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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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Researching and Writing True Crime

Introductory | Whether a 50-year-old case or a present-day one, writing about crime is different than any other genre. As Agatha Christie said, the crime is the end of the story. An author must learn why it happened and how…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Rebecca Morris

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Start Date: 05/29/2019 – 7:10 PM

Rebecca Morris

New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Morris is also a veteran journalist who worked in radio and television news in New York City; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington and was a free-lance writer for The Seattle Times, The Oregonian, People, Entertainment Weekly, and many other publications before she began writing true crime books.

Her first book, Ted and Ann, continues to be an e-book bestseller on Amazon (and is also available in paperback), and her e-book, Bad Apples – Inside the Teacher/Student Sex Scandal Epidemic, is the only book to look at the trend of female teachers having sex with underage students.

She is the author of A Murder in My Hometown (2018), A Killing in Amish Country - Sex Betrayal and a Cold-Blooded Murder (St. Martin's, 2016) and If I Can't Have You - Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance and the Murder of Her Children (St. Martin's 2014) with bestselling author Gregg Olsen. They are also the authors of the Notorious USA series, including The Boy Who Fired the First Shot, The Girl and the Horrors of Howard Ave., and The Stranger and the World’s Bravest Little Girl.

Rebecca attended Oregon State University, received a B.A. in Journalism from Seattle University, and has an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Brown University. She speaks about her work at libraries, schools, and writers’ conferences. She has taught writing, journalism, and playwriting at colleges and universities across the country. She lives in Seattle.

She appears frequently on television as a crime expert.

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Design Criticism as Insight and Potential

This class is presented in partnership with ARCADE. ARCADE’s mission is to reinforce the principle that thoughtful design at every scale of human endeavor improves our quality of life. All Levels | This workshop will seek a new approach to design…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Ayad Rahmani

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Start Date: 06/01/2019 – 10:00 AM

Ayad Rahmani

Ayad Rahmani is a professor of architecture at Washington State University where he teaches courses on design and theory. He is the author of two books, the last on Kafka and architecture titled Kafka’s Architectures, published in 2015. He writes widely on subjects related to art, architecture and literature, currently as the architecture critic for the Moscow Pullman Daily News. He is currently working on a new book on Frank Lloyd Wright and Ralph Waldo Emerson, examining the American project through the lens of architecture and literature.

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Your Turn: The Volta and Ending Poems

Intermediate | The volta, or the “turning point” of a poem, is a central moment of surprise—moving the reader in a new direction to end a poem. How does a volta operate in contemporary verse? What kinds of voltas are…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jane Wong

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Start Date: 06/01/2019 – 1:00 PM

Jane Wong

Jane Wong's poems can be found in Best American Poetry 2015, American Poetry Review, Third Coast, jubilat and others. A Kundiman fellow, she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Fine Arts Work Center, Hedgebrook, and Bread Loaf. She is the author of Overpour (Action Books, 2016) and is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University. In 2017, she received the James W. Ray Distinguished Artist award for Washington artists.

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Follow the Thread: Building a Manuscript

Intermediate / Advanced | This generative workshop will help you develop work along a through-line or theme to build a manuscript. Come with a selection of work to tie together and a theme to develop through further writing; prompts will…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Amber Flame

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Start Date: 06/02/2019 – 3:30 PM

Amber Flame

Amber Flame is a writer, composer, and performer whose work has garnered residencies with Hedgebrook, The Watering Hole, Vermont Studio Center, and YEFE NOF. Flame’s original work has been published in diverse arenas, including Def Jam Poetry, Winter Tangerine, The Dialogist, Split This Rock, Black Heart Magazine, Sundress Publications, FreezeRay, Redivider Journal, and more. A 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, Jack Straw Writer, and recipient of the CityArtist grant from Seattle’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Amber Flame’s first full-length poetry collection, Ordinary Cruelty, was recently published through Write Bloody Press. Amber Flame is a queer Black single mama just one magic trick away from growing her unicorn horn.

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Publishing Intensive

Intermediate / Advanced | This daylong intensive seminar will provide a comprehensive overview of the publishing business and opportunities for writers of memoir, adult fiction, and young adult fiction. Students will have the opportunity to pitch their books to small groups…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Karen Finneyfrock & Peter Mountford & Theo Nestor

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Start Date: 06/02/2019 – 10:00 AM

Karen Finneyfrock & Peter Mountford & Theo Nestor

Karen Finneyfrock is the author of two young adult novels: The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door and Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, both published by Viking Children’s Books. She is a former Writer-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House.

Peter Mountford is the author of the award-winning novels A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism, and The Dismal Science. His work has appeared dozens of major magazines and newspapers. He teaches at Sierra Nevada College’s MFA program.

Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008). Nestor has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Ed program since 2006.

