Class Catalog

Browse Spring & Summer 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, through Summer quarter 2021.

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

Scholarship Donation Day (by phone only): May 17
Member Registration: May 18
General Registration: May 25

What’s Scholarship Donation Day?

The first day of registration (the Monday before member registration opens) will now be open to anyone who donates $250 to our scholarship fund*. Donations must be made over the phone.

Call us at 206.322.7030 on May 17 to make your donation and sign up for the classes of your choosing.

*Applicable to specific scholarship fund donations made between member registration of the previous quarter and Scholarship Donation Day each quarter. Donors who gave $250 or more during GiveBIG 2021 can register on this day.


Early Bird Pricing May 17 through May 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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Transitions and Turning Points: Writing Adolescence for Adult Readers

All Levels | In this intensive reading and generative writing course, participants will study four novellas (by Sarah Moss, Julie Otsuka, Justin Torres, and Jacqueline Woodson) intended for an adult readership but focused on that most emotionally charged developmental period…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum

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Start Date: 06/14/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT

Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum

Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum is the author of three collections of short fiction, most recently What We Do With the Wreckage, which won the 2017 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and was published by UGA Press in 2018. Her earlier collections are Swimming With Strangers (Chronicle, 2008) and This Life She's Chosen (Chronicle, 2005). Her short fiction has been published in Ploughshares, McSweeney's, One Story, and North American Review, among other journals, and she has been the recipient of a PEN/O. Henry Prize. Kirsten teaches fiction writing at Hugo House and 9th-12th grade English at a small independent school near Seattle.

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Philosophy of Memory

All Levels | Memory makes what has happened in our lives present, and the future is something we imagine. But imagination both remembers the past and simulates the future. This means the act of recalling is as creative as that…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Charles Tonderai Mudede

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Start Date: 06/14/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT
This class is full

Charles Tonderai Mudede

Charles Tonderai Mudede is a Zimbabwean-born writer, filmmaker, and cultural critic. He writes about film, books, music, crime, art, economics, and urban theory for The Stranger. Mudede has made three films, two of which, Police Beat and Zoo, premiered at Sundance, and one, Zoo, was screened at Cannes. Mudede has written for the New York Times, Arcade Journal, Cinema Scope, Ars Electronica, The Village Voice, Radical Urban Theory, and C Theory. Mudede is also on the editorial board for the Black Scholar, which is based at the University of Washington, and between 1999 and 2005, lectured on post-colonial theory at Pacific Lutheran University, and in 2003 published a short book, Last Seen, with Diana George. Mudede has lived in Seattle since 1989.

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Metaphor as Contagious Magic

All Levels | We will examine poems as instruments of magic and experiment with mixed-genre prompts that incorporate divination and intuition. Most writing will be done in-class with some optional daily rituals. Expect to leave with a folio of new…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Shelby Handler

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Start Date: 06/15/2021 - 5:00 pm PDT
This class is full

Shelby Handler

Shelby Handler is a queer ashkenazi writer, organizer, performer and educator living in Seattle on Dxʷdəwʔabš (Duwamish) and unceded Coast Salish land. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, PANK Magazine, Sugar House Review, The Journal, Gigantic Sequins and the Write Bloody anthology “We Will Be Shelter: Poems for Survival”, among others. Shelby was nominated for the 2020 Best of the Net and was a finalist for Palette Poetry’s Emerging Poet Prize, judged by Ilya Kaminsky. Shelby has received fellowships and grants from the Richard Hugo House, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Gay City Arts, Asylum Arts and the Yiddish Book Center. They are a founding member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Artists and Cultural Workers Council and a reader for PANK Magazine. Shelby has worked as a teaching artist for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers in the Schools, Youth Speaks Seattle and Kadima Reconstructionist Synagogue. Currently, they are an MFA candidate at the University of Washington.

