quarto: a history

Quarto is the undergraduate literary magazine of Columbia University’s Creative Writing Department. It is a student-run magazine that publishes the best of Columbia’s undergraduate writers from all four of Columbia’s undergraduate colleges. The Creative Writing Department provides support and a faculty advisor to the magazine, though the editorial board has representatives from departments across campus.

Quarto is dedicated to renewal—to changing formats and editorial boards and exploring new opportunities to recognize writers—all in the effort to keep up with the ever-changing literary landscape on campus, and to give each magazine a fresh voice. Quarto was created in 1948 and housed in the School of General Studies. In 1998, the magazine expanded to serve the entire undergraduate writing community. In 2007, with the creation of the Creative Writing Department, the magazine found its current home in an environment dedicated to craft and excellence in writing.

Quarto has published Pulitzer Prize winners, the US Poet Laureate Louise Glück, best-selling authors such as Kim Wozencraft, successful playwrights like Adam Szymkowicz, poets, screenwriters, and art critics. Members of its editorial staff have gone on to start their own literary magazines and some, like Edwidge Dandicat, have found literary success themselves.

What never changes is Quarto's dedication to find the best undergraduate writing at Columbia—and the proof can be seen every year printed in its pages.

The Quarto archives can be accessed here. The most recent issue of Quarto can be read here.

editorial board
quarto blog
2015 contests


Leslie Jamison is an essayist and novelist whose work has been featured in publications like Harper's, Oxford American, and A Public Space. Her essay collection, The Empathy Exams, has been hailed as one of the most promising emergent voices of 2014 and is an Editor's Choice for the New York Times Book review.


A 2014 O.Henry Prize Winner and a National Endowment for the Arts fellow in fiction, Dylan Landis is the author of the short story collection Normal People Don't Live Like This and the recent, critically acclaimed Rainey Royal. While her novel has made her into a recent literary star, Landis' hypnotizing prose lives up to its hype.


Wendy Xu is author of the collection You Are Not Dead and chapbooks I Was Never Born and Hero Poems. Her work has appeared in journals such as POETRY Magazine, The Best American Poetry 2013, Guernica, and many others. Living in Brooklyn, Xu is one of poetry's quickly rising stars.


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Submissions for the 66th volume of Quarto are now open. We accept submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, visual art, and photography.

A single student may submit up to five (5) pieces, but each individual piece should be 20 pages or fewer. Since all submissions are anonymous, please ensure that your name does not appear anywhere on your submission. We appreciate your submission and look forward to reading your work.

The final submissions deadline for our Spring 2015 issue is March 1, 2015.

This information is collected only for the submission process. Your information will never be used outside of Quarto. Submitting to Quarto grants Quarto the right to publish your piece(s) if selected.