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Class Catalog

Browse Winter 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 Winter quarter 2021.

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 (by phone only): November 20
Member Registration: December 1
General Registration: December 8


Early Bird Pricing November 30 through December 14:

  • $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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Indigenous Writer’s Toolkit: Strategies for Funding Applications

This is a free event for Indigenous* writers in any literary form, including poets and prose writers, and in any genre. This course introduces business writing concepts to strengthen applications for fellowships, grants, and residencies. Core objectives include deciphering and…

Course Type: 3 Sessions  |   Instructor: D.A. Navoti

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Start Date: 01/23/2021 – 1:10 pm
This class is full

D.A. Navoti

D.A. Navoti (he/him/his) created Wellness-ish-ness, a blog for creative hot messes because he's a hell of a hot mess. Navoti also writes creative nonfiction and poetic prose. His work has appeared in Homology Lit, Spartan, Indian Country Today, Cloudthroat, and elsewhere.

He's a CityArtist 2020 recipient from the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and a former fellow at Hugo House & Jack Straw Cultural Center. He received residencies from The Seventh Wave & Gullkistan: Center for Creativity, and holds an M.A. in English from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Liberal Studies degree from Arizona State. He's also co-founder of Fight For Our Lives, a performance series advocating for communities targeted by divisive politics.

He grew up in Phoenix, AZ, and is a member of the Gila River Indian Community, a descendant of O'otham (Salt & Gila Rivers), Hopi, Zuni, and Yavapai-Apache tribes. Born Daniel Napelee Jr., D.A. are initials to honor his late father, and 'Navoti' honors his Hopi mother. D.A. lives and writes in Seattle, WA.

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A Hummingbird of Words: The Micro Memoir

All Levels | The hummingbird is the only bird that can fly forward, backward, sideways, and even upside down — all because they are so small. In this class, we’ll look at tiny texts and learn what can be accomplished…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Beth Ann Fennelly

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Start Date: 01/23/2021 – 10:00 am
This class is full

Beth Ann Fennelly

Beth Ann Fennelly, Poet Laureate of Mississippi, teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Beth Ann has published three poetry books: Open House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables, all with W. W. Norton. She is also the author of 3 books of prose: Great With Child: Letters to a Young Mother, a collection of essays; The Tilted World, a novel co-authored with her husband Tom Franklin; and Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs (2018)—a celebratory book that combines the compression of poetry with the truth-telling of nonfiction. Ranging from childhood recollections to quirky cultural observations, these micro-memoirs build on one another to arrive at a portrait of Beth Ann Fennelly as a wife, mother, writer, and deeply original observer of life’s challenges and joys.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes, “Beth Ann Fennelly’s genre-defying collection is so engaging and readable that you won’t even notice how much you’re learning about confronting the hardest challenge we all share: being human. Wise, irreverent, funny, the pieces—ranging from one sentence to a few pages—condense Fennelly’s life into singularly precise, powerful moments. Collectively, however, they become a living, breathing entity with which you will have many pleasant but deep conversations about your own life.”

Beth Ann has won grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the United States Artists, a Pushcart, and a Fulbright to Brazil. Beth Ann’s poetry has been in over fifty anthologies, including Best American Poetry 1996, 2005, and 2006, The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present, Poets of the New Century, and The Penguin Book of the Sonnet.

A contributing editor to The Oxford American, she also writes freelance on travel, culture, and design for many magazines. Recent nonfiction awards include the Orlando Award in Nonfiction from A Room of Her Own, the Lamar York Prize from The Chattachoochee Review and the Porter Fleming Award for Excellence in the Essay. She’s the first woman honored with the University of Notre Dame’s Distinguished Alumni in the Arts Award.

Beth Ann lives with her husband and their three children, Anna Claire, Thomas and Nolan, in Oxford, Mississippi.

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How to Research (Not Too Much)

All Levels | Historical research can feel both too daunting to start, and too compelling to stop. How can writers find the right balance? We’ll discuss both the practical aspects of research, how to take advantage of the proliferation of…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Nicola DeRobertis-Theye

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Start Date: 01/24/2021 – 1:10 pm

Nicola DeRobertis-Theye

Nicola DeRobertis-Theye’s debut novel The Vietri Project will be published in March 2021 by Harper. She was an Emerging Writing Fellow at the New York Center for Fiction, and her work has been published in Agni, Electric Literature, and LitHub. A graduate of UC Berkeley, she received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she was the fiction editor of its literary magazine Ecotone. She has taught creative writing at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington and the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts. A native of Oakland, CA, she now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Making a Scene

CLASS UPDATE: Date and Time for this class have been updated from the print catalog. Intermediate/Advanced | The scene is one of the smallest units of storytelling, serving as a building block for short stories, novels, and memoirs alike. In…

Course Type: 3 Sessions  |   Instructor: Becky Mandelbaum

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Start Date: 01/24/2021 – 10:00 am

Becky Mandelbaum

Becky Mandelbaum is the author of Bad Kansas (University of Georgia Press, 2017), which received the 2016 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and is a finalist for the 2018 High Plains Book Award for First Book. Her work has appeared in The Missouri Review, The Georgia Review, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, Necessary Fiction, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and elsewhere. Originally from Kansas, she currently lives in Washington’s Skagit Valley.

