Humphrey Family Writing Center

The Humphrey Family Writing Center is the home for The Hill School’s student writers. Located on the third floor of the John P. Ryan Library in a beautifully renovated room with an inspiring view of the campus, The Writing Center provides Hill’s student writers with a place of their own to develop their skills in the company of other writers. During the school day, English class students engage in lively discussions around Harkness tables.

After school, the space serves as the hub of Hill student publications, The RecordThe Hill News, and The Dial. During study hall, students visit the center to seek critiques and assistance on any type of writing project from Co-Directors of the Writing Center Mark Pearson, Ph.D. ’78 P’20 ’24 and Catriona Miller, Ph.D. ’08, faculty colleagues, as well as the Writing Fellows.

The Humphrey Family Writing Center was established in 2008 through the generosity and vision of Wolcott "Bud" Humphrey, Jr. '41; Peter Humphrey '72 and his wife, Sally; John B. Humphrey '75; and Christopher Humphrey '02, Peter and Sally's son.

About the Instructors

Dr. Mark Pearson '78 P'20 '24 |
C0-Director of The Writing Center & Senior Master Teacher of English and Humanities

Dr. Pearson is a veteran English teacher, former journalist, and published author. In addition to serving as co-director of the Writing Center, he also is a Senior Master Teacher of English. Dr. Pearson’s fiction and essays have appeared not only in his book of short stories, Famous Last Lines (2013, Mainstreet Rag Publishing Company), but also in The Best American Sports Writing 2011, Altered States, Aethlon, Blueline, Broken Bridge Review, Carve, North Dakota Quarterly, Short Story, Sport Literate, Stories, and Suicidally Beautiful. Dr. Pearson earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan; master’s degrees from both St. John’s College and the University of California/Davis; and his doctorate from the University of Georgia.

Dr. Catriona Miller '08 | 
Co-Director of the Writing Center & Instructor of History and Social Sciences

Dr. Miller currently serves as co-director of the Humphrey Family Writing Center, instructor of history, dorm parent, and crew coach. She attended Loyola University Maryland, earning a B.A. in history and graduating, summa cum laude.  While at Loyola, Dr. Miller was a four-year member and two-year captain of the women’s varsity crew team.  After college, she was a Teach for America corps member in Memphis, Tenn. She then returned to her studies at the University Wisconsin/Madison, where she completed her Ph.D. in Southeast Asian and Gender and Women’s History. While there, she earned federal FLAS and Boren fellowships, along with several university grants. She also served as a graduate student instructor and as the graduate student director of the UW-Madison History Lab, a research and writing resource center for undergraduate history students. In 2023, Dr. Miller was awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.

Writing Center News:

Writing Fellows

The Writing Fellows is a group of fifth and sixth form students selected for this honor and responsibility through a competitive process that includes an application and recommendations from teachers. Students seeking writing assistance can visit the Writing Center four nights per week during study hall.


The student publications include the school newspaper The Hill News; literary magazine, The Record; and yearbook, The Dial. Students can contribute to these publications through journalism classes, co-curricular assignments, and evening activities.


Each year The Writing Center hosts several professional writers who share their wisdom and experiences with students. Recent speakers have included Vox Media political journalist, Ian Millhiser ’98; poets, Heather Thomas and Shangyang Fang; and novelist, Josip Novakovich. In fall 2024, National Book Award Winner Sabaa Tahir will visit campus.


Hill students submit their writing to schoolwide, regional, and national contests. The Writing Center organizes the Revell Contest, a school writing contests with categories in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and podcasting. Many of our students do well in the regional and national Scholastic Awards. In 2023, Aidan Ma ’23 received a national silver medal for his portfolio and Diemmy Dang ’24 won a national gold medal for the American Voices category.