Columbia College Chicago :: NewPages Guide to Creative Writing Programs

Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago

Creative Writing Program

Contact Information:

Department of Creative Writing

600 S. Michigan Ave.

Chicago, IL  60605


Program director: Matthew Shenoda

Phone: (312) 369-7611


Program Information:

Degrees offered: MFA, BA, BFA

Type of program: residency

Genres: poetry, fiction, nonfiction

Enrollment: 400

Application deadlines: May 1 (undergraduate); January 1 (graduate)

Scholarships: yes (see website)

Assistantships: yes (see website)

Core faculty: Randy Albers, Garnett Kilberg Cohen, Don De Grazia, Eric May, Patricia Ann McNair, Joe Meno, Nami Mun, Sam Weller, Audrey Niffenegger, Samuel Park, David Lazar, David Trinidad, CM Burroughs, Jenny Boully, Lisa Fishman, Shawn Shiflett

Publishing/editing courses: yes (see website)

Literary magazine: Hotel Amerika

Reading series: The Department of Creative Writing Poetry and Nonfiction Reading Series

Recent visiting writers: Kate Greenstreet, Bernadette Mayer, Carmen Gimenez Smith, John D'Gata, Jane Hamilton, Christine Sneed

Program description: Columbia College Chicago offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, with internationally renowned faculty in USA’s largest not-for-profit private arts and media college as well as distinguished writers-in-residence, teaching instructorships, editorial opportunities, diverse reading series, annual literary festivals, a thriving literary community, and small classes.

BA in Nonfiction and Poetry: Core courses are built around the workshop, culminating with a thesis workshop. Students take literature courses as well as electives, giving the chance to explore cross-genre and hybrid work.

BA/BFA in Fiction: Core classes use the Story Workshop® approach, a process-based method of teaching drawing upon students’ diverse backgrounds and experiences by emphasizing permission for, and development of, each student’s unique voice and story content. In small classes, students explore interrelated processes of reading, listening, perceiving, experiencing, oral telling, critical thinking, writing in an intimate setting that stresses close individual attention and positive feedback from faculty. Specialty writing courses include genre fiction, publishing, freelance-writing applications, and teaching.

MFA in Poetry: In this small, intimate studio/academic program, the bulk of curriculum centers on writing and craft. Faculty is committed to aesthetic and pedagogical diversity; notable breadth of poetic traditions, lineages, schools, movements.

MFA in Nonfiction: This program involves intensive study of nonfiction writing and theory of nonfiction. Thesis seminars and one-on-one advising help students complete the program with a book-length manuscript.

MFA in Fiction: Along with Story Workshop® classes, the program offers a wide range of elective writing courses, including Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Freelance Applications of Fiction Writing Training, Story and Script, Playwriting, and Critical Reading and Writing. Classes offer unique approaches to the study of reading and writing processes of famous writers.

last updated 12/19/2013