Class Catalog

Browse Summer Classes!

 

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Hugo House: Your best source for writing classes in Seattle.

For more information on the schedule, scholarships, the various formats of our writing classes, and cancellation policies, check out our About page. Or, go meet our talented instructors.

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Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ donor Registration: June 4
Member Registration: June 5
General Registration: June 12


New! Early Bird Pricing June 4 through June 18:

  • $10 off one-session classes
  • $20 off classes that are two to six sessions
  • $35 off classes that are eight sessions or more

Early bird pricing will automatically apply at checkout. 

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The Writer’s Welcome Kit

Want to be a writer? Don’t waste time. The Writer’s Welcome Kit aims to save you 100 hours of work and worry as you go from wanting to be a writer to working to be a writer. It’s the first e-course…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: The Writer's Welcome Kit

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The Writer's Welcome Kit

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Personal Coaching for the Writer’s Welcome Kit

If you need accountability and guidance while completing your Writer’s Welcome Kit and committing to the writing life, our coaching level class is for you. You’ll start with a 15-minute discussion of your goals with a professional writer, send in…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: The Writer's Welcome Kit

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The Writer's Welcome Kit

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Locate & Generate

All Levels | Together, we will generate new writing from collaborative prompts, experiencing other artistic mediums and challenging what we think is possible. We will write in conversation with artists like David Wojnarowicz, Cherrie Moraga, Layli Long Soldier, and with…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: JM Miller

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Start Date: 07/23/2018 – 7:10 PM

JM Miller

Janie Elizabeth Miller is a poet & essayist whose work explores environmental imagination & activism. She is founder of the anthology Ground Swell, a developing, online public forum for literary environmental activism. She teaches poetics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Her work has most recently been published in Written River: A Journal of Eco-Poetics, Tupelo Press (online), and Cimarron Review.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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Money in Writing

All Levels | We will explore how we write and think about money through readings of relevant texts and, ultimately, the production of our own money-related texts in workshop. The amount of money a person possessed was clearly stated in…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Charles Mudede

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Start Date: 07/23/2018 – 7:10 PM

Charles Mudede

Charles Tonderai Mudede is a Zimbabwean-born writer, filmmaker, and cultural critic. He writes about film, books, music, crime, art, economics, and urban theory for The Stranger. Mudede has made three films, two of which, Police Beat and Zoo, premiered at Sundance, and one, Zoo, was screened at Cannes. Mudede has written for the New York Times, Arcade Journal, Cinema Scope, Ars Electronica, The Village Voice, Radical Urban Theory, and C Theory. Mudede is also on the editorial board for the Black Scholar, which is based at the University of Washington, and between 1999 and 2005, lectured on post-colonial theory at Pacific Lutheran University, and in 2003 published a short book, Last Seen, with Diana George. Mudede has lived in Seattle since 1989.

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Writing Beyond Description

All Levels | Often, the story a writer is really trying to tell lies deep beneath plot and characterization. This class will introduce students to the concept of hyperdetailing—an abundance of description, both spoken and unspoken, that reveals the narrative…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Joe Ponepinto

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Start Date: 07/25/2018 – 5:00 PM

Joe Ponepinto

Joe Ponepinto is the publisher and fiction editor of Tahoma Literary Review, a nationally-recognized literary journal, and teaches fiction writing at Tacoma Community College. His novel, Mr. Neutron, will be published by 7.13 Books in spring 2018. His stories and criticism have been published in dozens of journals in the U.S. and abroad.

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Experimental Women Poets

All Levels | Come spend some time with the authors at the heart of the contemporary avant-garde. In this generative reading class, we’ll examine some of the women leading the forefront of the experimental poetry scene. We’ll take into account…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Evelynn

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Start Date: 07/25/2018 – 7:10 PM

Evelynn

Eve Yuen received her MFA in poetry from Cornell University, where she also taught for three years. Her interests are in book length poems, philosophy of language, and the history of the avant-garde. She is at work on a book about light and a book about trans poetics. Her poems have appeared in The Seattle Review, TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics, and other publications. She lives and writes in Seattle.

