Department of Writing, Literature & Publishing
Publishing & Writing (MA)
Where does your interest in publishing lie? Do you want to shape the prose of fresh voices as an editor? Would you like to represent writers as a literary agent? Are you enthused by the potential of online publications and new media formats? Perhaps you see yourself publishing your own niche magazine.
Emerson’s unique Publishing and Writing program helps you learn professional skills and earn the experience to succeed in a career in the ever-vital, ever-changing publishing industry.
The Art & Business of Writing
The MA in Publishing and Writing program provides an overview of the publishing industry from writing and editing through design, production, promotion, and distribution. You may also take courses in literature, writing workshops, teaching college composition, or intern at a literary agency, magazine publisher, or book publisher.
A Faculty of Savvy Professionals & Expert Scholars
Our faculty is made up of accomplished publishing and writing professionals. They are editors, writers, designers, publishers, and consultants currently working in the field. They come from major industry sources such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Addison-Wesley, Globe Pequot Press, Nation Books, Viking Penguin, Da Capo Press, Newsweek, Inc., Men’s Journal, Boston magazine, and The Atlantic Monthly. Their expertise gives you a solid foundation in traditional publishing, as well as exposure to current market trends, including innovations in electronic publishing.
Located in a Literary Epicenter
Home to major book publishers, including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Beacon Press, Da Capo Press, MIT Press, Addison-Wesley, David R. Godine, Bedford/St. Martin’s, Allyn and Bacon, and Pearson, and with Boston magazine, Ploughshares, and Cook’s Illustrated also based here, Boston is an ideal place for launching your publishing career. Emerson’s campus is only blocks away from many of these industry giants. Our city is synonymous with writing as both an artistic pursuit and a business endeavor, and our students are immersed in this dynamic literary community.
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Publishing & Writing (MA) At a glance
Fall admission only
Full-time or part-time enrollment. Full-time enrollment is typically 8 or 12 credits per semester.
Full-time students complete the degree in two years; part-time students complete the degree in two and a half to three years.
Publishing & Writing News
Current MA Alaina Leary wrote an article about Susanne Althoff's Launching a Women's Magazine or Website class that was published in Germ Magazine, an online magazine for girls in high school and up.
Alum Jess Huckins (2011) talks about publishing, writing and graduate school in a recent interview.
Alum Matthew Digangi (2010) is working for Bresnick Weil Literary Agency in New York, NY.
MA students, alumni, and publishing faculty won several awards at the 58th annual New England Book Show! A full list of winners is available in the article below.
Marcus Off Duty designed by Professor Lisa Diercks was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award. Diercks also won a New England Book Show award for the cover and interior design.
MA Mary Nolan and MA Mireidys Garcia are recipients of the 2015 Bookbuilders of Boston scholarship.
Alumna Liliana Ballesteros's (2014) book design for The Book of Love received an award from the 2015 New England Book Show. Two other MA in Publishing and Writing students won for their e-book designs: Matt Jackson (MA '15) and Mary Nolan (MA '15).
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Alex Khatchadourian (MA '14) and Abby Ringiewicz (MA '15) won a New England Book Show award for the design of their third issue of Amadeus, a magazine they co-founded. Ringiewicz also has two pieces featured on newyorker.com.
Assistant Professor Bill Beuttler’s interview with jazz musician Rudresh Mahanthappa was featured in the February issue of DownBeat magazine. Mahanthappa explains the genesis of Bird Calls, his recent album celebrating the genius of Charlie Parker.
Christopher Hughes (MA, '15) is featured in Boston Magazine’s April issue cover story on the Top 21 breweries in New England.
Alumus Alexis Hauk (MA ’09) is moving cross-country to become Assistant Editor of the humanities-oriented news website Zócalo Public Square in Los Angeles. She was previously homepage editor of TIME.
Assistant Professor Benoit Denizet-Lewis attended the 2015 AWP Conference and was on the panel "Writing about Animals".