Class Catalog

Browse Summer Classes!

 

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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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Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ donor Registration: June 4
Member Registration: June 5
General Registration: June 12


New! Early Bird Pricing June 4 through June 18:

  • $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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Memoir Writing Intensive

Introductory / Intermediate | The three days will be filled with lecture, discussion, writing prompts, brainstorming activities designed to talk you into the heart of your work as a writer, and workshops of participants’ writing. Lecture/discussion topics will include: voice…

Course Type: 3 Sessions  |   Instructor: Theo Nestor

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Start Date: 06/22/2018 – 9:00 AM
3 seats available

Theo Nestor

Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too) (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008). Nestor has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education program since 2006.

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The Hero’s Journey: Writing the Quest Narrative

All Levels | A quest narrative is one of the oldest and surest ways of telling a story. The Odyssey is essentially a quest narrative, with Odysseus’s journey back to his wife and son serving as the basis for the…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Nicholas O'Connell

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Start Date: 06/24/2018 – 1:00 PM

Nicholas O'Connell

Nicholas O’Connell, M.F.A, Ph.D., is the author of The Storms of Denali (University of Alaska Press, 2012), On Sacred Ground: The Spirit of Place in Pacific Northwest Literature (University of Washington Press, 2003), At the Field’s End: Interviews with 22 Pacific Northwest Writers (University of Washington Press Press, 1998), Contemporary Ecofiction (Charles Scribner’s, 1996) and Beyond Risk: Conversations with Climbers (Mountaineers, 1993). He has contributed to Newsweek, Gourmet, Saveur, Outside, GO, National Geographic Adventure, Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sierra, The Wine Spectator, Commonweal, Image and many other places. He is the publisher/editor of The Writer’s Workshop Review and the founder of the online and Seattle-based writing program, www.thewritersworkshop.net.

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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: 06/24/2018 – 10:00 AM

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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Telling Life Stories

Introductory / Intermediate | So you want to tell your story—but how? Is memoir your best option, or are you more interested in a personal essay? This class offers you the chance to try out a number of different genres…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Susan Meyers

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Start Date: 06/28/2018 – 10:00 AM
This class is full

Susan Meyers

Susan V. Meyers has lived and taught in Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico. She earned an MFA from the University of Minnesota and a PhD from the University of Arizona, and she currently directs the Creative Writing Program at Seattle University. Her fiction and nonfiction have been supported by grants from the Fulbright foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, 4Culture, Artist Trust, and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, as well as several artists residencies. Her novel Failing the Trapeze won the Nilsen Award for a First Novel and the Fiction Attic Press Award for a First Novel, and it was a finalist for the New American Fiction Award. Other work has recently appeared in Per Contra, Calyx, Dogwood, The Portland Review, and The Minnesota Review, and it has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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World Building with Foreign and Invented Languages

One way to build narrative momentum and rope your reader in is to deliberately use words that you know your audience might not understand, and then, through context, teaching your reader the meaning of those words. This is a tool…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Rita Bullwinkel

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Start Date: 06/30/2018 – 1:00 PM

Rita Bullwinkel

Rita Bullwinkel is the author of the story collection Belly Up. Her writing has been published in Tin House, Conjunctions, BOMB, Vice, NOON, and Guernica. She is a recipient of grants and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Brown University, Vanderbilt University, Hawthornden Castle, and The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Both her fiction and her translation have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She is an Editor at Large for McSweeney's. She lives in San Francisco.

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Write, Revise, Workshop, Submit!

All Levels | We will generate new poems using a series of writing prompts, guided by both dead and contemporary poets. You’ll leave every class with a new piece of work and a renewed sense of writing discipline. In class…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anastacia Renee

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Start Date: 06/30/2018 – 10:00 AM

Anastacia Renee

Anastacia-Renee is Civic Poet of Seattle and former 2015-17 poet-in-residence at Hugo House. She is a hybrid genre writer, workshop facilitator, and multivalent performance artist. She is the author of four books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.) (Gramma Press), Answer(Me) (Argus Press), and 26 (Dancing Girl Press). Her poetry, prose, and fiction are published widely.

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Memoir Jumpstart

Introductory | If you’ve been meaning to write the story of your life but haven’t yet had the courage to commit it to the page, this course will give you the jumpstart you need. Through reading examples, in-class exercises, and…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Beth Slattery

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Start Date: 06/30/2018 – 1:00 PM

Beth Slattery

Beth Slattery moved to Seattle after eighteen years of teaching creative writing and literature at Indiana University East. Since her relocation, she has been writing and editing. Beth is currently working on a collection of personal essays about her mid-life marriage to a Zimbabwean, a move from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest, and a reluctant acceptance of the call to adventure. Her most recent publications appear in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies and Southern Women’s Review. Beth’s recent editing work includes being a “beta” reader for an author with a multi-book publishing contract, content and copy editing of a personal essay collection, and providing comprehensive editing services on an edited academic volume that was later published by Oxford University Press. She has an M.A. in fiction writing from Miami University and an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine—Stonecoast.

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Travel Writing as Pilgrimage

Introductory / Intermediate | We will explore our stories of personal questing, migration, and transformation. Each week we will write and share from prompts that help us examine periods or places through which we’ve journeyed. We will also discuss the…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anne Liu Kellor

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Start Date: 07/03/2018 – 7:10 PM
2 seats available

Anne Liu Kellor

Anne Liu Kellor has received support from Hedgebrook, 4Culture, and Jack Straw, and taught creative nonfiction since 2006. Her essays have appeared in publications such as Waking Up American (Seal Press) and the Los Angeles Review.

