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Class Catalog

Browse Fall and Winter 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.

For help finding classes, contact our registrar or call us at 206.322.7030.

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: December 2
Member Registration: December 3
General Registration: December 10


Early Bird Pricing Dec. 2 through Dec. 16:

  • $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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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: 12/11/2019 – 5:30 pm
This class is full

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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Letting Your Characters Tell the Story

DATE CHANGE: This class will now take place on 12/13. This has been updated from the print catalog.  Fully imagined characters always produce a story. Trust me about that. When writers tell me they have trouble with plots, what I…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Michael Cunningham

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Start Date: 12/13/2019 – 1:00 pm
This class is full

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours, By Nightfall, and The Snow Queen, as well as a short story collection, A Wild Swan and Other Tales, all published by Farrar Straus & Giroux. The Hours won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize and PEN Faulkner Award, and was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Cunningham’s fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, the Paris Review, and other publications. A recipient of National Endowment for the Arts, Guggenheim and Whiting Foundation fellowships, he is Senior Lecturer in English at Yale University.

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Writing Without a Map

DATE CHANGE: This class will now take place on 12/14. This has been updated from the print catalog.  To write from an outline is to know from the beginning where you’re headed. But what happens if you dive in with…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Cari Luna

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Start Date: 12/14/2019 – 10:00 am

Cari Luna

Cari Luna is the author of The Revolution of Every Day, which won the Oregon Book Award for Fiction. A fellow of Yaddo and Ragdale, her writing has appeared in Guernica, Salon, Jacobin, Electric Literature, Catapult, The Rumpus, PANK, and elsewhere. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Poetry III

Are you ready for an intensive workshop? In a supportive atmosphere, we’ll take poems apart so we can put them back together again. In addition to the workshop, you’ll learnthe primary, secondary, and tertiary concerns for deep revision, the language…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Janée Baugher

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Start Date: 01/07/2020 – 5:00 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

Janée Baugher

Janée J. Baugher is the author of two poetry collections, Coördinates of Yes (Ahadada Books) and The Body’s Physics (Tebot Bach), and she holds an MFA from Eastern Washington University. Her writing has been published in over 100 journals, including Boulevard, Nano Fiction, The Writer’s Chronicle, and The American Journal of Poetry. Baugher’s interdisciplinary collaborations include work with visual artists, composers, and choreographers. She’s had a dozen poems adapted for the stage and set to music at University of Cincinnati, Ohio’s Contemporary Dance Theatre, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Florida’s Dance Now! Ensemble. Baugher has presented her poetry at festivals such as Bumbershoot and Folklife, as well as at the Library of Congress.

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Writing Nature

All Levels | In this class, we’ll take an exploratory approach to both environmental writing and nature writing while developing skills to evoke place and describe the natural world. During the first half of the course, various approaches to nature…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: John Farnswoth

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Start Date: 01/08/2020 – 7:10 PM
Registration for this class has not started.

John Farnswoth

John Farnsworth retired from the faculty of Santa Clara University, where his chair was in Environmental Writing and Literature. Through the Comstock Publishing Associates imprint of Cornell University Press, he recently published Coves of Departure: Field Notes from the Sea of Cortez. His next book, The Far Side of Solitude: Notes from the Field will be released by Cornell in the spring of 2020.

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Writing Trauma

All Levels | Many of us write what haunts us—in order to heal, discover, exorcise, make meaning of, celebrate survival, and/or reach for connection. In a highly supportive environment we’ll explore access points to writing trauma, self-care for the process,…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Tara Hardy

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Start Date: 01/09/2020 – 5:00 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

Tara Hardy

Tara Hardy is the working class queer femme poet who founded Bent, a writing institute for LGBTIQ people in Seattle. She's taught creative writing for fourteen years, and she's served as the Hugo House writer-in-residence. Her first full length book of poems, Bring Down the Chandeliers, was published by Write Bloody Press in the spring, 2011.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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New Year, New Poems

Are you ready to ring in the new year with a new batch of draft poems? Prize-winning poets Dilruba Ahmed, Shadab Zeest Hashmi, and Prageeta Sharma co-facilitate this workshop, which will include a fun and lively series of writing prompts…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Dilruba Ahmed, Shadab Zeest Hashmi, and Prageeta Sharma

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Start Date: 01/09/2020 – 10:00 am
Registration for this class has not started.

Dilruba Ahmed, Shadab Zeest Hashmi, and Prageeta Sharma

Dilruba Ahmed is the author of Bring Now the Angels (Pitt Poetry Series, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020). Her debut book of poetry, Dhaka Dust (Graywolf Press), won the Bakeless Prize. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Poetry. Her poems have also been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2019 (Scribner), Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books), Literature: The Human Experience (Bedford/St. Martin’s), Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry (University of Arkansas), and elsewhere. Ahmed is the recipient of The Florida Review’s Editors’ Award, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Prize, and the Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellowship in Poetry awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. She holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers.

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What You Can Learn From Noir & Crime Fiction (It’s Not What You Think)

Every few years, I find myself going back to classic noir: Hammet, Cain, Highsmith. I used to think it was the breathless, hard narratives drawing me in. But I’ve realized it’s the writing I go back for—the clear rhythm and…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Jess Walter

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Start Date: 01/11/2020 – 1:00 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

Jess Walter

Jess Walter is the author of eight books, including the 2013 #1 New York Times bestseller, Beautiful Ruins (Harper, 2012); The Zero (2006), finalist for the 2006 National Book Award, and Citizen Vince (2004), winner of the 2005 Edgar Allan Poe Award.

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Why the Sonnet?

