Writing, Literature & Publishing

In the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing, the symbiotic relationship between writing, publishing, and the study of literature becomes a shared experience of finding one’s voice, refining one’s talent, and gaining the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today’s evolving literary landscape.

wlp student displays her magazine design

A student in the Magazine Design and Production course displays her work.

If you are passionate about developing your craft as a writer and your knowledge of literature and the world of publishing, our department is your introduction to a rewarding career.

We are focused on your individual voice and your particular talent. Our faculty includes award-winning authors, poets, and scholars—as well as successful publishing industry professionals—who are dedicated to helping students create publishable works of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, and gain the skills needed to pursue a career in the book, magazine, or electronic publishing industry. Nearly 100 books bearing the names of our alumni have been published to date.

With a nationally ranked MFA program in creative writing, opportunities to contribute to the award-winning literary journal Ploughshares, and one of the nation’s only graduate-level publishing programs, Emerson gives committed writers and aspiring publishers a deep practical and theoretical knowledge of the writer’s art, literary history, and the workings of the publishing industry—the tools and training needed for a life devoted to literary pursuits.


Fulbright ScholarshipSarah Chaves (BFA '11) was awarded a Fulbright 2015-2016 Grant. Chaves will spend one year, fully-funded, in Portugal working on her memoir.


The Wilderness of RuinRoxane Gay visited campus on March 19 for a question-and-answer session with students followed by a reading of some of her essays. Both events are part of the Writing, Literature & Publishing Reading Series.

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The Wilderness of RuinMFA '98 Roseanne Montillo's article about 14-year old serial killer Jesse Pomeroy appeared on CBS News Crimsider. Montillo's latest book The Wilderness of Ruin explores the hunt for the child killer during Boston's Gilded Age and the Great Fire of 1872.

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All the Old KnivesMFA '99 Olen Steinhauer's new book, All the Old Knives was recently reviewed by The New York Times.


Lacy EyeProfessor Jessica Treadway is featured in the Boston Globe for her new novel  “Lacy Eye.” In the Q&A with the Globe, Treadway discusses her writing habits, including writing drafts in longhand.

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Columbian ArtistsA group of nine young, emerging artists from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Medellín recently presented their artwork at Emerson College Los Angeles and are visiting Emerson College in Boston this month.

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Stephen ShaneCreative Writing MFA Stephen Shane (2015) and his colleague David Knight created a short documentary on Boston busing called Desegregated, Yet Unequal, and it was recently named an Editors' Pick by The Atlantic.

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Steve YarbroughProfessor Steve Yarbrough has been elected to the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and, in addition, will receive the 2015 Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction this spring from the same organization.

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Thomas McBeeWLP alum and writer Thomas Page McBee's memoir Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man was named on Publisher's Weekly's "Best Books of 2014."

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Ladette RandolphLadette Randolph's new memoir Leaving the Pink House was featured on Oprah.com as a suggested memoir. Randolph teaches in WLP and is Editor-in-Chief of Ploughshares literary magazine.

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Greg NicholsGreg Nichols (MFA '11) released his first book, Striking Gridiron, A Town's Pride and a Team's Shot at Glory During the Biggest Strike in American History. The book was named a Junior Library Guild Fall 2014 Selection.

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Marko TameraLecturer Tamera Marko's writing collective with Emerson maintenance workers from Latin America and undergraduates presented a bilingual presentation: "Proyecto Carrito II: When the Student Receives an 'A' and the Worker Gets Fired: Driving our Own Narrative" at the Conference on Rhetoric and Composition.

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Megan MarshallRecent MA in Publishing & Writing alumni collaborated to launch a new literary genre journal called Strangelet. Alumni include Executive Editor Casey Brown (MA ’13), Managing Editor Leah Thompson (MA ’12), Production Editor Franco Alvarado (MA ’13), and Creative Director Chandra Asar (MA ’12).

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Megan MarshallWLP Professor Megan Marshall and the emersonWRITES program participate in the launch and unveiling of Boston as the country's first Literary Cultural District.

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Michelle Bailat JonesMichelle Bailat-Jones (MFA '05) won the inaugral Christopher Doheny award for her novel Fog Island Mountains. The award recognizes a book-lenth work exploring the experience of serious illness and includes a $10,000 prize and publication and promotion of the book.

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