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Class Catalog

Browse Spring & Summer Classes!

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.

If you would like to receive our quarterly catalogs in the mail, please contact us.


Summer Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ donor Registration: June 3
Member Registration: June 4
General Registration: June 11


New! Early Bird Pricing June 3 through June 17:

  • $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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NO! Writing and Practicing the Art of Refusal

All Levels | We’ll explore NO-ing from our bodies through chants, yelling, and physical movement and complete a series of writing prompts based on the idea that NO is verb and NO-ing is a birthright. You’ll leave with a solid…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anastacia Renee

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Start Date: 07/17/2019 – 7:10 PM
5 seats available

Anastacia Renee

Anastacia-Renee is a multi-genre writer, educator, and interdisciplinary artist. She is the recipient of the 2018 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award for Washington artists (Artist Trust), and has served as the 2017-2019 Seattle Civic Poet and the 2015-2017 poet-in-residence at Hugo House. Anastacia-Renee is a two-time Pushcart nominee and 2017 Artist of Year (Seattle). She is the author of five books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.) (Black Ocean) 26 (Dancing Girl Press), Kiss Me Doll Face (Gramma Press), and Answer(Me) (Winged City Chapbooks, Argus Press) and has received writing fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Artist Trust, Jack Straw, Ragdale, Whiteley, Mineral School, and Hypatia in the Woods. Her cross-genre writing has appeared in a TEDx talk; the anthologies Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism, Sinister Wisdom: Black Lesbians—We Are the Revolution, and Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks; and Ms. Magazine, Split this Rock, Painted Bride Quarterly, Crab Creek Review, Seattle Review, The Fight & the Fiddle, Duende, Poetry Northwest, Synaethesia, Banqueted, Torch, Mom Egg Review, The Magazine of Glamorous Refusal, Pinwheel Journal, and many more. She teaches poetry and multi-genre workshops at Hugo House, libraries, universities, and high schools.

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Why Show Don’t Tell Is a Crock!

“Show, don’t tell” is a slogan cited like scripture. It also might be the single most destructive piece of advice writers ever receive. In this seminar, participants will look at concrete examples of how the “show, don’t tell” mantra often…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 07/17/2019 – 13:00:00

Steve Almond

Steve Almond is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His forthcoming book is William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life. Steve's short stories have appeared in the Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies. His essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere. For many years, he hosted the Dear Sugars podcast with Cheryl Strayed.

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Fiction in a Flash

All Levels | Flash fiction’s brevity, creativity, and impact have made it a significant part of the literary world. In this class we’ll do close readings of published flash from Best Small Fictions and other sources to examine how it…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Joe Ponepinto

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Start Date: 07/18/2019 – 7:10 PM
5 seats available

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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Four Novels, Four Structures

All Levels | In this jam-packed excursion into novel architecture, we’ll look at four short novels—Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, Didion’s Play It As It Lays, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House—and think about how to apply…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Michael Shilling

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Start Date: 07/20/2019 – 1:00 PM

Michael Shilling

Michael Shilling is the author of Rock Bottom, a novel published by Little, Brown. The musical adaptation of the book was staged in 2014 by the Landless Theater Company. His stories have appeared in The Sun, Fugue, and Other Voices.

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Build a Blueprint for Your Platform

All Levels | Creating a platform to launch your work into the world requires strategy, diligence, creativity, and patience. We’ll discuss the various ways to build a platform that works for you, including social media, networking, and different avenues for…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Jennifer Haupt

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Start Date: 07/20/2019 – 1:00 PM

Jennifer Haupt

Jennifer Haupt's essays have been published in O, The Oprah Magazine, The Rumpus, Spirituality & Health, The Sun and elsewhere. Her debut novel, In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills, was published in April 2018. She is currently working on a memoir/fiction hybrid based in Haiti.

