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Class Catalog

Browse Fall Writing Classes!

Hugo House: Your best source for online writing classes in Seattle and around the world.

For more information on the schedule,  the various formats of our writing classes, and cancellation policies, check out our About page. Information about Scholarships can be found on its own new page. Or, go meet our talented instructors.

For help finding writing classes, or if you’ve registered for an online class but haven’t received a Zoom link, contact our registrar or call us at 206.322.7030.

All classes are in Pacific Time. All classes will take place on Zoom or our asynchronous learning platform, Wet Ink, for the remainder of 2020.

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


Fall Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ Donor Registration (by phone only): August 17
Member Registration: August 18
General Registration: August 25


Early Bird Pricing August 17 through August 31:

  • $10 off classes that are one to three sessions
  • $20 off classes that are four to eight sessions
  • $30 off classes that are ten sessions or more

Early bird pricing will automatically apply at checkout. 

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Funny Is The New Deep

This is a Workshop for Democracy. The instructor will be contributing 100% of his teaching pay to the organization Black Votes Matter [https://blackvotersmatterfund.org/donate/]. The instructor asks that students pay Hugo House a discounted fee for the class, and contribute the…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 10/26/2020 – 6:00 pm

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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Novel Immersion

Intermediate/Advanced | Designed to complement National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), this class will set your course for writing a novel at a pace that feels right for you. Using in-class writing exercises and homework assignments focused on plotting, developing characters…

Course Type: 7 Sessions  |   Instructor: Elise Hooper

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Start Date: 10/26/2020 – 1:10 pm
This class is full

Elise Hooper

Elise Hooper is the author of three novels including The Other Alcott, Learning to See, and Fast Girls (coming July 2020). She has an MA in Teaching and has taught literature, history, and writing to teenagers and adults throughout the Puget Sound.

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NaNoWriMo: Write Your Novel in a Month

All Levels | What do these bestselling novels all have in common: The Night Circus, Water for Elephants, Fangirl, and This Beautiful Land? The first drafts were all written during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This month-long virtual noveling event…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Rebecca Agiewich

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Start Date: 10/26/2020 – 7:10 pm
This class is full

Rebecca Agiewich

Rebecca Agiewich is a writer, writing teacher, and the author of BreakupBabe: A Novel, which was a finalist for the 2007 Lulu Blooker Prize (a literary prize for books based on blogs). It was based on her popular dating blog of the same name, which won her many fans and scared off many potential boyfriends. She’s published essays and travel articles in a wide variety of publications, including Lonely Planet and MSNBC, and is currently at work on a middle-grade novel.

Teaching philosophy: Reward people with chocolate.

Writers I always return to: Since I’m writing for middle-grade, I like to read books for that age. I keep returning to old favorites like Judy Blume even though I should be studying current authors! One more recent middle-grade novel that blew me away was Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I also really liked Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, which was written in 1987 but has a timeless feel. I also really enjoy reading craft books. Three new favorites for me are Write Your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell, Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, and The Third Act: Writing a Great Ending for your Screenplay by Drew Yanno.

Favorite writing advice: “Lower the bar from ‘bestseller’ to ‘would not make someone vomit.’” -Chris Baty, founder of National Novel Writing month, in his book No Plot, No Problem, on how to write a rough draft of your novel in only four weeks.

Past Student Feedback:

“Rebecca was very instructive while also encouraging and she fostered what I felt was an inspiring and motivational environment, which was perfect given the volume of out-of-class writing. I came away from each class feeling encouraged as well as educated.” (Spring 2014)

“Rebecca was helpful, enthusiastic, and able to manage a variety of levels. Bravo!” (Spring 2014)

“The class made me work hard and get my butt in the chair! It also helped me ignore my inner editor long enough to keep writing each day without sabotaging myself.” (Spring 2014)

“This is the most I’ve written in years! I have been able to start my novel and plan to finish it in the upcoming months.” (Spring 2014)

“I really liked being pushed to just write – it’s such an important part of any project (duh!) but often so hard to find that motivation. Having the class put such an emphasis on the writing really helped me get my act together, and by the end I actually had a routine!” (Winter 2015)

“I loved every aspect. Rebecca does a great job of teaching while making the class fun.” (Winter 2015)

“The work on outlining especially helped me think about my own story. Also – great class participation!” (Winter 2015)

" I love that [Rebecca] treated a room full of sheepish would-be novelists as if our work, lives, and thoughts counted just as much as anyone else’s, and as if we are just as deserving of respect for our efforts. It helps enormously to be taken seriously and to be encouraged with such goodwill." (Winter 2016)

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Poetic Loitering: The Braided Poem and Pleasure of Digression

Intermediate | Italo Calvino writes: “digression is a strategy for putting off the ending, a multiplying of time within the work, a perpetual evasion or flight.” In this workshop we will explore strategies for taking our time in a poem,…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Kendra DeColo

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Start Date: 10/27/2020 – 5:00 pm
5 seats available

