Welcome to the largest and most exciting creative writing program in the country—the Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago! Here we seek to prepare students for independent work as writers of literary and genre fiction, creative nonfiction, plays, and electronic applications, as well as for careers in teaching and teaching-related professions.
With exceptionally wide and comprehensive range of classes, the Fiction Writing Department features the acclaimed Story Writing® method in sequenced core fiction and nonfiction classes, along with a variety of other complementary approaches in two other strands designed to achieve both depth and breadth to students’ education. These courses enable students to discover the power of their own voices and foster the development of skills and capabilities crucial to success in any professional endeavor. Graduates of the fiction writing program are publishing widely in a variety of genres and forms; and among them are winners of the National Book Award, the Nelson Algren Award, the Midland Society of Authors Award, Columbia University Scholastic Press Association awards, and many others.
The Story Workshop approach differs from the approaches of most other colleges and universities by being a dynamic, highly interactive, process-based method that draws fully upon students’ diverse backgrounds and experiences. Emphasizing permission for and development of students’ unique voice and story content, the Story Workshop approach enables students to tap into their creative potential as they explore the interrelated processes of reading, listening, perceiving, experiencing, oral telling, critical thinking, creative problem solving, and writing—all in an intimate, small-group setting that stresses close individual attention and positive feedback from faculty.
Along with courses on campus, the Fiction Writing Department offers exciting learning opportunities for study abroad in Prague, Florence, and Bath, England. Students may also apply for our Semester in L.A. Program, run in conjunction with the Film Department’s Adaptation program.
Chairperson, Fiction Writing