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Forms in Poetry

Intermediate | Form describes the way a poem deploys its line, rhythm, sound, and arrangement on the page, but might also refer to a conceptual restraint or organizing idea. Students will explore a range of poetic possibilities from traditional forms…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Lisa Wells

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Start Date: 07/25/2018 – 5:00 PM

Lisa Wells

Lisa Wells is the author of The Fix, winner of the 2017 Iowa Poetry Prize. A new book of nonfiction, Believers is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2019. She’s taught poetry and creative nonfiction writing at the University of Iowa, the University of Arizona, and at Yale-NUS College in Singapore where she was an Emerging Writer in Residence. She lives with the poet Joshua Marie Wilkinson in Seattle, where they run a small press called Letter Machine Editions.

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Writing Scenes

Intermediate | A cornerstone of literary writing, scenes dramatize a moment and bring it to life for readers. This course will share some tools for effective scene-setting, from sensory detail and imagery to character, dialogue, and plot. Through reading samples…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Gail Folkins

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Start Date: 07/26/2018 – 7:10 PM
This class is full

Gail Folkins

Gail Folkins often writes about her deep roots in the American West. She is the author of two creative nonfiction books from Texas Tech University Press: a Pacific Northwest memoir titled Light in the Trees (2016), and Texas Dance Halls: A Two-Step Circuit (2007), which was a popular culture finalist in ForeWord Review’s 2007 Book of the Year Awards. Folkins’ essay “A Palouse Horse” was a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2010. Her essays and poetry have appeared in publications such as River Teeth Journal - Beautiful Things, North Dakota Quarterly, Wisconsin Life, Texas Highways, and Wildflower Magazine. She has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, St. Edward’s University (Austin), and Austin Community College.

Teaching philosophy: My goal is to further understanding of craft while also encouraging expression of students’ unique voices. Students have praised my workshop format and student-centered approach. Students learn to not only share a narrative, but to also explore their experiences and discoveries. I encourage students to read as writers, meaning focusing on elements of craft in addition to literary themes.

Writers I return to: Edward Abbey, Julia Alvarez, Margaret Atwood, Kim Barnes, Rick Bass, Dennis Covington, Louise Erdrich, Ernest Hemingway, Pico Iyer, and Jhumpa Lahiri.

Favorite writing advice: Find the extraordinary in the everyday.

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Magical Realism 101

All Levels | Do you love Kafka, George Saunders, Gogol, Leslie Marmon Silko, Colson Whitehead, Kathleen Alcala, and Aimee Bender? Whether you are an experienced or beginning fiction writer, poet, or screenplay writer, you will learn a series of magical…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Stephanie Barbe Hammer

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Start Date: 07/26/2018 – 7:10 PM
This class is full

Stephanie Barbe Hammer

Stephanie Barbé Hammer is a 4 time nominee for the Pushcart Prize in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her work has appeared in Pearl, Hayden’s Ferry, the Bellevue Literary Review and S/tick among other places. She was a comp lit scholar for many years, but then decided she wanted to make creative work, rather than just talk about it. Born in New York City she now lives on Whidbey Island where she writes flash fiction, poetry, and occasional essays and teaches creative writing at community colleges and non-profits. She is the author of a novel The Puppet Turners of Narrow Interior (Urban Farmhouse Press in 2015), a poetry collection How Formal? (Spout Hill Press, 2014), and a chapbook, Sex with Buildings (Dancing Girl Press, 2012). She’s working on a new novel about a repentant drug dealer and a new poetry collection about being a city dweller attempting to deal with nature.

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Making Sense of Memory

All Levels |In writing about the past, we often explain rather than let our senses reveal long-lost moments: that diesel smell of a school bus; the calluses on your father’s hands; jeans ticking in the dryer; or (thank you, Proust)…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Christine Hemp

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Start Date: 07/28/2018 – 10:00 AM

Christine Hemp

Christine Hemp has aired her work on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and has performed in theater, music, and with her writing. Her literary awards include a Harvard University Conway Award for Teaching Writing, a Washington State Artist Trust Fellowship for Literature, an Iowa Review Award for Literary Nonfiction, and a Washington State Artist Trust Fellowship for literature. Her collection of poems That Fall was published in 2011. She teaches nonfiction and poetry at the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival.