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The Sweep of the Universe: Writing with Millennia of South Asian Poetry

All Levels | The breadth and reach of South Asian poetry is almost unimaginably vast, encompassing six major religions, hundreds of languages, diverse geographies, and millennia of time. But much of this rich tradition is inaccessible to western writers. This…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Shankar Narayan

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Start Date: 06/15/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT
4 seats available

Shankar Narayan

Shankar Narayan explores identity, power, mythology, and technology in a world where the body is flung across borders yet possesses unrivaled power to transcend them. Shankar is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Fellow at Kundiman and at Hugo House, and winner of prizes from Flyway and Paper Nautilus. Shankar draws strength from his global upbringing and from his work as a civil rights attorney for the ACLU. His work has appeared in Jaggery, Panoply, Crab Creek Review, Raven Chronicles, The Litfuse Anthology, WA 129 (a collection of Washington state poems curated by Poet Laureate Tod Marshall), and many other publications. Shankar is a recent 4Culture grant recipient for Claiming Space, a project to lift the voices of writers of color. In Seattle, he awakens to the wonders of Cascadia every day, but his heart yearns east to his other hometown, Delhi.

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Fiction I

Whether you’re looking to write a collection of stories or a novel, this course will introduce key elements of craft such as character, plot, and setting. Alongside published examples and writing prompts in and out of class, you will write…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Ramon Isao

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Start Date: 06/15/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT
This class is full

Ramon Isao

Ramon Isao is a recipient of the Tim McGinnis Award for fiction, and his work has appeared in the Iowa Review, American Reader, Ninth Letter, and Hobart. His screenplays include ZMD, Junk, and Dead Body.

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Writing the Fictionalized Memoir

All Levels | Are you struggling to tell your personal story in a dramatic and entertaining way—or fully understand what the book-worthy story truly is? One way to explore all the storytelling possibilities around real-life events is to infuse them…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jennifer Haupt

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Start Date: 06/15/2021 - 5:00 pm PDT
This class is full

Jennifer Haupt

Jennifer Haupt's essays have been published in O, The Oprah Magazine, The Rumpus, Spirituality & Health, The Sun and elsewhere. Her debut novel, In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills, was published in April 2018, and she is currently working on an autobiographical novel that takes place in Haiti. She teaches at workshops around the country.

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Poetic Forms and Freedoms

All Levels | Despite sonnets that terrified us in high school, forms have a delightful ability to draw poetry out of us. We will focus on poetic diction, techniques, and forms; stanza patterns and received verse forms (ghazals, pantoums, sestinas,…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Carolyne Wright

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Start Date: 06/15/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT
This class is full

Carolyne Wright

Carolyne Wright’s most recent books are This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse Press, 2017), whose title poem received a Pushcart Prize and appeared in The Best American Poetry 2009; and the bilingual volume by Chilean poet Eugenia Toledo, Trazas de mapa, trazas de sangre / Map Traces, Blood Traces (2017), a Finalist for the 2018 Washington State Book Award in Poetry, and also for the 2018 PEN Los Angeles Award in Translation. She is co-editor of the ground-breaking anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse, 2015), which received ten Pushcart Prize nominations. Author of nine previous books and chapbooks of poetry, four other volumes of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali, and a book of essays, Wright has served as Visiting Poet and professor of Creative Writing at colleges and universities throughout the U.S., including Harvard, Radcliffe, Emory University and the University of Miami. She returned in 2005 to her native Seattle, where she teaches for Hugo House, the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Program (from 2005 until the program’s closure in 2016), and for national and international literary conferences and festivals. She spent a year in Chile on a Fulbright Study Grant during the presidency of Salvador Allende, and also traveled throughout Brazil. Wright has received fellowships from the NEA, 4Culture, and Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture. She returned to Brazil for two months in 2018 with an Instituto Sacatar artists residency in Bahia, and she has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award for Brazil for 2020-2021, which she will take up once the global coronavirus travel advisory is lifted.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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Playwriting: Diving into Dialogue

All Levels | Shape the dialogue of your play by building and creating compelling characters, exploring voice, and driving your plot forward through your characters’ behaviors and choices. Each week, we’ll read and discuss one scene by a contemporary playwright,…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Danielle Mohlman

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Start Date: 06/16/2021 - 5:00 pm PDT

Danielle Mohlman

Danielle Mohlman is a nationally produced playwright based in Seattle, WA. Her plays have been developed at Arena Stage, the Kennedy Center, the Cherry Lane Theatre, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Cygnet Theatre, Rorschach Theatre, Field Trip Theatre, Umbrella Project, Youth Theatre Northwest, The Scratch & Really Really Theatre Group, and Seattle Public Theater, among others. Danielle is an alumna of Playwrights’ Arena at Arena Stage, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship, and the Umbrella Project Writers Group. She is a proud graduate of both Cal Poly Pomona and Emerson College. She is currently developing multiple projects for theatre, film, and audio.

