Class Catalog

Browse Summer & Fall 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.

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Fall Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ donor Registration: August 12
Member Registration: August 13
General Registration: August 20

Early Bird Pricing Aug. 12 through Aug. 26:

  • $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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Generative Revision

Intermediate/Advanced | Toni Morrison has said that “as a writer, a failure is just information,” and revision is recognition of past failure. In this class, we’ll study how to improve our writing through utilizing a process of “conscious” revision, where…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Bill Carty

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Start Date: 08/26/2019 – 6:00 PM

Bill Carty

Bill Carty has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Artist Trust, and Hugo House. He is the author of Huge Cloudy (forthcoming, Octopus Books). His poems have appeared in the Boston Review, Ploughshares, Iowa Review, and other journals.

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Wounded Little Liars: Characters in Fiction and Non-Fiction

All Levels | These people in your stories… Who hurt them? Who loved them once and left them? What are your characters doing to their world and themselves because of their wounds? In this one-day deep-dive into your characters’ truths…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Sonora Jha

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Start Date: 08/31/2019 – 1:00 PM
This class is full

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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The Heart of the Matter: Writing Flash Nonfiction

Bernard Cooper describes the brief essay as calling for “an alertness to detail, a quickening of the senses, a focusing of the literary lens . . . until one has magnified some small aspect of what it means to be…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Susanne Paola Antonetta

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Start Date: 09/05/2019 – 1:00 PM
4 seats available

Susanne Paola Antonetta

Susanne Paola Antonetta’s Make Me a Mother, ranked a Top Ten Book of the Year by Image Journal, was published by W.W. Norton. A digital chapbook, Curious Atoms: A History with Physics, was published by Essay Press in May 2016. She is also author of Body Toxic: An Environmental Memoir, A Mind Apart: Travels in a Neurodiverse World, the novella Stolen Moments, and four books of poetry. Awards for her poetry and prose include a New York Times Notable Book, an American Book Award, a Library Journal Best Science Book of the Year, a Lenore Marshall Award finalist, an Oprah Bookshelf pick, a Pushcart prize, and others. Her essays and poems have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Orion, The New Republic, and many anthologies. Her work has been translated into Korean, Dutch, and Italian and distributed internationally. She lives in Bellingham, Washington and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bellingham Review.

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Introduction to Scrivener

All Levels | Writers swear by it. Macworld calls it “the biggest software tool for writers since the word processor.” Whether you’re a blogger, novelist, screenwriter, or poet, Scrivener can streamline writing at every stage—but it can be daunting. In…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Anna Vodicka

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Start Date: 09/08/2019 – 10:00 AM

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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Writing About Loss

All Levels | In this class, we’ll use literature as a lens through which to explore how losses play out in individual lives and the lives of communities. We’ll turn a curious eye on how writers choose to represent grief,…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Liza Birnbaum

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Start Date: 09/09/2019 – 7:10 PM
5 seats available

Liza Birnbaum

Liza Birnbaum's fiction and essays have appeared in Web Conjunctions, jubilat, Open Letters Monthly, and other publications. She is a founding editor of Big Big Wednesday, an annual print journal of literature and visual art, and has taught creative writing in a number of settings, most recently at an alternative school for young women who are pregnant or parenting. In 2019, she will be a funded resident at the Lillian E. Smith Center at Piedmont College. She holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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Voice and Dialogue

Words on paper are “spoken” by a narrator whose voice might be similar to our own, but it’s not our own. Whatever the point of view, and even in memoir or autobiographical fiction, the narrator is a character discrete from…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Binnie Kirshenbaum

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Start Date: 09/11/2019 – 6:00 PM

Binnie Kirshenbaum

Binnie Kirshenbaum is the author of the story collection History on a Personal Note and six novels, including On Mermaid Avenue, Hester Among the Ruins, An Almost Perfect Moment, and The Scenic Route. Her novels have been chosen as Notable Books of the Year by The Chicago Tribune, NPR, TIME, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Washington Post. Her work has been translated into seven languages.

