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Class Catalog

Browse Spring & Summer 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.

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

$500+ donor Registration: June 3
Member Registration: June 4
General Registration: June 11


New! Early Bird Pricing June 3 through June 17:

  • $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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Pitch Laboratory

All Levels | To publish nonfiction in any commercial journal and many literary ones, you must learn the art of the pitch. To pitch is to distill a story to its fundamentals. In few words, you must conjure plot, characters,…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Madeline Ostrander

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Start Date: 06/24/2019 – 7:10 PM

Madeline Ostrander

Madeline Ostrander’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Sun Magazine, Audubon Magazine, The Nation, Al Jazeera America, and High Country News. She is a full-time freelance science and environmental writer and the former senior editor of YES! Magazine.

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Online Class: How to Get Started as a Freelancer

Introductory | How do you get started as a freelance writer? Is it possible to turn freelancing into a full-time job? Nicole Dieker has been a full-time freelancer for nearly a decade, and she’ll teach you everything she knows about…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Nicole Dieker

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Start Date: 06/25/2019
4 seats available

Nicole Dieker

Nicole Dieker teaches writing, freelancing, and publishing classes (including Hugo House online classes) and works one-on-one with authors as a developmental editor and copyeditor. She's been a full-time freelance writer since 2012, and spent five years as a writer and editor for The Billfold, a personal finance blog where people had honest conversations about money.

Nicole's debut novel, The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 1: 1989–2000, published in May 2017; The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 2: 2004–2016 followed in May 2018. The two books are a Millennial-era Little Women that follow three sisters from childhood to adulthood.

“I took Nicole’s freelancing class. By the end of the class, I had submitted my first pitch, had it accepted and the article published. She guided us through the process of building a freelance career, with concrete steps to get started, ongoing resources for growth and answers to wide-ranging questions. She taught one of the most informative classes I’ve taken and she did it while providing individualized information for each member of the class.” — Beth Swanson, freelance writer and journalist

Visit NicoleDieker.com to learn more, or to read Nicole's daily blog posts about the art and the finances of a creative career.

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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: 06/27/2019 – 5:00 PM
2 seats available

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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Online Class: Speculative Nonfiction

All Levels | Speculative nonfiction dives into what we suspect, but do not yet know—secret biographies, deathbed confessions, weird science, and anything you need to research but don’t know where to start. Participants will collect information, conduct interviews, and discover…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Kathleen Alcala

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Start Date: 06/27/2019

Kathleen Alcala

Kathleen Alcalá is the author of a short story collection, three novels set in 19th Century Mexico and the Southwest, and a collection of essays based on family history. Her work has received the Western States Book Award, the Governor’s Writers Award, and a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award. She received her second Artist Trust Fellowship in 2008, and was honored by the national Latino writers group, Con Tinta, at the Associated Writing Programs Conference in 2014. She has been designated an Island Treasure in the Arts on Bainbridge Island.

Kathleen's latest book is The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island, by the University of Washington Press. In it, she explores our relationship with food and the land through research and numerous interviews with the people who bring us our food on Bainbridge Island.

Kathleen has a B.A. in Linguistics from Stanford University, an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans. Kathleen has a great affinity for the story-telling techniques of magic realism and science fiction, and has been both a student and instructor in the Clarion West Science Fiction Workshop.

Kathleen was a faculty member at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts on Whidbey Island until it closed in 2016. She still lectures and gives readings and workshops in creative writing.

