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Class Catalog

Browse Fall & Winter Classes!

 

Click on the cover above to view the Winter print catalog as a PDF.

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.


Winter Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ donor Registration: November 26
Member Registration: November 27
General Registration: December 4


New! Early Bird Pricing November 26 through December 10:

  • $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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Craft Intensive: Story

As novelists, we must immediately grab the reader and not let go until the very last page. But how? During these five craft talks, we’ll go deep and get practical about ways to: create irresistible characters, find a vivid voice,…

Course Type: 5 Sessions  |   Instructor: Maria Semple

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Start Date: 01/08/2019 – 18:00:00
4 seats available

Maria Semple

Maria Semple is the author of the best-selling novels Today Will Be Different and Where’d You Go, Bernadette. She wrote for the TV shows Arrested Development, Mad About You, and Ellen. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and the New Yorker. Where’d You Go, Bernadette has been translated into 30 languages. It spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list and made over a dozen yearend best lists. It was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize and received the Alex Award from the American Library Association. The film version of the book, starring Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, and Billy Crudup, will premiere in March 2019. Today Will Be Different was featured on the cover of the New York Times book review. It made over a dozen year-end best lists and is currently in development as a limited TV series.

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Fiction II Online

This class will build upon craft learned in Fiction I. We will focus on point of view, scene construction, and dialogue through reading published examples, writing prompts, and workshop of each other’s writing. This course takes place online through our…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anca Szilágyi

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Start Date: 01/08/2019

Anca Szilágyi

Anca L.Szilágyi's fiction appears in Gastronomica, Fairy Tale Review, Washington City Paper, and elsewhere. Her nonfiction appears in Electric Literature, Kirkus, and on the Ploughshares blog. She was awarded an inaugural Made at Hugo House fellowship, a 4Culture grant, and a 2015 Jack Straw fellowship. The Stranger hailed Anca as one of the "fresh new faces in Seattle fiction." Her debut novel, Daughters of the Air, will be published by Lanternfish Press in December 2017.

Teaching philosophy: Compassion is at the heart of both good teaching and good writing. Having an open mind to students’ needs and desires is essential to helping them get inspired and stretch their minds and their art. Variety and flexibility, therefore, drive my approach to teaching writing. I am committed to bringing students a range of practical tools and creative stimuli.

Writers I return to: Anton Chekhov and Mavis Gallant, Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter

Favorite writing advice: "Whenever you're stuck in a piece of writing, think of what's most unholy. Then do that." -Heather McHugh

Past Student Feedback:
“I really enjoyed your class. It’s the most helpful one I’ve taken to date, and in large part because of the time you take for individual feedback. I also thought the story selection for readings was spot-on, and the exercises were fun and generative. I have a few new stories from those exercises that I’m excited to delve into further.”

“Anca is incredibly knowledgeable and kind in her critiques. I learned a lot just reviewing stories with her and the class. This has directly affected my own writing.”

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Nurturing Your Idea Nursery

All Levels | Everyone has ideas. But how do you hold on to flashes of inspiration when they hit? And how do you keep track of them all? We will explore techniques for establishing, maintaining, expanding, and ultimately harvesting your…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Paul Mullin

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Start Date: 01/09/2019 – 7:10 PM

Paul Mullin

Paul Mullin was recognized by Seattle’s The Stranger with a “Genius Award” for achievement in theatre. His plays have been staged across the United States as well as Canada. His Louis Slotin Sonata won the L. A. Drama Critics Award for Outstanding World Premiere, and was read by invitation before scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory prior to its Off-Broadway run. Most recently a French translation, La Sonate Louis Slotin was produced in Quebec. Mullin’s The Sequence premiered at The Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena and The Ten Thousand Things at Washington Ensemble Theatre in Seattle. Both Louis Slotin Sonata and The Sequence, were commissioned by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, in collaboration with Ensemble Studio Theatre. Mullin conceived, co-wrote and co-produced NewsWrights United’s series of Living Newspapers, It’s Not in The P-I: A Living Newspaper About a Dying Newspaper and The New New News which enjoyed tremendous audience and media acclaim.

In addition to work for the stage, Mullin has had several poems published, most recently with the King County Metro’s Poetry on Buses program. He has written several feature film scripts and television documentaries, including Hitting The Ground, an independent feature in which he also starred as an actor. He has also contributed regularly as a writer and actor to Sandbox Radio Live.

His memoir The Starting Gate was published in early 2016.

Born in Baltimore, Paul now makes his home in Seattle with his wife and two sons. He hosts a monthly literary series called Loud Mouth Lit.

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Writing in Times of Social Unrest and Political Upheaval

All Levels | We turn to poetry and creative nonfiction to rescue words from inciting fear, violence, and hatred. Rescuing words break silence and give voice for protest, witness, and compassion. We will read Toni Morrison’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech;…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Merna Ann Hecht

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Start Date: 01/10/2019 – 5:00 PM

Merna Ann Hecht

Merna Hecht founded the Stories of Arrival: Youth Voices Refugee and Immigrant Poetry Project. She teaches Humanities and Creative Writing at UW, Tacoma. Poet, essayist and award winning storyteller her teaching and writing focus on community, art and social justice.