Kendra DeColo

Kendra DeColo is the author of I am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers from the World (BOA Editions, 2021), My Dinner with Ron Jeremy (Third Man Books, 2016) and Thieves in the Afterlife (Saturnalia Books, 2014), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 2013 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She is a recipient of a 2019 Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and has received awards and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Millay Colony, Split this Rock, and the Tennessee Arts Commission. Her poems and essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, Tin House Magazine, Waxwing, Los Angeles Review, Bitch Magazine, VIDA, and elsewhere. She is co-host of the podcast RE/VERB: A Third Man Books Production and she lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Creative Nonfiction I (ASYNCHRONOUS) Section II

This class will introduce you to the diverse styles of creative nonfiction, including memoir, personal essays, and lyric essays. Each week we will study craft elements such as scene, reflection, point of view, metaphor, and locating the heart of the…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anne Liu Kellor

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Start Date: 10/27/2020
This class is full

Anne Liu Kellor

Anne Liu Kellor’s essays have appeared in Longreads, The New England Review, Entropy, Fourth Genre, Normal School, Vela Magazine, Literary Mama, The International Examiner, and more. She has been awarded grants and residencies from Seventh Wave, Hedgebrook, Jack Straw, 4Culture, and Hypatia-in-the-Woods. Her memoir, Heart Radical, is forthcoming in 2021.

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Preach — How the Bible Taught Me to Write

This class analyzes the Bible as a literary document that can teach us important craft tools. We’ll discuss endings and beginnings; setting the stage and stakes; making your conflicts matter; the power of scene; working with plot and memory; and…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Emily Rapp Black

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Start Date: 10/28/2020 – 1:10 pm
2 seats available

Emily Rapp Black

Emily Rapp Black is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir (BloomsburyUSA) and The Still Point of the Turning World (Penguin Press), a New York Times bestseller and an Editor’s Pick. A former Fulbright scholar, she was educated at Harvard University, Trinity College-Dublin, Saint Olaf College, and the University of Texas-Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. A Guggenheim Fellow, she has received awards and fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Jentel Arts Foundation, the Corporation of Yaddo, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Fundacion Valparaiso, and Bucknell University, where she was the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence. Her work has appeared in VOGUE, the New York Times, Die Zeit, The Times-London, Sunday Independent (UK), the Sydney Herald, Lenny Letter, Salon, Slate, Huffington Post, The Sun, TIME, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Redbook, O the Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and other publications and anthologies. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times Book Review, and frequently publishes scholarly work in the fields of disability studies, bioethics, and theological studies. She has taught literature and writing at Antioch University-Los Angeles, The University of New Mexico, where she was the Joseph M. Russo Endowed Chair of Creative Writing, UCLA, the Gotham Writers’ Workshop, The Lighthouse Writers’ Workshop, 24PearlStreet, and the UCR-Palm Desert Low Residency MFA in Writing and the Performing Arts. She is active in medical advocacy groups dedicated to changing socio-cultural discussions around palliative/hospice/end of life care and quality of life health care decisions. She is currently Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California-Riverside, where she also teaches medical narratives in the School of Medicine. She is a member of the Inequities in Health Care Working Group and an architect of the Medical Narratives minor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She is a founding member of Zoeglossia, a literary organization dedicated to creating inclusive spaces for poets with disabilities, as well as a mentor in the Along the Chaparral Project for Veterans at UCR. She regularly collaborates with visual artist Carrie Scanga; their most recent collaboration is an interactive, traveling art installation inspired by Rapp Black’s forthcoming book, Sanctuary. She was recently named the nonfiction editor of The Los Angeles Review of Books. Her book that explores art and disability through the life of Frida Kahlo is forthcoming from Nottinghill Editions/New York Review of Books in 2021. She is the mother of two children: Ronan (2010-2013), and Charlotte (age 6).

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We, You, and I: Pt. II

Intermediate | First-person plural novels give voice to the previously invisible, compelling writers to offer their own version of identity beyond a perceived and privileged mainstream. But what makes us so uncomfortable about the first-person plural? We resist collective or…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Piper Lane

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Start Date: 10/29/2020 – 7:10 pm

Piper Lane

Piper Lane holds an MFA from the University of Washington and an MA from Ohio University. She coordinated the reading series Castalia, cofounded the Black Jaw Lit Series, and served as prose editor for the Seattle Review. She teaches creative writing at UW. She won UW’s Eugene Van Buren award for fiction and Ohio University’s LitFest Nonfiction essay contest.

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The Art of Nothing

Everyone is terrified of the blank page. Perhaps we are even more scared of it now during the pandemic. What is there left to say? What is even worthy of a poem or my time or my focus? The idea…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Ada Limón

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Start Date: 10/29/2020 – 1:10 pm
This class is full

Ada Limón

Ada Limón is the author of five books of poetry, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and was named one of the top 5 poetry books of the year by the Washington Post. Her fourth book Bright Dead Things was named a finalist for the National Book Award, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program, and the online and summer programs for the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. She also works as a freelance writer in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Writing About Your Childhood

All Levels | Childhood provides a rich vein of material for a writer — if you know how to tap into it. In this class, we’ll explore strategies for shaping stories about our childhoods and making them meaningful to readers…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Andrew Palmer

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Start Date: 11/01/2020 – 1:10 pm

Andrew Palmer

Andrew Palmer's writing has appeared in Slate, Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He has received a fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and he has been awarded residencies at UCross and Yaddo.

