portfolio of revised work.
Students are introduced to a range of technical and imaginative concerns through creative exercises and discussions, and exposed to all aspects of the writing process, including generating ideas, writing and revising drafts, and editing. Participants practice their literary craft with an attentive group of peers, under the guidance of an experienced instructor. They write extensively, read and respond to excerpts from outstanding works of literature, and participate in candid, helpful critiques of their own work and that of peers. Students are expected to come to the class with an openness to various approaches toward literature and writing. Classes are supplemented by conferences with the instructor.
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 Lis Harris, 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 Keranen is a writer and editor. She has taught seminars, craft classes, and workshops, including an undergraduate creative writing workshop at Columbia University in 2021. In the 2019-2020 school year, Rachel taught a weekly cross-genre creative writing workshop via video at the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies in Yerevan, Armenia through a partnership with Columbia. She also taught a two-week intensive workshop on humor writing in-person at the TUMO Center in January 2020. In the spring of 2020, Rachel taught a cross-genre seminar on the art of writing emotions at Columbia. She has taught in the Columbia Pre-College Program since 2020.
Rachel's short stories and essays have been finalists for prizes including The Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Editors' Prize and New Letters' Conger Beasley Jr. Award for Nonfiction.
Specific course details such as topics, activities, 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.