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Learning from the Masters

Intermediate | We’ll engage in a close reading of several short stories by four short story masters (Anton Chekhov, James Baldwin, Alice Munro, and Yiyun Li), garnering lessons from their fiction on how to build and improve our own stories….

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum

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Start Date: 06/16/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT
4 seats available

Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum

Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum is the author of three collections of short fiction, most recently What We Do With the Wreckage, which won the 2017 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and was published by UGA Press in 2018. Her earlier collections are Swimming With Strangers (Chronicle, 2008) and This Life She's Chosen (Chronicle, 2005). Her short fiction has been published in Ploughshares, McSweeney's, One Story, and North American Review, among other journals, and she has been the recipient of a PEN/O. Henry Prize. Kirsten teaches fiction writing at Hugo House and 9th-12th grade English at a small independent school near Seattle.

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Organizational Storytelling

All Levels | Strategic creative communication is key to developing an organization or brand’s narrative. Using fiction techniques and elements of storytelling, this class will help you fine-tune messaging, analyze your audience, craft the optimal vehicles for bringing a narrative…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Rachel Werner

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Start Date: 06/17/2021 - 10:00 am PDT

Rachel Werner

Rachel Werner is faculty for Hugo House and The Loft Literary Center; a We Need Diverse Books program volunteer; and a book reviewer for Shelf Awareness. She has contributed print, photography and video content to Fabulous Wisconsin, BLK+GRN, BRAVA, Madison Magazine and Entrepreneurial Chef. She is also the founder of The Little BookProject WI, a community arts and nonprofit bi-annual collaboration. A passionate commitment to holistic wellness and sustainable agriculture keeps her a Midwestern girl at heart—and Madison resident.

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Creating (Un)likable Characters

All Levels | The Misfit, Ignatius Loyola, Nick and Amy Dunne—one of the great ironies of literature is that we are often most compelled and captivated by characters who are dirty, rotten people we would never want to know. Through…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Michael Shilling

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Start Date: 06/17/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT

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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API/AAPI Bad Girls Club

All Levels | Xiwangmu, one of the most powerful goddesses in the Chinese pantheon, started out as a mountain demon who wreaked cataclysmic havoc before settling down into heavenly rule. What can her myth teach us about writing into our…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Jaimie Li

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Start Date: 06/20/2021 - 10:00 am PDT

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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Dial Up Your Dialogue

All Levels | Dialogue and banter are a great way to reveal character and entertain your reader, but what takes it from so-so to sparkling? We’ll dissect examples of dialogue and use writing prompts to learn the dos and don’ts…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Lish McBride

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Start Date: 06/20/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT

Lish McBride

Lish McBride is the author of funny and
creepy young adult books such as Hold Me
Closer, Necromancer; Necromancing the
Stone; Firebug; Pyromantic and the upcoming
Curses. She has a BFA in creative writing
from Seattle University and an MFA from
University of New Orleans.

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Poetry & Publishing

Intermediate/Advanced | Students will generate 4-6 new poems, participate in workshop, and submit work to a literary journal for publication. We’ll read and write in response to a wide array of contemporary poets, becoming familiar along the way with the…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jeanine Walker

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Start Date: 06/22/2021 - 10:00 am PDT
3 seats available

Jeanine Walker

Jeanine Walker holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. Her poetry collection, Diagram of Parts, is forthcoming from Groundhog Poetry Press. Her poems have appeared in Chattahoochee Review, New Ohio Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere.

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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: Dilruba Ahmed

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Start Date: 06/23/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT
2 seats available

Dilruba Ahmed

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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