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News as Poetry: Crafting Poems from the Headlines

Introductory/Intermediate | Students will read and discuss how poetry can be used to address newsworthy stories, articles, and headlines. Students will then craft a poem inspired by their choice of recent news article after completing a few creative exercises. Poems…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Demi Wetzel

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Start Date: 07/20/2019 – 10:00 AM

Demi Wetzel

Demi Wetzel is originally from Evansville, Indiana where she graduated from the University of Southern Indiana. Her work can be found in a variety of poetry publications and her chapbook—Life of the Party— was shortlisted for the 2017 Floating Bridge Press Competition. She now lives in Seattle where she works as a freelance writer and copywriter.

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Online Class: Level Up Your Young Adult Novel

Intermediate | Have you been working on a draft of a young adult novel and gotten stuck? Or maybe you want to make your story shine so agents, editors, and readers will love it? Summer is an excellent time to…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Stephanie Kuehnert

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Start Date: 07/25/2019

Stephanie Kuehnert

Stephanie Kuehnert is the author of two young adult novels, I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone and Ballads of Suburbia, and she has a young adult memoir forthcoming from Dutton in 2017. Stephanie has also been a contributing writer to Rookie, an online magazine for teenage girls, since its inception in 2011. She received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago in 2006 and has been teaching since 2009. She’s taught general Fiction Writing courses, classes that focus on character, and Young Adult Fiction courses to teenagers, undergraduates, graduates, and working professionals both in person and online at a variety of institutions including Columbia College Chicago, StoryStudio Chicago, MediaBistro, Hugo House, and Seattle University.

Teaching philosophy: I believe that learning to write is a never-ending process (and this is why I take classes at Hugo House too!). I strive to help my students build their writerly toolbox by providing helpful exercises and ways to look at storytelling that they can continually revisit. All of my classes include a generative component and a focus on craft. In workshops, I aim to create an environment that is positive and productive and helps each student zero in both on what needs work and what already is working.

Writers I always return to: Francesca Lia Block, Melissa Marr, Libba Bray, JK Rowling, John Steinbeck, and Louise Erdrich

Favorite writing advice: Let reading be your greatest teacher. Study the books you love, examine them at a craft level, and use what you learn. Also: Butt. In. Chair. Fingers. On. Keyboard. Do what you need to do to finish your draft. There is no one magical routine, but you know what works for you—do it!

Past Student Feedback:
“I loved Stephanie's year-long class. Stephanie is smart and organized, all-around supportive, and a great mentor. She was always open to new ideas, considered everyone equals, and was encouraging of all discussion, never shying away from emotion. Very inclusive. She has a unique view of the world, and that perspective seems to put everyone at ease. She's a kind and funny person with a good sense of humor, but also gave honest and valuable critique. I learned a lot quickly, and also felt like there was time for questions and building community. Great experience!”

“Stephanie is the kind of teacher who uses positive, thoughtful feedback to tease the best stuff from writers in her classes. On the other hand, she's not shy about giving exercises that stretch us out of our zones of comfort, including identifying (and pushing) our story's main idea and diagramming our entire book (drawings optional) before we've even finished chapter four. She's organized and prepared. She really knows her stuff, which gives her students confidence in her.”

“Stephanie is an inspired teacher with a gift for bringing out the best in her students. She is always well prepared to discuss every angle of the writing process and brings a tremendous amount of energy to each class. Stephanie is extremely supportive and engages with her students’ work, always finding positive ways to help. I was constantly amazed at how meticulously she read each student’s work and gave constructive feedback. Her enthusiasm and passion for the craft of writing is contagious.”

“Stephanie Kuehnert is an awesome, talented combination of teacher and facilitator. At the start of our yearlong YA fiction writing class, she provided the class with a well-organized syllabus and suggested reading list. After each class, we received class notes in email form which proved useful both for people who missed class and for those in attendance. She also provided us with in-class writing exercises and handouts that I continue to reference. Along with being very knowledgeable about the craft of writing, Stephanie is also skilled in the art of critique. She provided helpful feedback on my writing, both in written and verbal form, offering encouragement and suggesting areas that could be changed to make my writing stronger. During in-class critiques, she would start the class off by providing her own, brief feedback on a student's work, and would then open the discussion up to the class. While she allowed the discussion to flow organically, she kept it respectful and on topic, which was appreciated. She also kept the class on schedule, both in regards to the syllabus and to the individual classes, which is no easy feat. I found Stephanie's YA fiction writing class to be the best writing class I've ever taken (and I've got a BA in Creative Writing). Not only did I learn countless writing techniques and tips to add to my writer's toolbox, but through her encouragement, I have started querying my novel with literary agents. I greatly respect Stephanie as a teacher, a writer and an all-around supporter of the writing community.”

