A Mission Statement
The mission of the Elizabethtown College First Year Writing (FYW) program is to prepare first year students with flexible, effective writing skills that, when paired with reinforcement in subsequent sites of writing, will position students to grow into professional, empowered writers/communicators.
For Students—What to Expect
We know that you’re already a capable communicator with stories to tell and arguments folks need to hear. In EN100, Etown’s first year composition class, we introduce useful habits that writing professionals use to manage their many writing challenges. We talk about how to approach an audience in a way that makes that audience take notice. Our program equips you with flexible writing strategies that you can take to future courses and into your career and volunteering life to succeed with projects big and small, especially when research or persuasion is involved.
Your EN100 instructor wants to work with you in class, in small groups, and during one-on-one meetings to grow your skills and to develop your confidence as a writer.
When you take EN100, you’ll learn the beauty of process writing—that’s writing in stages—and revision strategies. We emphasize persuasive writing and research skills, and we invite you to reflect on who you are as a writer and where you want to be down the road. By focusing whole-heartedly on the writing process and ideas about writing, we prepare you with twenty-first-century skills. It’s up to you to show them off and make them work after the course ends.
Here are the common threads of instruction that run through every section of EN100:
- You’ll learn flexible strategies for handling the writing process, particularly inventing, drafting, and revising
- You’ll learn how writers adapt writing to appeal to specific audiences, purposes, and writing scenarios
- You’ll be introduced to research writing as a process of evaluating and documenting sources to create arguments that persuade your reader
- You’ll gain experience with receiving and acting on feedback about your writing as you work to make successful revisions
- You’ll establish personal goals through reflective writing
- You’ll gain experience with editing as a growing professional, particularly regarding nuanced writing decisions and tone
EN100 is just the next step in your development as an empowered writer. You’ll continue to build on concepts introduced in the first year composition program as you progress as a lifelong learner through college and beyond.
Fellow in The Writing Wing
Richard Fellinger www.richardfellinger.com is an award-winning author, former journalist, and fellow in The Writing Wing at Elizabethtown. His latest novel, Summer of '85, won the Novel Excerpt Contest at Seven Hills Review and was a finalist for the American Fiction Award. His story collection They Hover Over Us won the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award. He's also a Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of the Flash Fiction Contest at Red Cedar Review. He has taught at Elizabethtown since 2010. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University, where he won the Beverly Hiscox Scholarship for excellence in writing.
Catherine Daubenspeck teaches courses in first-year writing as well as professional and rhetorical communications. Previously, Professor Daubenspeck taught middle school and high school language arts students in Delano, CA and Brooklyn, NY and has worked professionally as a digital copywriter and editor in New York City. Professor Daubenspeck’s research interests include nature and science writing, philosophy and rhetoric, ethics, creative nonfiction, and online learning and teaching. Professor Daubenspeck received her undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Writing from Fordham University, and her Master of Arts in Teaching from Bard College.
Stephanie Grossnickle-Batterton has been teaching since 2006. After graduating from Elizabethtown with a B.A. in English Education, she taught high school for several years in the San Antonio area before earning her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Iowa where she taught courses in English and American Studies. Dr. Grossnickle-Batterton has also worked in writing centers and is passionate about one-on-one writing instruction, something she incorporates into her courses. She enjoys working with students from a wide variety of disciplines and fostering a writing classroom where both instructor and students learn from each other’s unique perspectives and interests. Her research and writing focus on the way rhetoric is deployed across various mediums in social movements and in women’s lived experiences.
Suzanne Biever-Grodzinski received her MFA in Fiction Writing from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. She is also currently working on her dissertation for her English PhD through Temple University. Her interests include the Long 18th Century of British Literature and the medical humanities, specifically studying texts from the late medieval through Renaissance periods focusing on women’s health and bodies. She has taught various courses at Elizabethtown College, from first-year writing, to grammar, to British Literature. In addition to presenting students with new ways of looking at literature and approaching texts, Professor Biever-Grodzinski always looks to provide students with examples and experiences of “real-life” applications of material discussed in class, particularly within the digital humanities. In previous courses, she has worked with students to create a digital StoryCorps archive at Elizabethtown College. Her creative writing publications include “The Blue Man” in Out of Print Magazine (Vol. 11). Her short story “60 Seconds” was a finalist in the Central PA Magazine Writing Contest, and other publications have been featured in Central PA Magazine and First Choice Magazine.