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Writing with South Asian Ghazals

All Levels | Ghazals in South Asia are one of the most popular forms of poetry anywhere. While there has been much analysis of the ghazal’s evolution in English, how the ghazal works as popular art is less accessible to…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Shankar Narayan

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Start Date: 07/29/2018 – 1:00 PM

Shankar Narayan

Shankar Narayan explores identity, power, mythology, and technology in a world where the body is flung across borders yet possesses unrivaled power to transcend them. Shankar is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Fellow at Kundiman and at Hugo House, and winner of prizes from Flyway and Paper Nautilus. Shankar draws strength from his global upbringing and from his work as a civil rights attorney for the ACLU. His work has appeared in Jaggery, Panoply, Crab Creek Review, Raven Chronicles, The Litfuse Anthology, WA 129 (a collection of Washington state poems curated by Poet Laureate Tod Marshall), and many other publications. Shankar is a recent 4Culture grant recipient for Claiming Space, a project to lift the voices of writers of color. In Seattle, he awakens to the wonders of Cascadia every day, but his heart yearns east to his other hometown, Delhi.

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The Political Essay

All Levels | Craft that chapter in your memoir where the personal meets the political, that OpEd you have the authority to write, that biting political analysis, or that cultural critique for a literary journal. Learning from James Baldwin, Rebecca…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sonora Jha

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Start Date: 07/31/2018 – 5:00 PM

Sonora Jha

Sonora Jha is the author of the novel Foreign, published in 2013 by Random House India. She is a professor of journalism and media studies at Seattle University. Formerly a journalist in India and Singapore, her recent political essays and Op-Eds have been published in the New York Times, the Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly and the Globalist. Apart from her academic and journalistic writing, she is currently finishing work on a memoir. Sonora is a current Hugo House Writer-in-Residence.

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Hybrid Writing

We will (dis/un)cover the elements of creative writing by paying close attention to literary works that do not conventionally fit into any one genre or tradition. We will investigate these readings and the boundaries they establish (or disassemble), in addition…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Diana Khoi Nguyen

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Start Date: 08/04/2018 – 1:00 PM

Diana Khoi Nguyen

Diana Khoi Nguyen’s debut collection, Ghost Of (Omnidawn, 2018), was selected by Terrance Hayes for the Omnidawn Open Contest. She is a poet and multimedia artist whose work has appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and PEN America, among others. In addition to winning the 92Y "Discovery" / Boston Review Poetry Contest, she has received awards and scholarships from the Academy of American Poets, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Currently, she lives in Denver where she is pursuing a PhD in creative writing and teaches in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. www.dianakhoinguyen.com

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The Sizzle of the Feast—A Song of Reimagined Forms

This workshop digs into a selection from Patricia Smith’s Incendiary Art, feasting on her rhythmic forms and mechanics of music. By tuning our ears to her practice, we will interrogate our own notions about formal poetry’s pliancy and power. We…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Natalie Graham

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Start Date: 08/04/2018 – 1:00 PM

Natalie Graham

Native of Gainesville, Florida, Natalie J. Graham earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Florida. She completed her Ph.D. in American Studies at Michigan State University as a University Distinguished Fellow. Her first, full-length poetry collection, Begin with a Failed Body (University of Georgia Press, 2017), was chosen by Kwame Dawes for the 2016 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. This collection is rooted in the landscape of the U.S. South and centers on the body as a site for retelling stories to reveal persistent, complex humanity. Her poems and articles have been published in Callaloo, New England Review, Valley Voices: A Literary Review, Southern Humanities Review, The Journal of Popular Culture, Transition, and Phylon. Her research interests include Hip Hop Culture, Food Culture, and Identity Performance. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and currently associate professor of African American Studies at California State University, Fullerton. Find her online @NatalieJoGraham or nataliejgraham.com.

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How to Hook Your Reader

All Levels | You want to grab your reader’s interest and not let go, but how do you do it? Whether you’re writing memoir or fiction, you’ve got a story to tell—and it needs to get heard. Come spend an…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Susan Meyers

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Start Date: 08/04/2018 – 1:00 PM

Susan Meyers

Susan V. Meyers has lived and taught in Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico. She earned an MFA from the University of Minnesota and a PhD from the University of Arizona, and she currently directs the Creative Writing Program at Seattle University. Her fiction and nonfiction have been supported by grants from the Fulbright foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, 4Culture, Artist Trust, and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, as well as several artists residencies. Her novel Failing the Trapeze won the Nilsen Award for a First Novel and the Fiction Attic Press Award for a First Novel, and it was a finalist for the New American Fiction Award. Other work has recently appeared in Per Contra, Calyx, Dogwood, The Portland Review, and The Minnesota Review, and it has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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