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Pitch Your Passions

Introductory/Intermediate | Distinguish yourself in the freelance marketplace by defining your niche. In this class, novice freelancers and more established writers looking to secure paid assignments with newspapers, glossy print, and digital media outlets will discuss niche markets such as…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Rachel Werner

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Start Date: 01/24/2021 – 10:00 am

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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Lyrical Texture: Generative Strategies for Poets

All Levels | The focus of this class is lyrical texture. This may include developing sonic patterns, tactile landscapes, and compelling juxtapositions. Students will generate new poems and incorporate strategies to revise existing work. Methods include generative experiments and prompts,…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Laura Da'

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Start Date: 01/24/2021 – 1:10 pm
2 seats available

Laura Da'

Laura Da’ is a poet and teacher. A lifetime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Da’ studied creative writing at the University of Washington and The Institute of American Indian Arts. Da’ is Eastern Shawnee. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, Artist Trust, Hugo House, and the Jack Straw Writers Program. Her first book, Tributaries, won the 2016 American Book Award. Her newest book is Instruments of the True Measure (University of Arizona Press, 2018).

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A Wrinkle in Time: How to Embrace Your Chronology and Tell the Story Straight

All Levels | One of the central struggles in storytelling is that human beings are, in essence, time travelers. We live in the past of our memories and the future of our hopes. Thus, when we tell stories, we often…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 01/25/2021 – 5:00 pm
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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Astonishing Experiences

All Levels | The purpose of this workshop is to help participants find the right words and poetic techniques to relate an astonishing experience. What kind of astonishment the student has experienced will not be furnished; please arrive to this…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Ed Skoog

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Start Date: 01/25/2021 – 6:00 pm

Ed Skoog

Ed Skoog is the author of four books of poems, most recently Travelers Leaving for the City (Copper Canyon Press, 2020). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New Republic and elsewhere. He is a former writer-in-residence at Hugo House.

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Fiction III

This course will build on craft learned in Fiction I and II. Students can expect readings from Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn, craft discussions, and frequent workshops. Weekly discussions and practice exercises will include inciting incidents, managing psychic distance, voice, characters’…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Scott Driscoll

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Start Date: 01/25/2021 – 7:10 pm

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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Love, Grief & Heartache

All Levels | In this course, we will dig deep and write candidly about our most intimate relationships, whether with family, lovers, old wounds, or ourselves. Each week we will read essays/memoirs by writers like Terese Mailhot, Deborah Levy, and…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anne Liu Kellor

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Start Date: 01/28/2021 – 7:10 pm
This class is full

Anne Liu Kellor

Anne Liu Kellor’s essays have appeared in Longreads, The New England Review, Entropy, Fourth Genre, Normal School, Vela Magazine, Literary Mama, The International Examiner, and more. She has been awarded grants and residencies from Seventh Wave, Hedgebrook, Jack Straw, 4Culture, and Hypatia-in-the-Woods. Her memoir, Heart Radical, is forthcoming in 2021.

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Writing the Surreal and the Sensual: A Redefinition

Intermediate | What does Sylvia Plath’s braid, an hourglass museum, and a lampshade of silvering hair have in common? These are images conjured by American poets writing today. Though traditionally a white male realm, surrealist poetics is currently undergoing an…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Susan Rich

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Start Date: 01/30/2021 – 1:10 pm
4 seats available

Susan Rich

Susan Rich is the author of four collections of poetry including Cloud Pharmacy, The Alchemist’s Kitchen, named a finalist for the Foreword Prize and the Washington State Book Award, Cures Include Travel, and The Cartographer’s Tongue, winner of the PEN USA Award for Poetry and the Peace Corps Writers Award. Along with Brian Turner and Jared Hawkley, she is editor of The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Writing Across Borders. She has received awards and fellowships from Artist Trust, CityArtists, 4Culture, The Times Literary Supplement of London, Peace Corps Writers and the Fulbright Foundation. Rich’s poems have appeared in the Harvard Review, New England Review, and the Southern Review.

She has worked as a staff person for Amnesty International, an electoral supervisor in Bosnia Herzegovina, and a human rights trainer in Gaza and the West Bank. Rich lived in the Republic of Niger, West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer, later moving to South Africa to teach at the University of Cape Town on a Fulbright Fellowship.

Rich’s international awards include the Times Literary Supplement Award, a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Ireland and a residency at Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain. Other poetry honors include an Artist Trust Fellowship, a 4 Culture Award, a Seattle CityArtist Project Award, a GAP Award, and participation in the Cuirt Literary Festival in Galway, Ireland.

