What is Hugo House, anyway?

We describe ourselves most often as a writers’ center: a place where writers can come to meet others interested in the craft, take classes, consult with other writers, and attend readings and events. We also offer fellowships and opportunities for writers to work within their craft, such as Made at Hugo House, our two writers-in-residence, and instructorship.

But don’t listen to us: one student said, “Rare places can offer an uncomplicated and human experience like this!” We hope you agree.

Where can I find you?

We’ve moved to a new location on First Hill while a new building in our old location is being built. You can find us at 1021 Columbia Street, Seattle, WA, 98104. We’re next to The Frye art museum. More information about the move can be found on the The New Hugo House page.

How can I get there?

Parking: While Hugo House does not have a dedicated lot, paid street parking is available in the surrounding area and there are a number of paid garages and lots within one to three blocks away, including at 1124 Columbia Street, 1010 Marion Street, 1112 Marion Street, and 815 9th Avenue. We ask that you please do not park in The Frye’s or O’Dea High School’s parking lots, which are reserved for their staff and guests.

Public transportation: The First Hill Streetcar stops by our new location and connects to the Broadway Streetcar and South Lake Union Streetcar via downtown. You may also take the light rail to Capitol Hill, and from there, the Broadway Streetcar.

If you’re coming from up north, there is the bus line 12 from Interlaken Park, the 64 from Lake City, the 303 from Shoreline Park & Ride, and the 309 from Kenmore Park & Ride. If you’re coming from the south, take the 9. From Downtown, take the 3, 4, 12, or 13. Note that this is not an exhaustive list of bus options; check out King County Metro’s Trip Planner for a full list of routes.

Is Hugo House accessible?

Hugo House strives to encourage a learning environment of inclusivity and equal access to services. Our bathrooms are gender neutral and open to all.

Additionally, all of our classrooms are wheelchair accessible. Accessible bathroom facilities are available next door at The Frye art museum during their open hours and our front desk will be happy to work with you on accessing them.

If you require specific accommodations, please contact us so that we may assist you.

Can you help me find a writing group?

Writing groups are composed of fellow writers in a fairly serious relationship together—a relationship that is rarely formed via a blind date, and one that may be much more complex than any romantic relationship. We haven’t found a good way to facilitate these matches. You’re looking for a small group of people who read your work in a critical, respectful way with exciting insight. You’ll typically find these people in a classroom. When someone understands or challenges your work in a constructive way, you won’t want to let go of them. And hopefully they’ll feel the same way about you. Keep in touch with these special writer friends, have coffee, take it slow.

Can you help me get published?

We can’t, but our writers-in-residence are very helpful in advising writers on how to find an agent or send out manuscripts to various publishers. We also offer classes on publishing, book proposals, and finding an agent.

I just had a major writing success! Wanna hear about it?

Definitely! We might even feature it. Let us know via this form.


I have no idea which class to take, can you advise?

Sure. We’re always willing to answer questions about classes via email or over the phone. Just tell us a bit about your writing background (or tell us if you’re just getting started!) and about what kind of class experience you’d like, and we can assist you from there.

What is a “generative” class? How is it different from a workshop class or a reading class?

Generative means you’ll be generating new writing, either in class or at home between classes. Workshop, on the other hand, means you’ll be bringing in work to be read and critiqued by the instructor and your writing peers. Don’t worry — this isn’t as scary as it sounds, and trust us when we say it’s an integral part of the writing process that will end up giving everyone ideas for revision that might not have come up in typical writerly solitude. Plus, critiquing others’ work is often even more valuable to your progress as a writer than having your own critiqued.

A reading class is also just that: reading. However, our reading classes often stray toward looking at the craft of the works being read, rather than the typical lit-class analysis of, say, the American Dream in Fitzgerald’s Gatsby. Instead, you’ll probably be breaking down the sentence structure of “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Are there specific skill levels associated with different classes?

Most of our other classes are intended for a range of levels, from very beginning to very advanced. If a class is designed for a specific level of experience, it will be noted in the course description. For more information on class levels, see About Our Classes.

But I’ve never written before! Aren’t there any classes for beginners?

As long as you have the desire and drive to be a writer, we want you here and in class! Our best advice to beginning writers is to take a class in an area of writing that interests you most, such as a class on characters for fiction or a class on line breaks for poetry. Despite focusing on a smaller area, you’ll learn a lot about the overall genre by doing so.

I can’t afford classes at Hugo House. Are there any other options?

We offer scholarships every quarter. Scholarship dates and information on applying can be found here.

Should I bring anything to class with me?

Besides a pen and paper, Hugo House itself doesn’t require anything. However, your teachers will email you ahead of time if they’d personally like you to bring in a work sample, laptop, or class pet. But probably not the last part.


I’d like to have my event hosted at Hugo House. How do I do that?

It depends — if you’d like us to host the event for you, please fill out an event form with all the relevant information, and we’ll get back to you within one to two months. Please note that we almost never accept events that you’d like to occur within the two months after your request.

If you’d simply like to hold your event here, we rent out our spaces for a fee. See our Rentals page for more info.

How much do events usually cost?

Actually, 80 percent of our events are free! We only charge for the Literary Series, Word Works, and a few other choice events throughout the year. Visit the individual events pages for Lit Series and Word Works for more info on pricing.

Can I get a refund on my event ticket? I can’t make it.

Hugo House does not offer refunds on ticketed events. If your ticket(s) are for an event in our Literary Series or our Word Works series, you may exchange your ticket(s) for another event in the same series and season. However, refunds will be given in the case of tickets to events that are cancelled or postponed by Hugo House.

Membership and Support

Why should I become a member?

Plenty of reasons: receive discounts on events and classes, get a slew of membership benefits, and know that your membership dues help us help writers. You can read more about membership here.

Who can I speak with about sponsoring an event or program?

That would be Louise Kincaid: louise@hugohouse.org.