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How to Get Started as a Freelancer (Online)

Beginning | How do you get started as a freelance writer? Is it possible to turn freelancing into a full-time job? Nicole Dieker is in her sixth year of full-time freelancing, and she’ll teach you everything she knows about how…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Nicole Dieker

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Start Date: 01/12/2019

Nicole Dieker

Nicole Dieker is a freelance writer, the editor of The Billfold, and the host of the Writing & Money podcast. Her work has also appeared in Boing Boing, Popular Science, The Toast and numerous other publications. Nicole regularly speaks on or facilitates panels about the intersection of art and money, and her practical, actionable freelance advice is available at The Freelancer's "Ask A Freelancer" column and The Write Life's "Pitch Fix." Nicole's debut novel, The Biographies of Ordinary People, was published in May 2017.

Teaching philosophy: I have two jobs, as a teacher. First, I need to ask the questions that uncover the real problems you are having in your writing. Then, I need to ask the questions that help you solve them.

Writers I return to: Lev Grossman, L.M. Montgomery, Cheryl Strayed—I read about a book a week, and there are a lot of books and writers I love, but these are three of the writers I consistently re-read. Online, I'll always click on a new piece by Nicole Chung, Ann Friedman, Roxane Gay, Meghan O'Connell, or Daniel Mallory Ortberg.

Favorite writing advice: "Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong." —Neil Gaiman

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Advanced Poetry Workshop

Advanced | The aim of this poetry workshop will be to help the students, regardless of age or previous experience, work toward writing the best poems they can write. The instructor will offer examples from poetry of the past and…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: David Wagoner

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Start Date: 01/13/2019 – 10:00 AM
This class is full

David Wagoner

David Wagoner has published 17 books of poems and 10 novels. He is professor emeritus at the University of Washington and was writer-in-residence (2005-2008) at Hugo House.

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Byline Bible Study

All Levels | We’ll employ the how-to techniques outlined in bestselling author Susan Shapiro’s newly released book The Byline Bible: Get Published in Five Weeks. We’ll follow the process from start to finish as we draft, write, pitch, workshop, and…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Nicole Hardy

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Start Date: 01/13/2019 – 1:00 PM

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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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: 01/15/2019 – 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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The Art of the Question

All Levels | Before you jump into a big assignment, you need to get to the matter’s roots. What are the important granular bits of a story or subject? We will learn how to examine the decisions people make—whether that’s…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jake Uitti

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Start Date: 01/15/2019 – 7:10 PM

Jake Uitti

Jake Uitti is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, Alaska Airlines Magazine, The Seattle Times, Salon, Atlas Obscura, The Stranger and many other publications. When not poring over a keyboard mid-interview, Jake can be found rolling around the Emerald City in a 2003 Chevy Impala looking for the city’s best ramen or cheese pizza slice. He is the author of two books from Reedy Press: 100 Things To Do In Seattle Before You Die and Unique Eats and Eateries: Seattle. The son of two Ivy League professors, Jake grew up amidst books of poetry and French literature, but soulful meals and compelling music are his true loves.

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Plot: It’s Not a Four-Letter Word

All Levels | We’ll examine how to build and revise plots for short stories and novels that grow organically out of a character’s choices, context, and desires. In doing so, we’ll encourage narratives that are rich in drama—not melodrama. While…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Michael Shilling

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Start Date: 01/16/2019 – 7:10 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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Suspenseful Writing

Introductory | Why are some books impossible to put down? It’s simple: “When an important outcome is unknown, people can hardly think of anything else.” It’s that yearning to turn the pages in order to find out what happens next….

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Joshua Marie Wilkinson

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Start Date: 01/16/2019 – 5:00 PM
5 seats available

Joshua Marie Wilkinson

Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author of eight books, most recently Meadow Slasher (Black Ocean 2017). He teaches in the MFA program at University of Arizona in Tucson.

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Reading Like a Writer

All Levels | Writers are often advised to read as much as possible. This class takes the concept further to turn the reading process into a learning tool. Through readings, exercises, and discussion, students will learn to identify the techniques…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Joe Ponepinto

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Start Date: 01/16/2019 – 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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Poetry III

The purpose of the workshop is to build on Poetry I and II through developing your writing skills and your perspectives on poetry. We will workshop student poems, based on assignments on a wide range of techniques and themes. Close…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Emily Warn

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Start Date: 01/17/2019 – 5:00 PM

Emily Warn

Emily Warn is a writer and teacher who served as founding editor of poetryfoundation.org. Her latest book, Shadow Architect, explores the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Her four other collections are The Leaf Path, The Novice Insomniac, The Book of Esther, and Highway Suite.

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