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Writing the Family Saga

Introductory | As James Baldwin wrote, “I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am, also, much more than that. So are we all.” In this single session, you will begin laying the foundation of…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Jaimie Li

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Start Date: 11/01/2020 – 1:00 pm
This class is full

Jaimie Li

JAIMIE LI is a contributing writer at Poetry Northwest and Darling Magazine and the Editor-in-chief of the Spring 2020 issue of The Pitkin Review. She is an MFA candidate at Goddard College and the recipient of the 2019 Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship for her work in fiction and memoir. In 2011, she received her BA in Law at Balliol College, Oxford University. She grew up in Los Angeles County and currently lives on the Cedar River in Maple Valley, WA. www.jaimiezongli.com

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Memoir Techniques: Writing the Realization

All Levels | Much of what’s important in memoir is the main character’s change of perspective, or the shift in her understanding. We’ll study scenes from a range of memoirs that show these moments and use them as models to…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Nicole Hardy

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Start Date: 11/01/2020 – 12:00 pm
5 seats available

Nicole Hardy

Nicole Hardy is the author of the memoir Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin and the poetry collections This Blonde and Mud Flap Girl's XX Guide to Facial Profiling — a chapbook of pop-culture inspired sonnets.

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Literary Description

All levels | Clear and powerful description is the cornerstone of any piece of writing, regardless of genre, though description is one of the most complex modes of compositional rhetoric. How well do you create vivid imagery for your readers? Through…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Janée Baugher

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Start Date: 11/01/2020 – 1:10 pm

Janée Baugher

Janée J. Baugher has taught creative writing for twenty years, and is a poetry submission reader for Boulevard. She’s the author of Coördinates of Yes, The Body’s Physics, and the forthcoming, The Ekphrastic Writer: Creating Art-Influenced Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction (McFarland, 2020).

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Fiction I (ASYNCHRONOUS)

Whether you’re looking to write stories or a novel, this course will introduce key elements of fiction: character, plot, voice, setting, and point of view. Through a combination of published examples, writing prompts, and feedback from both classmates and the…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Peter Mountford

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Start Date: 11/02/2020
4 seats available

Peter Mountford

Peter Mountford’s novel A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism won a 2012 Washington State Book Award. His second novel, The Dismal Science, was published in February, 2014. A former Hugo House writer in residence, Peter is currently on faculty at Sierra Nevada College's low residency MFA program.

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Fiction I

Whether you’re looking to write stories or a novel, this course will introduce key elements of fiction: character, plot, voice, setting, and point of view. Through a combination of published examples, writing prompts, and feedback from both classmates and the…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Peter Mountford

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Start Date: 11/02/2020 – 7:10 pm
This class is full

Peter Mountford

Peter Mountford’s novel A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism won a 2012 Washington State Book Award. His second novel, The Dismal Science, was published in February, 2014. A former Hugo House writer in residence, Peter is currently on faculty at Sierra Nevada College's low residency MFA program.

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Angry Poems: From Simmering to Rage

All Levels | We all have many things to vent about — but venting alone won’t produce good poems. Anger can flatten everything in its path, but good poems thrive on subtlety, ambiguity, complexity, and paradox. So how do you…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sharon Bryan

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Start Date: 11/02/2020 – 5:00 pm

Sharon Bryan

Sharon Bryan received her BA in Philosophy and an MA in Anthropology before she began to write poetry, and then received her MFA from the University of Iowa.

She has published four books of poems: Sharp Stars, Flying Blind, Objects of Affection, and Salt Air, which won The Governor’s Award from the State of Washington. She received the Isabella Gardner Award for Sharp Stars. Her other awards include two NEA Fellowships in Poetry, an Academy of American Poet’s Prize, the Discovery Award from The Nation, an Artist Trust Grant from the Washington State Arts Council, a Senior Fellowship to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, a grant from the Utah Arts Council for the film collaboration Eureka, and a Fellowship in Poetry from the Tennessee Arts Commission, among others. She was Poet-in-Residence at The Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire.

She is also the editor of two collections: Where We Stand: Women Poets on Literary Tradition, and, with William Olsen, Planet on the Table: Poets on the Reading Life.

She taught at the University of Washington for seven years and at Memphis State University for six. Since then she has taught as a visiting poet in almost twenty writing programs around the country, including Dartmouth, the University of Houston, Western Michigan, Kalamazoo College, Ohio University, Wichita State, the University of Missouri at St. Louis, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, San Diego State, and Fresno State. She has also been on the faculty of low-residency MFA Programs at Pacific Lutheran Universitiy, Warren Wilson, Pacific University, and Fairfield University.

She is currently on the faculty of the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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