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
enter the thunderdome

ENTER THE THUNDERDOME: A Four-Day Flash Writing Competition
Hosted by ERIK GRAY, SUNIL GULATI, HEIDI JULAVITS, and DEBORA SPAR
April 6 - 9, 2015

Have you ever looked at a piece of your writing and said, “Hey, I could probably use this to totally fucking slay someone"? Then look no further than ENTER THE THUNDERDOME, a four-day contest in which each day we’ll upload a video of one of our guest hosts presenting an object, giving you 24 hours to write a short piece (300 words or fewer) about it. Each day, we’ll declare a winner of the person who turned in the best piece, and then of those winners we’ll choose a grandwinner who receives $100.

Each contest will be announced at midnight on our Facebook page We recommend you LIKE the page to see each contest as soon as we post it!

I'M READY TO KICK SOME WRITER ASS. HOW DO I ENTER?

To enter, send a piece of creative writing (again, 300 words or fewer) to iml2109@columbia.edu and our readers will look at your work. Your piece can be prose and/or verse and should meaningfully include the object for that day’s contest.

WHAT THE SHIT DO YOU MEAN BY "MEANINGFULLY INCLUDE THE OBJECT FOR THAT DAY'S CONTEST"?

You can include the object in any way you see fit – anything from being inspired by it to making it the subject of your work. In judging submissions, however, we’ll favor works where there’s a clear connection between the object and the piece.

WHEN WILL YOU DECLARE ME THE WINNER? WHEN DO I PICK UP MY $100?

Each contest ends at midnight and the winner of that contest will be announced in the following evening. At the end of the contests, we’ll compare the winners from each day and declare a grandwinner who will win $100.

Good luck and Godspeed!
submit
Submissions for the 2015 issue of Quarto are now closed. If you want to submit to ENTER THE THUNDERDOME, please email your submission directly to iml2109@columbia.edu.