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Poetry I

Introductory | This course will introduce you to the basics of poetry. We’ll study imagery, sound play, tone, rhythm, and more. Assignments will consist of experiments corresponding to the theme for that week. Expect to write something for each class….

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Evelynn Yuen

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Start Date: 07/27/2019 – 10:00 AM

Evelynn Yuen

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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Write Your Novel Now

Introductory/Intermediate | Whether you’re just getting started or simply need a recharge, this intensive “boot camp” experience will give you the tools you need to start (and finish!) your novel. Through a study of professional examples, we’ll look at foundational…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Susan Meyers

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Start Date: 07/27/2019 – 10:00 AM
1 seats available

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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Precarios

Presented in partnership with The Henry Art Gallery. Inspired by the work of interdisciplinary artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña, this writing workshop will be held among the “Precarios” installation at the Henry Art Gallery. Through reading and discussion, we will…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Jill Leininger

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Start Date: 07/27/2019 – 13:00:00
5 seats available

Jill Leininger

Jill Leininger’s poems can be found in Poet Lore, Harvard Review, Cream city review, and Poetry International. She’s the author of two chapbooks: Roof Picnic Skies, New York and Sky Never Sleeps, selected by Mark Doty for BLOOM in 2012.

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Breathing Life into Secondary Characters

All Levels | Whether you have a completed draft of a novel or are just beginning a memoir, this one-day seminar is for you. Over the course of three hours, we will investigate what makes weak and strong secondary characters….

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Beth Slattery

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Start Date: 07/28/2019 – 1:00 PM

Beth Slattery

Beth Slattery moved to Seattle after eighteen years of teaching creative writing and literature at Indiana University East. Since her relocation, she has been writing and editing. Beth is currently working on a collection of personal essays about her mid-life marriage to a Zimbabwean, a move from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest, and a reluctant acceptance of the call to adventure. Her most recent publications appear in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies and Southern Women’s Review. Beth’s recent editing work includes being a “beta” reader for an author with a multi-book publishing contract, content and copy editing of a personal essay collection, and providing comprehensive editing services on an edited academic volume that was later published by Oxford University Press. She has an M.A. in fiction writing from Miami University and an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine—Stonecoast.

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All Body, No Gender/Genre

Introductory | Writers will read works written by gender minorities and then asked to engage in their own writing. With selections from the work of Kai Cheng Thom, Kokumo, and Eli Clare, readings will cross genre boundaries and smash harmful…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Wryly McCutchen

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Start Date: 07/28/2019 – 10:00 AM

Wryly McCutchen

Wryly T. McCutchen is a poet, memoirist, and Seattle Area native. Their work has appeared in Wilde Magazine, Alive With Vigor, and Raven Chronicles. Their poetry collection My Ugly and Other Love Snarls is available from University of Hell Press.

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Six Narrative Techniques to Bring Your Memoir to Life

Introductory/Intermediate | In this writing-intensive workshop, memoir author Ingrid Ricks will teach you the six key narrative writing techniques necessary to bring your memoir to life. These include openings that grab, character development, emotions, effective dialogue, active settings, sensory details,…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Ingrid Ricks

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Start Date: 07/28/2019 – 2:00 PM
1 seats available

Ingrid Ricks

Ingrid Ricks is an author, speaker and founder of Write It Out Loud, a program that fosters healing and empowerment through narrative writing. Her memoirs include the New York Times bestseller Hippie Boy and Focus, a memoir about her journey with the blinding eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa. Her essays and stories have appeared on Salon and NPR. She lives in Ballard with her husband and two daughters. For more information, visit her website or her program website.

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