Columbia Publishing Course Super-Grad 2016

As ever, this year’s Columbia Publishing Course (formerly the Radcliffe Publishing Course) Graduates are a remarkable group. Per our tradition here at Publishing Trends, we’ve put together one preternaturally talented graduate profile from the most interesting parts of the biographies of this year’s graduates. With the exception of some connecting phrases, the words are the students’ own.


Typical Columbia Publishing Grad wants more than anything to try everything. Given her name by a figure in her father’s dream, Publishing Course Grad grew up in a little blue house in Edgewood, Washington, with three sisters and a bunny named Celine Dion. Equal parts literary zealot and hip-hop enthusiast, she became a logophile at the age of ten with a brief stint in the competitive Scrabble world. Publishing Grad was a classical dancer for thirteen years and acquired a second-degree black belt at age fourteen; she is now a certified instructor of tricking, a sport that combines martial arts, gymnastics, and breakdancing. Growing up in a Russian-speaking home led to an enjoyment of literature in translation, and her affinity for performance poetry and her ability to memorize rap lyrics testify to her attention to detail and obsession with finding the exact bon mot. Although she speaks softly, Publishing Grad transforms into a powerful and passionate singer on the stage. She spent many years singing alto in a choir, with which she performed at the Vatican. By the time she was seventeen she had traveled to all the continents except Antarctica (it’s next on her list).

After a combination of homeschooling and parochial school, Publishing Grad matriculated a year early from the University of Minnesota. While attending college, she lived in a castle in the Netherlands for three months, affording her the opportunity to meet a Benedictine nun wielding a chainsaw. When she wasn’t studying for her bachelor’s degree in English, she was managing a café, singing in a band, and working for a college radio station as a DJ. She also interned at the National Book Foundation, where she assisted with the 2015 National Book Awards submissions and social media, and at Mighty Writers, where she transcribed interviews with prominent black disc jockeys of the 1970s for a radio documentary on their cultural influence. As an undergraduate, she organized three TEDx conferences and volunteered at a San Francisco jail facilitating a theater and storytelling workshop.

Following graduation, Publishing Grad apprenticed with the Juilliard School’s professional apprenticeship program in the paint department, then freelanced as a scenic artist in New York City. She now runs a freelance editorial service. In her free time, she runs marathons and maintains her status as a favorite aunt. Publishing Grad completes the New York Times Sunday crossword long distance with her mother. She currently volunteers for The Torist, the first literary journal of the deep Web, and eagerly awaits the day when she can purchase Hamilton tickets.


To find out more about seeing participants’ resumes (or to read the real biographies) please contact Columbia Publishing Course Assistant Director, Stephanie Chan at (212) 854-9775 or swc37 at Columbia dot edu.

New York’s other major summer publishing course, New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute, celebrated its 38th year this summer. To learn more about NYU’s eligible grads or about the program, contact Executive Director Andrea Chambers at (212) 992-3226 or andrea.chambers at nyu dot edu.