Her poems have been published in the Antioch Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Christian Science Monitor, Harvard Review, Gettysburg Review, New England Review, Northwest Review, Poetry International and The Southern Review. Anthologized poems and essays are included in Best Essays of the Northwest, Poets of the American West, Poem Home: An Anthology of Ars Poetica, I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poets in Defense of Human Rights, Poem Revised: 54 Poems, and The Working Poet: 75 Poetry Writing Exercises. Susan is an alumna of Hedgebrook, the Helen Whiteley Center and the Ucross Foundation. She serves on the boards of Crab Creek Review, Floating Bridge Press and Whit Press.

Educated at the University of Massachusetts, Harvard University, and the University of Oregon, Susan Rich lives in Seattle and teaches at Highline College where she runs the reading series, Highline Listens: Writers Read Their Work. She has two collections forthcoming: The Gallery of Postcards and Maps: New and Selected Poems (Salmon Press) and Blue Atlas (Red Hen Press).

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FREE Family Stories

As Wendell Berry wrote, “The world is full of places. Why is it that I am here?” In this single session, you will begin laying the foundation of your family story — origins, questions, and artifacts — so that you…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Jaimie Li

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Start Date: 01/30/2021 – 1:10 pm
This class is full

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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When Memory is Not Enough

All Levels | A memoir writer’s greatest gift is memory: messy, unpredictable; sometimes sharp, often murky. We help it along with research, interviewing, factchecking. But sometimes we truly can’t remember something, and there’s no one left to ask: Did this…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Ann Hedreen

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Start Date: 01/30/2021 – 10:00 am
This class is full

Ann Hedreen

Ann Hedreen is an author (Her Beautiful Brain, winner of a Next Gen Indie Award), teacher and documentary filmmaker. Her blog, The Restless Nest earned an honorable mention from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. She has also been published in About Place Journal, 3rd Act Magazine, Crosscut, The Seattle Times, Passager, Persimmon Tree, Minerva Rising and other publications. Her films, including Zona Intangible and Quick Brown Fox: an Alzheimer’s Story, have won many awards. She recently finished a second memoir: After Ecstasy: Memoir of an Observant Doubter.

Teaching philosophy: I believe that writing our own stories transforms our lives. Powerfully. Radically. Not necessarily overnight, because writing is work, but I believe that when writers are doing that work, transformation begins to happen. I’ve seen it in older adults, writing seriously for the first time in their lives; I’ve seen it in teens under court supervision. I’ve seen it in myself. I believe everyone who wants to write can learn to write. I believe everyone has a story to tell. I also believe it’s easy to frighten a fledgling writer. When I teach, I do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen. I want my students to discover that they really do have something to say and a voice, uniquely theirs, with which to say it.

Writer(s) I always return to: Anne Lamott. Gloria Steinem. The poetry of Rumi, Denise Levertov and Kathleen Flenniken (especially Plume). Two memoirs by famous novelists: Vladimir Nabokov’s Speak, Memory and Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, and one by a poet: Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Favorite writing advice: From Brenda Uelland's Me: a Memoir: “Whenever people write from their true selves (not from their bogus literary selves) it is interesting and one is pulled along into it; and it does me good to read it, and it does them good to write it; it makes them freer and bolder in every way.”

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Dorothy Parker’s Antiracism

CLASS UPDATE: Date and Price for this class have been updated from the print catalog. All Levels | One of the most celebrated humorists of the 20th century, Dorothy Parker is famous for her mordant wit and cunning poetry. But…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Christopher Frizzelle

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Start Date: 01/30/2021 – 1:10 pm

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Christopher Frizzelle

Christopher Frizzelle is a writer, teacher, and former editor-in-chief of The Stranger, where a story he edited won a Pulitzer Prize. He is co-author of the book How to Be a Person, and the founder and host of the Silent Reading Party, which has been written about by the New York Times, Travel + Leisure, and Poets & Writers. He holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Bennington College, and he lives in Seattle.

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Writing Diverse Characters

All Levels | What does it take to develop round and dynamic characters? Our discussion will focus on identity markers and how they influence the arts of fiction, inclusive of setting, plot, and conflict. In addition, this workshop will explore…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: DaMaris B. Hill

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Start Date: 01/31/2021 – 1:10 pm
This class is full

DaMaris B. Hill

DaMaris B. Hill, Ph.D, is the author of A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing (Bloomsbury, 2019), a searing and powerful narrative-in-verse that bears witness to American women of color burdened by incarceration. It was an Amazon #1 Best Seller in African American Poetry, and a Publishers
Weekly Top 10 History Title for the season. A scholar as well as writer, her other books are The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim
Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), and the chapbook, \Vi-zə-bəl\ \Teks-chərs\(Visible Textures),
(Mammoth Publications, 2015). Her work has appeared in African American Review, ESPNw, Sou’Wester, Sleet Magazine, American Studies Journal,
Meridians, Shadowbox, Tidal Basin Review, Reverie, Tongues of the Ocean, Women in Judaism and numerous anthologies.

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