Students should contact the departmental representative with course-related questions.

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.

Department Contact:
Summer Sessions 
summersessions@columbia.edu

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 Web site: www.columbia.edu/cu/writing

WRIT S1001D Fiction Writing Workshop. 3 points.

Runs From May 22- June 30,Enrollment limited to 15.
Fee: Materials Fee - 20.00

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.

Summer 2017: WRIT S1001D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1001 001/29854 M W 5:30pm - 7:40pm
411 Dodge Building
Amy Koppelman 3 10/15

WRIT S1001Q Fiction Writing Workshop. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to 15.
Fee: Materials Fee - 20.00

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.

Summer 2017: WRIT S1001Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1001 002/62646 M W 1:00pm - 3:10pm
411 Dodge Building
Rachel Sherman 3 15/15

WRIT S1101Q Nonfiction Writing Workshop. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to 15.
Fee: Materials Fee - 20.00

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.

Summer 2017: WRIT S1101Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1101 001/77611 T Th 6:15pm - 8:25pm
411 Dodge Building
Anelise Chen 3 14/15

WRIT S1201Q Poetry Writing Workshop. 3 points.


Fee: Course Fee - 20.00

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.

Summer 2017: WRIT S1201Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1201 001/71979 T Th 6:15pm - 8:25pm
409 Dodge Building
Dorothea Lasky 3 13/15

WRIT S4313D Writing Children's Books. 3 points.


Fee: Materials Fee - 20.00

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.

Summer 2017: WRIT S4313D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 4313 001/12031 M W 1:00pm - 3:10pm
411 Dodge Building
Peter Catalanotto 3 9/15

WRIT S4320D Travel Writing. 3 points.


Fee: Materials Fee - 20.00

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.

Summer 2017: WRIT S4320D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 4320 001/20942 T Th 6:15pm - 8:25pm
411 Dodge Building
Porter Fox 3 11/15

WRIT S4323D Writing the Young Adult Novel. 3 points.


Fee: Materials Fee - 20.00

Young adult fiction is a relatively new category in book publishing, but it is growing fast. The readers of YA books are between 12 and 18 years of age. However, its popularity can sometimes extend well beyond the intended age range; Harry Potter being the best-known example. The YA category spans a number of subgenres, including paranormal romance, dystopian sci-fi, and coming-of-age realism. The best YA novels feature fully realized characters and a level of emotional complexity that appeal to teens. And yet, YA books can include frightful displays of violence and can be unabashed about sex. They also feature swiftly moving plots combined with a young person's unique world view-pairings that are unlike anything found in traditional literary fiction. In this workshop, we will embark on writing our own YA novels. With our work always at the center of discussion we will explore the essence of what makes it YA in terms of narrative point of view and subject matter while also challenging the conventions of genre fiction. By way of example, we will look at the work of Sherman Alexie, Lois Lowry and Megan McCafferty. For examples of "new adult" or "crossover" fiction we will read excerpts from books such as those by Curtis Sittenfeld, J.D. Salinger, and others. Course work will include selected readings, but the emphasis of the workshop will be on writing and critiquing our own work. Students will write up to three chapters of an original YA or crossover novel along with a partial chapter outline for their book in progress. The class will also include visits from published YA authors who will speak about craft, audience, and getting published.

Summer 2017: WRIT S4323D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 4323 001/64283 T Th 10:00am - 12:00pm
411 Dodge Building
Rachel Carter 3 14/15

WRIT S4411Q Creative (Mis)Translation. 3 points.


Fee: Materials Fee - 20.00

No foreign language required.Translation is at once a process, a procedure, and a metaphor. The practice of translation brings out our hidden prejudices, our ingrained biases; notions of the literary text that we take for granted come to the foreground and call on us to make crucial choices, aesthetic and political. In this short course, we'll see how the problems of translation "translate" over to the writing of fiction and poetry. By recuperating volition and agency in the encounter with the authority(ies) present in any given text, the writer finds openings in and through translation. We'll explore the generative aspects of translation and "mis­ translation": how translating might open up new reserves oflanguage for us to mine; how it might loosen our grip on our own "voice" and let in others; and conversely, how our own language might affect our encounter with a foreign or faraway voice.

Summer 2017: WRIT S4411Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 4411 001/71513 T Th 5:30pm - 7:40pm
407 Dodge Building
Matvei Yankelevich 3 6/15

WRIT S4710D More Than Memoir. 3 points.


Fee: Materials Fee - 20.00

Many of us want to write memoirs, but families-troubled or not-are loaded territory. Memories conflict with family lore; trauma in the past can trigger trouble in the present; and only the dead don't mind when you spill their secrets. How do we navigate wisely, mining recollections without either slipping into solipsism or pandering to an imagined audience? In this class we'll look at writers who have done it, such as James Baldwin, Annie Dillard, Vivian Gornick, Richard Rodriguez, and Sister Souljah, to trace their fault lines and unearth their strategies for remaining faithful to their readers while truthful to their lived experience. This is a writing-intensive course, and students will write and workshop several family scenes. With the student work in hand, we'll be able to explore issues of voice and point of view, and ways to gain enough emotional distance from characters to make them both believable and three-dimensional. We'll build these scenes into a few full-length stories or, if a student wishes, chapters for a larger work.

Summer 2017: WRIT S4710D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 4710 001/73195 M W 6:15pm - 8:25pm
409 Dodge Building
Cristen Beam 3 9/15

WRIT S4810Q How to Write Funny. 3 points.


Fee: Materials Fee - 20.00

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.

Summer 2017: WRIT S4810Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 4810 001/63067 M W 5:30pm - 7:40pm
411 Dodge Building
Patricia Marx 3 13/15

The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.