Assistant Professor of English
Tara Moore directs Elizabethtown College’s First Year Writing Program, and she has been teaching first year composition for more than two decades. Dr. Moore is an Etown alumna. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Delaware. She has published two books about Christmas culture: Christmas: The Sacred to Santa and Victorian Christmas in Print. She also writes about developments in young adult literature, and her essays look at different themes like representations of adoptive families and violent teen girl protagonists. Her recent work in the realm of writing studies presents the benefits of designing a flipped classroom for college composition students. She has presented at the National Council of Teachers of English and the Conference for College Composition and Communication. Her approach to composition instruction encourages each student to reflect on their writing skills and focus on areas where they can grow as a writer.
Erica M. Dolson
Lecturer in English
Erica M. Dolson teaches in the First-Year Writing, Professional Writing, and Creative Writing programs at Elizabethtown College. She earned her M.F.A in Creative Writing (Creative Nonfiction) from George Mason University and her B.A. from Villanova University. Her creative nonfiction has been published on Culinate.com and in Full-Stop, Critical Read, borrowed solace, The Chaos, and Hippocampus.
Assistant Director of Academic Advising
Curtis Smith serves as Elizabethtown College's Assistant Director of Academic Advising. He also teaches sections of first-year composition, first-year seminar, and creative writing. He earned his MFA in Fiction from Vermont College, and before coming to Elizabethtown, he taught in a local high school for thirty-three years. He's published over one hundred stories and essays, and his work has been cited by or included in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, The Best American Spiritual Writing, The Best Short Fictions, The Best Microfictions, and the WW Norton anthology New Micro. He has worked with independent presses to publish five story collections, five novels, two essay collections, and one book of creative nonfiction. His latest novel, The Magpie's Return, was selected by Kirkus as one of the best Indie releases of 2020.
Charity Fox teaches first-year writing courses that draw on over 15 years of teaching in Writing, American Studies, Communications, English, Women’s and Gender Studies programs. She earned her PhD in American Studies and trained as a Writing Preceptor at The George Washington University. She has worked as an academic writing coach, led writing boot camps, and served on 30 dissertation and thesis committees. Her research examines the social and cultural work of literature and popular culture using lenses from literary cultural studies, intersectional feminisms, critical masculinities, and critical race studies. Her current projects are an eclectic mix, including works on mercenary and warrior masculinities in popular culture; dystopian speculative fiction; complex televisual narratives; and the everyday conflicts between creativity, ambition, and precarity in academic spaces. Her favorite part of teaching writing is helping writers tap into their own creativity and curiosity during the research and writing process. Her composition courses incorporate informal write-to-learn activities along with formal writing assignments. This breaks large projects into smaller steps and gives students a low-risk space in which to practice critical thinking, build their authorial voice, recognize their contributions to academic conversations, and translate those ideas into appropriate written forms.
Director of the Bowers Writers House
A winner of the River Styx International Poetry Contest, runner-up for the Iowa Review Fiction Prize and Finalist in The Starcherone Prize, the DIAGRAM Innovative Fiction Prize and the Paul Bowles Fiction Award, Jesse Waters is a recipient of a NC Artist’s Grant to attend the Vermont Studio Center, and is currently Director of the Bowers Writers House at Elizabethtown College. Jesse's fiction, poetry and non-fiction work has been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes, and has appeared nationally and internationally in such journals as The Adirondack Review, Coal Hill Review, The Cortland Review, Cimarron Review, Iowa Review, River Styx, Slide, Story Quarterly, Southeast Review, Sycamore Review and others. His first collection of poems, HUMAN RESOURCES, was published by Inkbrush Press in 2011; his first collection of short fiction SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT was released by Paycock Press in Feb. of 2018. Jesse believes writing and composition education has its best place when all readers are able to create successful dialogs with themselves, their professors, and one another.
Jill Coste has been teaching first-year writing since 2012, when she worked as an instructor at San Diego State University while completing her MA in English. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Florida, where she taught numerous classes in composition and literature. Her research focuses on children's and young adult literature, with particular analysis of adolescent agency in dystopian fiction and fairy tale retellings (which has left her with more opinions about Sleeping Beauty than she ever imagined). Dr. Coste brings that same attention to agency to her writing courses, encouraging students to recognize the power and potential of their own words.