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Finishing Your Book Online

All Levels | This is a class for anyone struggling with a book. Although that first sprint of 50 pages into a book—either novel or nonfiction—can be very exhilarating, it’s hard to sustain until the end. Sooner or later, you’re…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Peter Mountford

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Start Date: 07/06/2018

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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Breathing Life into Secondary Characters

Introductory | Turning our true stories (or someone else’s) into fiction is not simply a matter of changing names and locations to protect the innocent. In this workshop we will learn qualities of successful fiction writing including reshaping truth to…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Beth Slattery

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Start Date: 07/07/2018 – 1:00 PM
5 seats available

Beth Slattery

Beth Slattery moved to Seattle after eighteen years of teaching creative writing and literature at Indiana University East. Since her relocation, she has been writing and editing. Beth is currently working on a collection of personal essays about her mid-life marriage to a Zimbabwean, a move from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest, and a reluctant acceptance of the call to adventure. Her most recent publications appear in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies and Southern Women’s Review. Beth’s recent editing work includes being a “beta” reader for an author with a multi-book publishing contract, content and copy editing of a personal essay collection, and providing comprehensive editing services on an edited academic volume that was later published by Oxford University Press. She has an M.A. in fiction writing from Miami University and an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine—Stonecoast.

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The Other Side of Fire: Writing the Trauma Essay

Introductory | Writing can be healing. But writing can also re-traumatize, making it difficult to tell the stories that shape us. In this workshop, writers gain an understanding of how the physiological processes of trauma interact with a writing practice….

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Katherine E. Standefer

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Start Date: 07/07/2018 – 10:00 AM

Katherine E. Standefer

Katherine E. Standefer's debut book, Lightning Flowers, is forthcoming from Little, Brown in early 2020 and was shortlisted for the 2018 J. Anthony Lukas Works-in-Progress Prize from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard. Her writing won the 2015 Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction, appears in The Best American Essays 2016, and was selected as Notable in Best American Essays 2017. She writes about the body, consent, and medical technology from Tucson, where she earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Arizona in 2014. Her writing appears in the anthologies Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays and How We Speak To One Another: An Essay Daily Reader, as well as many literary journals, including The Normal School, The Iowa Review, Fourth Genre, Colorado Review, and Cutbank. She was a Fall 2017 Marion Weber Healing Arts Fellow at The Mesa Refuge in Point Reyes, California, which supports writers working at the intersection of nature, human economy, and equity. She teaches creative writing and medical humanities at the University of Arizona. As a creative arts entrepreneur, she teaches community-level writing classes that help people write about sexuality, illness, and trauma, using a unique embodied pedagogy that considers the craft challenges, physiological hurdles and social barriers to telling stories of the body. A Certified Sexologist, she has provided sexuality education to more than 8,000 people and draws on more than 30 hours of trauma sensitivity training. www.katherinestandefer.com

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Critical Thinking: Writing a Review

Intermediate | This class focuses on reviews of live performance, recorded media, books, and online products/experiences. We’ll discuss the ethics of unbiased criticism; how to start writing; writer’s block; the elements a review must cover; writing a book or film…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Melinda Bargreen

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Start Date: 07/08/2018 – 1:00 PM

Melinda Bargreen

Melinda Bargreen is a Seattle-based writer and composer who is the author of “Classical Seattle” (University of Washington Press, 2015) and “50 Years of Seattle Opera” (Marquand Press, 2014). Her award-winning choral works have been featured in performances from China to Belgium, as well as on PBS television (in the “Christmas at Belmont” holiday program of 2011). She was classical music critic of The Seattle Times from 1977 to 2008, covering decades of great arts and also the planning, financing and acoustical design of two major Seattle concert halls (Benaroya Hall and McCaw Hall). Melinda has written freelance reviews and articles for several national and international publications, including the New Grove Dictionary of American Music, the U.K.-based MusicWeb International, The American Record Guide, Symphony Magazine, Muso Magazine, TheClassicalReview.com, and The Christian Science Monitor, among others. Voted "Seattle's Best Critic" in an earlier survey by The Seattle Weekly, she also is a former contributor to NPR's "Performance Today" series.

Some of her choral works can be accessed at Santa Barbara Music Publishing (www.sbmp.com) and at her own website (www.melindabargreen.com). Melinda has been a speaker at several colleges and universities, from Cornish College and the University of Washington to Gordon College (Mass.). She has lectured for the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, the Seattle Music Teachers, the Ladies Musical Club,and the Women’s University Club of Seattle, among others.

In addition to her freelance work for The Seattle Times, she has written articles about opera for the OMNI Hotel and Montage Hotel Magazines. Melinda holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Washington, and a doctorate in English and Comparative Literature from the University of California, Irvine.

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Memoir and Its Potential Impact

All Levels | Does your memoir potentially impact those around you (family, friends, colleagues, community)? Does it involve digging at tough issues? We’ll tackle how writing memoir affects who appears on the page, including self. We’ll generate material, and read…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Tara Hardy

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Start Date: 07/09/2018 – 5:00 PM

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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