Teacher Toolkit: How to Become a Hugo House Teacher

Classes are a central part of what we do at Hugo House, but how do you become a Hugo teacher?  


Each quarter, we accept class proposals from writers and teaching artists in the Seattle area and beyond, with an eye towards creating a class lineup that meets the needs and interests of writers of all skill levels and genres in our community. This post outlines what’s in a class proposal, when to submit, and how classes are selected. There are also some tips from our education staff on how to write a stellar application! 

What’s in a class proposal 

Class proposals include the following: 

  • 1–2-page CV 
  • 1-page teaching statement 
  • A short (90-word) description of your class 
  • A syllabus and detailed class description 

Want to know more about each of these elements? Check out this blog post for more » 

When to submit 

Applications for each quarter are generally open during the following periods. All materials should be submitted through our Teacher Portal.  

Winter  Early June – Late July 
Spring  Early September – Early October 
Summer  Early December – Mid-January 
Fall  Mid-February – Mid-March 

How classes are selected 

Class proposals are reviewed by a committee of Hugo House staff members and current and former teachers. The committee represents a range of ages, ethnicities, genders, religions, and backgrounds. 

When selecting courses, we look at how each class would fulfill Hugo House’s current curricular needs. This includes a balance of genre, skill-level requirements, and format (workshop, generative, reading). 

When hiring teachers, we consider a combination of prior teaching experience, publication history, and the strength of teaching evaluations from Hugo House or other institutions. We’re committed to hiring a teaching corps that’s representative of diverse backgrounds, including but not limited to diversity of ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, religion, ability, and culture. 

Tips to make your class proposal stand out from the rest 

Here’s Education Director Margot Kahn Case’s advice on creating a class proposal that stands out:  

Make your class sound interesting! What’s your current literary obsession? What are you uniquely qualified to teach? What book has been keeping you up all night, the essay you’re talking to everyone about? Send us a class about that! Read the Tips & Sample Course Descriptions section of the Teacher Portal for more on great class proposals.  

Show us that you’re actively reading and engaged with the world. We like classes that speak to the current moment, whether that’s a hot genre or a social movement or something about the world that people are concerned with now. If your topic is something general (i.e. “Creating Great Characters”) it helps to have a great reading list that’s not the same old stuff we read in high school.   

We are asked all the time what gaps need to be filled in our catalog, but you are the best person to answer that question. Please read the catalog before submitting a class. What do you think is missing that you’re able to bring to the table? Propose it!  

If your class isn’t selected… 

Don’t get discouraged! We sometimes receive more class proposals for a quarter than we can reasonably offer, and we may be interested in hosting your class at some point in the future. If your proposal isn’t selected, we may offer feedback as time permits.  

Perhaps you’ve submitted something that doesn’t interest our committee this quarter… Feel free to try again. Like the editors of a literary journal, our committee changes every quarter.  


Contact our education team at education@hugohouse.org