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Dynamic Dialogue: The Art of Subtext

Introductory / Intermediate | Do you want to liven up your dialogue? It might surprise you to learn that the most important things aren’t necessarily what’s said, but what’s not. This class introduces you to the art of subtext: those…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Susan Meyers

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Start Date: 06/08/2019 – 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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Unleashing the Healing Power of Personal Narrative

Introductory / Intermediate | In this hands-on narrative writing workshop, you will learn how to identify and structure the personal story you need to tell, and how to bring it to life through six different in-class writing assignments. There will be…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Ingrid Ricks

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Start Date: 06/08/2019 – 10:00 AM

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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Speak the Truth: Write Like a Kid

Intermediate | We will be guided by our inner children to inspire writing that sees the world through rose-colored glasses—and simultaneously speaks unfiltered truth. Using “kid” supplies like crayons, stickers, children’s books, cartoons, and games, we will remind ourselves that…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Anastacia Renee

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Start Date: 06/08/2019 – 1:00 PM

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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Memoir Intensive

Introductory / Intermediate | Spend three days diving into the memoir. The intensive will include lecture, discussion, writing prompts, brainstorming activities designed to get to the heart of your work as a writer, and workshops of participants’ writing. Lecture/discussion topics…

Course Type: 3 Sessions  |   Instructor: Theo Nestor

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Start Date: 06/14/2019 – 10:00 AM
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Theo Nestor

Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too) (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008). Nestor has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education program since 2006.

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Pitch Laboratory

All Levels | To publish nonfiction in any commercial journal and many literary ones, you must learn the art of the pitch. To pitch is to distill a story to its fundamentals. In few words, you must conjure plot, characters,…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Madeline Ostrander

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Start Date: 06/24/2019 – 7:10 PM
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Madeline Ostrander

Madeline Ostrander’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Sun Magazine, Audubon Magazine, The Nation, Al Jazeera America, and High Country News. She is a full-time freelance science and environmental writer and the former senior editor of YES! Magazine.

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Online Class: How to Get Started as a Freelancer

Introductory | How do you get started as a freelance writer? Is it possible to turn freelancing into a full-time job? Nicole Dieker has been a full-time freelancer for nearly a decade, and she’ll teach you everything she knows about…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Nicole Dieker

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Start Date: 06/25/2019
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Nicole Dieker

Nicole Dieker teaches writing, freelancing, and publishing classes (including Hugo House online classes) and works one-on-one with authors as a developmental editor and copyeditor. She's been a full-time freelance writer since 2012, and spent five years as a writer and editor for The Billfold, a personal finance blog where people had honest conversations about money.

Nicole's debut novel, The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 1: 1989–2000, published in May 2017; The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 2: 2004–2016 followed in May 2018. The two books are a Millennial-era Little Women that follow three sisters from childhood to adulthood.

“I took Nicole’s freelancing class. By the end of the class, I had submitted my first pitch, had it accepted and the article published. She guided us through the process of building a freelance career, with concrete steps to get started, ongoing resources for growth and answers to wide-ranging questions. She taught one of the most informative classes I’ve taken and she did it while providing individualized information for each member of the class.” — Beth Swanson, freelance writer and journalist

Visit NicoleDieker.com to learn more, or to read Nicole's daily blog posts about the art and the finances of a creative career.

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Mindful Writing

All Levels | We’ll explore writing as a contemplative practice: one that can center and ground us in the midst of chaos and distraction, activate awareness and acceptance, and radically transform experience. Using the principles of mindfulness, we’ll start with…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Anna Vodicka

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Start Date: 06/27/2019 – 5:00 PM
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Anna Vodicka

Anna Vodicka's essays have appeared in AFAR, Brevity, Guernica, Harvard Review, Longreads, McSweeneys' Internet Tendency, Paste, and Best Women's Travel Writing 2017. She has had residency fellowships to Vermont Studio Center and Hedgebrook.

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Online Class: Speculative Nonfiction

All Levels | Speculative nonfiction dives into what we suspect, but do not yet know—secret biographies, deathbed confessions, weird science, and anything you need to research but don’t know where to start. Participants will collect information, conduct interviews, and discover…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Kathleen Alcala

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Start Date: 06/27/2019
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Kathleen Alcala

Kathleen Alcalá is the author of a short story collection, three novels set in 19th Century Mexico and the Southwest, and a collection of essays based on family history. Her work has received the Western States Book Award, the Governor’s Writers Award, and a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award. She received her second Artist Trust Fellowship in 2008, and was honored by the national Latino writers group, Con Tinta, at the Associated Writing Programs Conference in 2014. She has been designated an Island Treasure in the Arts on Bainbridge Island.

Kathleen's latest book is The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island, by the University of Washington Press. In it, she explores our relationship with food and the land through research and numerous interviews with the people who bring us our food on Bainbridge Island.

Kathleen has a B.A. in Linguistics from Stanford University, an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans. Kathleen has a great affinity for the story-telling techniques of magic realism and science fiction, and has been both a student and instructor in the Clarion West Science Fiction Workshop.

Kathleen was a faculty member at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts on Whidbey Island until it closed in 2016. She still lectures and gives readings and workshops in creative writing.

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