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Written by guest-contributor

Video Lesson: What If the Humans Stayed Home? with Jessica Gigot

Posted Tue, 10/13/2020 - 3:55pm by  |  Category: , ,

With communities around the world staying home due to the pandemic, there’s been a number of stories documenting unusual and inspiring animal activity, some true and some sensationalized. These stories, as well as some of the questions they’ve elicited from…

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Time and Distance Overcome: Research in Poetry by Erin Malone

Posted Mon, 6/29/2020 - 9:47am by  |  Category: , , ,

“Time and Distance Overcome”: I titled this class after an essay of the same name by Eula Biss. I wanted a few words to suggest how a dive into the historical record can yield surprising and urgent connections to our…

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Join us at the Quarantine Write-In by Rebecca Agiewich

Posted Tue, 5/05/2020 - 4:47pm by  |  Category: ,

If you’re looking for a little inspiration as well as some company to write with, try joining us at the next Quarantine Write-In. Even if you’ve never put pen to paper before, you’re most welcome.  I serve up writing prompts…

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How to Begin Your Hybrid Memoir by Sarah Cannon

Posted Fri, 4/10/2020 - 12:37pm by  |  Category: , , ,

The hybrid memoir has the potential to be far more than a straight-up personal story. The appeal is the creativity of blending various elements and the result is a fresh take that can resonate in larger ways than a traditional…

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Micro Lesson: Seeing Outside of Ourselves by Jessica Gigot

Posted Fri, 4/03/2020 - 1:05pm by  |  Category: , , ,

When I initially planned my spring quarter Embodied Ecopoetics workshop, the world was a different place. I offered my first installment of this workshop at Hugo House in the fall and was excited about the opportunity to offer it again…

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Love in the Time of COVID-19 by Janée J. Baugher

Posted Tue, 3/31/2020 - 11:35am by  |  Category: ,

With National Poetry Month starting April 1, Hugo Instructor Janée Baugher wrote this poem for the blog. Her class, National Poetry Month Intensive, starts tomorrow. Late registrations are welcome. Call 206.322.7030 to sign up. Learn more » I’m thinking about…

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Happy Divorce! How to separate sound from meaning in poetry by Erica Sklar

Posted Fri, 2/28/2020 - 10:37am by  |  Category: , , ,

Divorcing ourselves from meaning in writing can feel impossible. We get lost in our narratives and our characters, in the metaphors we’re creating and the incredible dialogue that we just can’t seem to fit into the story. But the freedom…

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Straight Talk About Diverse Books by Rachel Werner

Posted Thu, 2/13/2020 - 9:45am by  |  Category: ,

Have #OwnVoices finally become mainstream? Do you have a preconceived notion it will be easier to query your manuscript because diverse books are now trending? The latest research, compiled by Lee & Low Books and released earlier this week, seems…

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Read Like a Writer: Henry James and Sally Rooney by Liza Birnbaum

Posted Fri, 2/07/2020 - 11:57am by  |  Category: , , ,

Sally Rooney’s novels Conversations with Friends and Normal People have been two of the most talked-about books of the past five years. Profiles of Rooney tend to feature her age (she’s not yet thirty) and to deploy descriptions like “phenomenon”…

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Outsmarting the Algorithm: Dissecting Your Favorite Song to Build a Personalized Playlist by Catherine Harris-White / SassyBlack

Posted Wed, 2/05/2020 - 9:17am by  |  Category: , ,

There are many reasons music resonates with us. Most times it’s because that music has prompted a bit of nostalgia. Maybe it reminds you of your childhood or of a loved one or even a lover. Sometimes music can remind…

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How to Keep a “Long Story Short” by Margot Leitman

Posted Tue, 2/04/2020 - 9:00am by  |  Category: , ,

As the author of Long Story Short, the Only Storytelling Guide You’ll Ever Need and What’s Your Story? A Workbook for the Storyteller in All of Us, I get asked a lot about how long a story for the stage…

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Hearing Voices: Breaking Writer’s Block through Radical Listening by Matt Trease

Posted Tue, 1/21/2020 - 8:58am by  |  Category: , , ,

In the many years since I decided to become a writer and teacher, I’ve heard numerous students, and even established writers, bemoan what they call writer’s block with some variation of the lament “I just don’t feel I have anything…

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Micro Lesson: Writing the Dead and Other Magical Inclinations by Michele Bombardier

Posted Fri, 1/17/2020 - 9:53am by  |  Category: , , ,

One of the best parts of being a poet is the outrageousness of it.  “Out here I can say anything” Larry Levis famously wrote, and we understand viscerally what he meant. On the page, we get to say anything, go…

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Micro-Lesson: Graphic Writing for Comic Characters by Greg Stump

Posted Tue, 1/14/2020 - 12:00pm by  |  Category: , , ,

When it comes to emphasizing, setting off, and differentiating bits of dialogue, cartoonists and comic artists have a wide range of graphic techniques at their disposal. Used in moderation, these approaches to visual writing can really add to your characters’…

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How to Start Your Story (or Novel) with Its Best Foot Forward by Raymond Fleischmann

Posted Mon, 12/30/2019 - 9:42am by  |  Category: , , ,

“If I can get that first paragraph right,” Stephen King once told The Atlantic, “I’ll know I can do the book.” Starting a story—or novel—can feel pretty intimidating. And to be sure, a compelling start can do more than encourage…

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