Department of Writing, Literature & Publishing

First-Year Writing Program

The First-Year Writing Program (FYWP) develops and teaches a year-long, two-course sequence in writing and rhetoric for undergraduates at Emerson College. We also partner with the college Writing Center to support and develop student writing across the curriculum. In 2012-2013 we received a CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence.

For graduate students, FYWP provides teaching opportunities and training to MFA Creative Writing and MA Publishing & Writing students in the Department of Writing, Literature & Publishing (WLP), with an emphasis on professional development and mentoring. In addition to offering the graduate seminar WR600: Teaching College Composition, we support graduate students undertaking directed studies in rhetoric and composition to pursue their individual interests.

Committed to Emerson’s mission of civic engagement, FYWP extends the core principles of our program into a variety of community and transnational writing projects in Boston and beyond, creating opportunities for students and faculty alike to be involved. Working closely with community partners and campus offices including Enrollment, Academic Engagement and Community Action, and Diversity and Inclusion, we strive to make Emerson an inclusive place reflecting the racial, ethnic, national, gender, and linguistic diversity of our city and our world.


FYWP is a dedicated group including the senior faculty listed below, affiliated faculty, and graduate instructors with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise as writers, publishers, scholars, and professionals. We bring that experience into our classrooms to show our students dynamic and diverse perspectives on writing.

Steve Himmer, Director and Senior Lecturer (
John Trimbur, Associate Director
Mary Kovaleski Byrnes, Senior Lecturer and EmersonWRITES Curriculum Coordinator
Tamera Marko, Senior Lecturer and Director of Proyecto Boston-Medellin
Elizabeth Parfitt, Senior Lecturer and Writing Center Coordinator