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Value of a Fiction Writing Degree
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Value of a Fiction Writing Degree

Here are comments of recent graduates, guests, and the parent of a graduate about their experiences with the Fiction Writing program of Columbia College Chicago. To share your story about being part of the Fiction Writing family for possible posting here send it to Gary Johnson at gjohnson@colum.edu.

Gary Poplawski—MFA
The Fiction Writing [program] had a deeper effect on me than any other academic experience I ever had. [more]

Emily Schultze—BFA
When I transferred to Columbia and began taking classes in the Fiction Writing [program], I instantly realized that I had found something very special. [more]

Jenny Seay—BA, MFA
Today, I continue to develop the novel that I began as my master's thesis, and I am employed in a position that allows me to put the writing skills I honed in my classes to use raising money for undergraduate students at the University of Chicago.

Matthew Austin—BA
Columbia was my third college; I hated the English departments at the previous schools. I heard about how Colum went about their classes, the wide range of classes they offered and the dedication to fiction attracted me. [more]

Kevin Freese—BA, MFA
I sit behind a desk as editor-in-chief of a monthly magazine, 800 miles away from Columbia College Chicago. I would not be sitting behind this editor's desk if it were not for the profound impact the Fiction Writing [program]'s use of the Story Workshop approach made on my life. [more]

April Galarza—BFA
The exact reason I choose Columbia over all other schools in the country, and the reason I relocated from Colchester, CT to Chicago, IL, was the Fiction Writing Program. [more]

Virginia Baker—BFA candidate
The Fiction Writing [program] has become a home for me. [more]

Dixie Tracy—Parent
I am a parent of a graduated Fiction Writing student. My daughter, Emily Schultze, has seen her talents and her ambition blossom at Columbia, and it is all thanks to the fantastic Fiction Writing [program]. [more]

Taylor Rockhill—Double Major BA candidate Fiction Writing and Playwriting
The Fiction Writing [program] and its wonderful atmosphere here at Columbia have given me purpose and drive unlike any other academic institution has ever given me.

Chelsea Laine Wells—BA
I cannot overstate how much I gained from my experience with the Fiction Writing [program] at Columbia, how much I learned, how much I changed, and how my decision to attend this program will continue to echo throughout my life. [more]

Ira Brooker—March 1, 2012
I've seen a lot of media coverage lately about spoiled liberal arts students complaining because they can't find decent jobs. I'm always confused by these reports. Conventional wisdom says my Fiction Writing MFA should make me thoroughly unemployable, yet for the past five years I've been working well-paid, respectable jobs that make direct use of my creative writing skills. I give a huge amount of credit to Columbia College in general and the Fiction Writing curriculum in particular. [more]

Marissa Garcia—BA
This [program] and its intimate approach caused me to bloom. [more]

Nick Dwyer—MFA
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I must shed light on the therapeutic value of the Columbia College Fiction Writing approach. [more]

Brian Costello—MFA
For me—for many of us given the opportunity to teach in the Fiction Writing [program]—Columbia is about the students reading their stories aloud, and the rest of the class exploding in gut laughter or holding back tears. [more]

Donna Seaman—Senior Editor
As a senior editor for Booklist, published by the American Library Association, I've had the wonderful good fortune to consult with students and teach classes at a number of college and university writing departments, including the Fiction Writing [program] at Columbia College Chicago [where] I've been impressed over and over again by the intensity, specificity, and productivity of the teacher-student relationships. [more]

Chris DeGuire—BA, MFA
I believe the way reading and writing are taught together in the Fiction Writing [program] are marketable oral and written communication skills that can be applied to almost any job or career path.