Summer Sessions | Courses | Writing

Writing

We’ve established a simple application process for courses offered by the School of the Arts this summer, including courses in Creative Writing. Please visit Arts in the Summer with the School of the Arts for details.

The Undergraduate Creative Writing Program at Columbia offers workshops and craft seminars in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Students in Columbia College and the School of General Studies can apply to the creative writing major, or they can take creative writing courses as electives. We serve an amalgam of students from Columbia College, The School of General Studies, non-degree students from the School of Professional Studies, and students from other undergraduate and graduate divisions of the University. For more information, please see our website: arts.columbia.edu/writing

The courses on this page reflect Summer 2018 offerings.

 

Courses
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Fiction Writing Workshop
WRIT S1001D 3 points.

The Fiction Writing Workshop is designed for students who have little or no experience writing imaginative prose. Students are introduced to a range of craft concerns through exercises and discussions, and eventually produce their own writing for the critical analysis of the class. Outside readings supplement and inform the exercises and longer written projects.

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Enrollment limited to 15.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1001 001/27651 Tu Th 5:30p - 8:40p
411 DODGE BUILDING
Erroll McDonald 3 Open
Nonfiction Writing Workshop
WRIT S1101D 3 points.

The Nonfiction Writing Workshop is designed for students new to the practice of such genres as reportage, criticism, biography and memoir. Various techniques are explored through exercises and other assignments. Critique of student work is supplemented by outside readings.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1101 001/18740 M W 6:15p - 9:25p
409 DODGE BUILDING
Ariel Goldberg 3 Open
Travel Writing
WRIT S4320D 3 points.

How does the traveler become the travel writer?  What makes good travel writing? Why does it matter today? This course examines and breaks down the very specific craft of travel writing. Simply because we like to travel, does it qualify us to write about it? Everywhere has been written about, so how do we find something fresh to say about… Paris, or even Patagonia?   In this course, we both dispel, and prove, some of the myths of travel writing. Students learn to find an angle in order to uncover destinations anew and make them personal— it’s in the personal that the universal is revealed.   From crafting a compelling lede and understanding the need for a strong “nut graph,” to knowing the value of dialogue in propelling the story forward, and then finding the ideal kicker to send the reader away satisfied, students dissect published stories and are sent out into “the field” (of New York City) to craft their own. Travel writing is more than, “I went here, I did this, I ate that.” From front-of-book and service pieces, to destination features, we discuss magazine and newspaper travel writing in depth, as well as touch on longer form travel writing. Finally, through exercises and assignments, students learn to craft a compelling pitch in order to approach editors.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 4320 001/76238 M W 5:30p - 8:40p
411 DODGE BUILDING
Porter Fox 3 Open
Writing Children's Books
WRIT S4313D 3 points.

There are many misconceptions as to what makes an appealing story for children and how to get a story published. Many novice writers are simply relating an incident as opposed to creating a story. This course will show beginner and experienced writers how to mine their lives and imaginations for ideas and how to develop those ideas into children's stories-a step by step process from inspiration to finished manuscript for picture books, early readers, emerging readers and chapter books. Students will also learn the importance of reading their writing out loud-a process that helps both reader and listener develop a better ear for the story's pace, cadence and structure. Writing for children has become incredibly popular in the past fifteen years and publishing houses have been inundated with manuscripts. Many houses have ceased accepting unsolicited manuscripts all together. This course will disclose other avenues to getting your manuscript into the hands of agents and editors.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 4313 001/16290 M W 9:00a - 12:10p
411 DODGE BUILDING
Peter Catalanotto 3 Open
Fiction Writing Workshop
WRIT S1001Q 3 points.

The Fiction Writing Workshop is designed for students who have little or no experience writing imaginative prose. Students are introduced to a range of craft concerns through exercises and discussions, and eventually produce their own writing for the critical analysis of the class. Outside readings supplement and inform the exercises and longer written projects.

,

Enrollment limited to 15.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1001 002/62081 Tu Th 6:15p - 9:25p
407 DODGE BUILDING
Kathleen Alcott 3 Open
How to Write Funny
WRIT S4810Q 3 points.

In this class we will consider the various forms and functions of humor in written prose, discussing techniques and approaches to humor writing. Students will write their own humorous stories and essays which we will read and discuss in class, focusing not only on what is or isn't funny, but on how humor can be advantageously used to increase the power of an overall piece. The class will also break down stories, novels, and essays from a variety of authors-Bill Hicks' political satire; the darkly comedic fiction of Barry Hannah and Paul Beatty; the absurd humor of Tina Fey and Baratunde Thurston; Anthony Lane's charming British snarkiness; Spy Magazine's sharply parodic voice; Woody Allen's one-liners; Lena Dunham's zeitgeist comedy-in an effort to better understand what makes their humor work. Students will be asked to write stories inspired and influenced by these authors. As we critique each other's work, we will investigate strategies related to the craft of humor writing, including self-deprecation, political satire, humor and the other, going blue, dark comedy, schtick, humor as a means vs. humor as an end, crossing the line, and how to write funny without sacrificing substance.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 4810 001/66875 Tu Th 6:15p - 9:25p
411 DODGE BUILDING
Patricia Marx 3 Open
Nonfiction Writing Workshop
WRIT S1101Q 3 points.

The Nonfiction Writing Workshop is designed for students new to the practice of such genres as reportage, criticism, biography and memoir. Various techniques are explored through exercises and other assignments. Critique of student work is supplemented by outside readings.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1101 002/69776 M W 6:15p - 9:25p
411 DODGE BUILDING
Robert Dewhurst 3 Open
Poetry Writing Workshop
WRIT S1201Q 3 points.

The Poetry Writing Workshop is designed for all students with a serious interest in poetry writing, from those who lack significant workshop experience or training in the craft of poetry to seasoned workshop participants looking for new challenges and perspectives on their work. Students will be assigned writing exercises emphasizing such aspects of verse composition as the poetic line, the image, rhyme and other sound devices, verse forms, repetition, collage, and others. Students will also read an variety of exemplary work in verse, submit brief critical analyses of poems, and critique each other's original work.

Course
Number
Section/Call
Number
Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1201 002/60865 M W 6:15p - 9:25p
409 DODGE BUILDING
Dorothea Lasky 3 Open