The Fiction Writing Department offers a writing program leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Fiction Writing. The program is structured around the nationally acclaimed Story Workshop® method of teaching writing, originated and developed by the department’s former chairperson, John Schultz. The Story Workshop courses teach the writing of fiction and creative nonfiction. The department also offers a variety of critical reading and writing classes, as well as elective specialty writing courses such as science fiction, writing for children, creative nonfiction, playwriting, tutoring/teaching, and publishing on a level and scope unequaled in undergraduate programs. Columbia writing graduates have published widely in all of these areas.
The Fiction Writing Department’s goal as stated in its mission is to prepare students for a wide range of careers in creative writing-including the writing of novels, short stories, creative nonfiction, and scripts-and in jobs where effective communication, creative problem-solving, and group relationship skills are crucial factors. This goal is reflected in the following assessable departmental learning outcomes:
Students receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fiction Writing should:
- be able to use a variety of narrative techniques, written forms, and revision strategies to create effective fiction and nonfiction;
- demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between effective oral communication and effective writing;
- demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between effective reading and effective writing;
- be able to read and respond critically and creatively to a wide diversity of texts, experiments, and techniques in prose forms;
- demonstrate knowledge of the literary marketplace and processes crucial to publishing their writing; and
- apply creative problem-solving, effective written and oral communications, and critical thinking to their preparation for graduate studies, writing-related careers, and other professions.
The Fiction Writing Department also offers an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts in Playwriting, a minor in Fiction Writing and interdisciplinary minors in Playwriting and Creative Nonfiction. For students who have already earned a Bachelors degree, the department offers a Second Bachelor of Arts in Fiction Writing.
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