Petrarch, Shakespeare, Meredith, Browning, Millay, McKay, Hacker, Hayes: What is it that keeps poets returning to this form? What is it about 14 lines of rhyming metrical verse that has kept the form alive, through thousands of variations, for something…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Marilyn Nelson

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Start Date: 01/11/2020 – 1:00 pm
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Marilyn Nelson

Marilyn Nelson’s honors include the Frost Medal, NSK Neustadt Award, and Ruth Lilly Prize. She was Poet Laureate of Connecticut, a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and Poet-in-Residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

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Nail Your First Chapter

Introductory / Intermediate | Whether you have been working on your first chapter for months or are just getting started, this course is for you. Memoir author and book coach Ingrid Ricks will teach you how to open and structure…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Ingrid Ricks

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Start Date: 01/12/2020 – 10:00 am
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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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Online Class | Poetry II

This class will build upon the basics of poetic craft. Through more intensive readings, prompts, discussions, and workshops, we will further develop our poetic technique. While Poetry I is aimed at introducing you to the vast creative toolbox available to…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Michelle Peñaloza

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Start Date: 01/13/2020
Registration for this class has not started.

Michelle Peñaloza

Michelle Peñaloza’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the New England Review, the Asian American Literary Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships and scholarships from Kundiman, Hugo House, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, among others. Peñaloza has been teaching since 2005.

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Going Pro: Your Freelance Writing Business

All Levels | How long have you been fantasizing about being your own boss, working with people you like, and doing what you love from anywhere in the world, on your schedule? If this is the year you’re ready to…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Paulette Perhach

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Start Date: 01/13/2020 – 5:00 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

Paulette Perhach

Paulette Perhach’s writing has been published in the New York Times, Elle, Vice, Slate, Inc., McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Hobart, Vice, Yoga Journal, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Glamour, and The Stranger. She’s worked for Health and Coastal Living magazines, as well as various newspapers. In 2013, Hugo House selected her as a Made at Hugo House Fellow.

She received the 2016 BlogHer Voices of the Year award for her essay, “A Story of a Fuck Off Fund,” which is anthologized in The Future is Feminist from Chronicle Books, along with work by Roxane Gay, Mindy Kaling, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Caitlin Moran, and Audre Lorde.

A returned Peace Corps Volunteer, she’s also won multiple Solas Awards for her travel writing.

In 2015 she created the Writer’s Welcome Kit, the online course sold through Hugo House, which includes a 55,000-word workbook, writer’s templates, and writer interviews. To date, more than 600 students have taken the course.

Her book, Welcome to the Writer's Life, was published by Sasquatch Books, part of the Penguin Random House publishing family, and was selected as one of Poets & Writers' Best Books for Writers.

She blogs about everything a writer needs to thrive – craft, personal finance, business skills, and joy – at WelcomeToTheWritersLife.com. The site also offers a newsletter with a year of daily writing prompts.

She keeps a casual podcast about creativity and money called Can We Talk About Money?

Learn more and read her work at PaulettePerhach.com.

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Close Encounters of the Third-Person Kind

Point of view is one of the most complex elements of writing fiction, and third-person POV can be especially nuanced in terms of its tone, language, and narrative distance. This class will take a look at the qualities that comprise…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Raymond Fleischmann

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Start Date: 01/13/2020 – 6:00 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

Raymond Fleischmann

Raymond Fleischmann’s debut novel How Quickly She Disappears is forthcoming from Penguin Random House this January. He's published short fiction in the Iowa Review, Cimarron Review, the Pinch, and the Los Angeles Review, among many others, and was a Hugo Fellow in 2013-2014.

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Fiction III

This class will build upon craft learned in Fiction II. Students can expect advanced readings, regular workshops, and feedback from their classmates and instructor. We’ll look at each other’s drafts with an eye to properly balance the elements of story,…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Scott Driscoll

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Start Date: 01/13/2020 – 7:10 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

Scott Driscoll

Scott Driscoll is an award-winning instructor (UW, Educational Outreach award for Excellence in Teaching in the Arts and Humanities 2006), and his debut novel, Better You Go Home, was selected as the Foreword Reviews First Book Contest winner. He was the 1989 winner of the University of Washington’s Milliman Award for Fiction.

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Speculative Fiction Workshop

All Levels | Bring your space opera, your urban fantasy, your gothic horror, your portal to another dimension. This workshop is open to anyone working under the umbrella of speculative fiction. Students should come prepared to turn in at least…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Ruth Joffre

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Start Date: 01/13/2020 – 7:10 PM
Registration for this class has not started.

Ruth Joffre

Ruth Joffre is the author of the story collection Night Beast (forthcoming Grove Atlantic 2018). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Mid-American Review, The Masters Review, Prairie Schooner, Hayden's Ferry Review, and Copper Nickel. Her book reviews have been published in The Rumpus, The Millions, Kenyon Review Online, and Colorado Review. She lives in Seattle.

Teaching Philosophy: I believe every piece of literature is an emotional education. A story like Mavis Gallant's "The Ice Wagon Going Down the Street," for instance, requires us not only to understand the inner workings of its characters' psyches but to become the kind of people who are capable of feeling as they feel and thinking as they think. In this way, we learn to feel sympathy for the socially awkward, love for the romantically jilted, and sorrow for the painfully ambitious. When we can't expand our minds this way, our writing and our reading suffers.

Writers I return to: Alice Munro, Annie Proulx, Mavis Gallant, W. G. Sebald, Elizabeth Strout, Maggie Nelson, Anita Brookner, Penelope Fitzgerald, Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Richard Yates, Elizabeth McCracken, and James Baldwin, to name a few.

Favorite writing advice: Hands down, this piece of advice from Benjamin Percy: "Keep hammering."

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