48 CREDIT HOURSMFA CREATIVE WRITING-NONFICTION
Columbia College Chicago’s MFA Creative Writing - Nonfiction degree program is designed to provide students unique opportunities to study, read, write, edit, and teach with leading authors and scholars in the field, preparing them to make a living through their passion for writing nonfiction. Our focused curriculum covers a broad range of creative nonfiction approaches: the personal essay, lyric essay, memoir, prose poetry, nonfiction film, and hybrid works that combine genres.
leading authors and scholars in the field, preparing them to make a living through their passion for writing
Students enrolled in this program will explore the theory of nonfiction with our widely published and celebrated faculty, while also working closely with them in thesis seminars to develop their own voice and style. The experience culminates in the thesis project, a book-length manuscript of publishable quality.
VARIETY OF EXPERIENCE and DIVERSITY OF VOICES
Our Graduate Student Instructorship program allows select students the opportunity to gain important teaching experience through the English Department’s First Year Writing program. In addition, students participate in Columbia’s Creative Nonfiction Week, an annual event sponsored by our English, Journalism and Fiction Writing departments. Nonfiction Week explores the diversity of voices and points of view that make creative nonfiction a rich form of literature, and is an opportunity for the College to welcome distinguished authors to campus for a series of readings, lectures, and panel discussions. Recent guest writers include: Dinty W. Moore, Amy Leach, John D'Agata, Jay Ponteri, Claudie Rankine, John Bresland, Laura Kipnis, and Lia Purpura.
This broad preparation in both the theory and practice of nonfiction writing is enhanced by the opportunity to work as readers and editors on our prestigious and nationally distributed literary journals, Hotel Amerika and The South Loop Review. Hotel Amerika, with its quirky and unconventional edge, has published work that later appeared in Best American Poetry and Best American Essays, and has featured such prominent writers as John Ashbery, Denise Duhamel, Albert Goldbarth and countless others.
students have the opportunity to work as readers and editors on our prestigious and nationally distributed literary journals
The South Loop Review places an emphasis on non-linear narratives, blended genres, illustrated essays and narrative photography, and strives to publish compelling and resonant voices that lend insight into contemporary experience and cultural phenomenon. This exposure to a diverse range of artistic voices within the setting of a working journal gives Columbia's Nonfiction MFA students the valuable professional experience needed to help launch a career in publishing.
ENTRY TO THE LITERARY FIELD
Students in this program benefit from a curriculum built with their goals in mind: to focus on their own writing while gaining extraordinary insight into the theory and history of the genre; to work closely alongside published and esteemed writers; and, perhaps most importantly, to gain teaching and publishing experience that will serve as a foundation for a career as a working writer, teacher, editor or publisher.