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Revision Workshop

Intermediate/Advanced | Miles Davis was talking about jazz when he said, “It takes a long time to learn how to play like yourself,” but he could have been talking about writing. Not only do we need to master craft and…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Dominic Smith

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Start Date: 09/11/2019 – 7:10 PM

Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith has been teaching creative writing for the last fifteen years. Since 2008, he has been on the graduate fiction faculty of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. He has also taught at the University of Texas at Austin, Southern Methodist University, and Rice University. In his teaching and coaching, Dominic combines a deep understanding of craft with practical advice on how to evolve a piece of work toward its most polished form.

Dominic is the author of five novels, including The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, a New York Times bestseller and New York Times Book Review editors’ choice. Sold into more than a dozen countries, the novel was chosen as a best book of 2016 by Amazon, Slate, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Kirkus Reviews. In Australia, where Dominic grew up, the novel won the Fiction Indie Book of the Year Award from the Independent Booksellers Association and was named the Literary Fiction Book of the Year in the Australian Book Industry Awards.

Dominic’s writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The Atlantic, Texas Monthly, the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, and The Australian. He is a recipient of the Dobie Paisano Fellowship from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Prize, the Gulf Coast Fiction Prize, as well as literature fellowships from the Australia Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Roughing It: Write a Rough Draft of Your Book in Six Weeks

All Levels | To paraphrase Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird, even the most successful authors write crappy first drafts. So write your novel or memoir fast and get it over with! Outside of class, you’ll write every day, according…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Rebecca Agiewich

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Start Date: 09/11/2019 – 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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Poetry I

Whether a beginning poet or lover of the art, this class will introduce you to the beauty and complexity of writing and reading poetry, as well as the basics of the workshop model. We’ll look to image, metaphor, sound, lineation,…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sierra Nelson

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Start Date: 09/14/2019 – 1:00 PM

Sierra Nelson

Sierra Nelson is a poet, performer, and installation artist. Her books include forthcoming poetry collection The Lachrymose Report (Poetry Northwest Editions), lyrical choose-your-own-adventure I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal Press), and chapbook In Case of Loss (Toadlily). Earning her MFA in Poetry from University of Washington (2002), Nelson is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, Carolyn Kizer Prize winner, Pushcart Prize nominee, and winner of the Carolyn Kizer Prize and Seattle Office of Arts & Culture's CityArtist Grant. She is also co-founder of literary performance groups The Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society, and president of Seattle's Cephalopod Appreciation Society. For more info: songsforsquid.tumblr.com

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Painting Prose: Crafting Narratives Through Visual Storytelling

What is the relationship between the world we experience, the worlds we create, and the stories we tell about both? The author of Children of Grass, widely published writer and visual artist B.A. Van Sise, will work with students to…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: B.A. Van Sise

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Start Date: 09/14/2019 – 1:00 PM

B.A. Van Sise

B.A. Van Sise is an internationally-known photographer and the author of the visual poetry anthology Children of Grass. His visual work has previously appeared in many major museum exhibitions throughout the United States, as well as the New York Times, Village Voice, and Washington Post. His written work has been published in Poets & Writers, Eclectica, the Southampton Review, the North American Review, and a broad swath of anthologies.

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The Ultimate Craft Class How to Narrate, Construct Character, and Build Scenes

In this two-day intensive workshop, Almond will lead participants through several essential craft lessons. Participants will learn how to create dramatic scenes, unforgettable characters, and an irresistible narrator. They will complete in-class exercises to help bring the lessons home. The…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 09/14/2019 – 10:00 AM
This class is full

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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Where to Start

Introductory | Geared toward generating work in a supportive environment, this class is ideal for writers developing a practice and finding their voice, as well as those who want to receive feedback on new work in community and explore publishing…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Amber Flame

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Start Date: 09/15/2019 – 1:00 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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The Most Personal Essay: Level II

Intermediate / Advanced | In this continuation of the popular “essay fundamentals” class, we’ll spend most of our time workshopping, revising, and perfecting our personal essays—as well as submitting them to appropriate markets. Perfect for writers who have several half-finished…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Nicole Hardy

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Start Date: 09/15/2019 – 10:00 AM

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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