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Risk and Magic

All Levels | Emily Dickinson said, “When I feel as though the top of my head has been taken off, I know that is poetry.” Whether what you want is a wild leap, a breakage in form, or vulnerable content,…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sara Brickman

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Start Date: 07/01/2019 – 5:00 PM
2 seats available

Sara Brickman

Sara Brickman is a queer Jewish author, performer, and community organizer from Ann Arbor, MI. The winner of the Split This Rock Poetry Prize, Sara has received grants and scholarships from the Lambda Literary Foundation, The Yiddish Book Center, Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture, and more. She is a BOAAT Writers Fellow and the recipient of the Ken Warfel Fellowship for Poetry in Community. Sara’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Adriot, BOAAT, The Indiana Review, Muzzle Magazine, and the anthologies The Dead Animal Handbook and Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls. A nationally renowned performer, she has collaborated with musicians Mary Lambert, Hollis Wong-Wear, and Led To Sea. Sara received her MFA from the University of Virginia, where she taught poetry and rhetoric, and currently teaches with Writers-in-the-Schools and other community arts organizations. She lives in Seattle with her partner and her cat Latke.

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Body of Work: Writing Illness and Disability

We will explore the most intimate of relationships: that of a person to their own body. Working in the shadow of great writers from Virginia Woolf to Ada Limón, you’ll learn how to express what can feel inexpressible. We’ll also…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Kate Horowitz

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Start Date: 07/02/2019 – 1:00 PM

Kate Horowitz

Kate Horowitz (she/her) is a poet, essayist, and science writer based in Washington, DC. Her work on illness and disability has appeared in Pacific Standard, The Atlantic, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Luna Luna, Monstering, rose quartz, and many others. She has an M.A. in science-medical writing from Johns Hopkins University and studied poetry with Robert Pinsky. She was Yes, Poetry’s Poet of the Month in July 2018. Visit her online at thingswrittendown.com.

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The Fearless Pen

All Levels | For many writers, there is nothing as anxiety-inducing as the blank page, and this class is designed to help fearful writers find the courage needed to begin, or finish, a project. We will look at writers who…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Beth Slattery

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Start Date: 07/02/2019 – 5:00 PM
This class is full

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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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: 07/08/2019 – 5:00 PM
This class is full

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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Online Class: Mastering the Scene

All Levels | We will dive into how scenes work and what they accomplish. Through writing exercises and readings by published writers, we’ll explore how scenes develop characters, seed tension, establish place and time, facilitate flashbacks, soften research, and build…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Katherine E. Standefer

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Start Date: 07/08/2019
This class is full

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 New England Review, The Normal School, The Iowa Review, Fourth Genre,
and the Colorado Review. She is a Fall 2018 Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good in Rensselaerville, New York, which supports deeply reported nonfiction about the most pressing issues of our day, and a Fall 2018 resident at Jentel Arts in Banner, Wyoming. She was previously 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. She is Nonfiction Faculty at Ashland University's Low-Residency MFA program. www.katherinestandefer.com

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(More) Philosophy for Writers

All Levels | We will cover the language of limit subjects (metaphysics, being, death, God, humanness) from Gottfried Leibniz, William James, Donna Haraway, Kodwo Eshun, and Slavoj Zizek, as well as the films of Astra Taylor, a philosopher and director….

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Charles Tonderai Mudede

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Start Date: 07/08/2019 – 7:10 PM

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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Journalism I: The First Rough Draft of History

All Levels | A course for those who are interested in journalism in the 21st century. Topics will include opportunities with traditional media as well as podcasts, blogs, and websites; how to decide on a topic; how to find a…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Rebecca Morris

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Start Date: 07/08/2019 – 7:10 PM

Rebecca Morris

New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Morris is also a veteran journalist who worked in radio and television news in New York City; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington and was a free-lance writer for The Seattle Times, The Oregonian, People, Entertainment Weekly, and many other publications before she began writing true crime books.

Her first book, Ted and Ann, continues to be an e-book bestseller on Amazon (and is also available in paperback), and her e-book, Bad Apples – Inside the Teacher/Student Sex Scandal Epidemic, is the only book to look at the trend of female teachers having sex with underage students.

She is the author of A Murder in My Hometown (2018), A Killing in Amish Country - Sex Betrayal and a Cold-Blooded Murder (St. Martin's, 2016) and If I Can't Have You - Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance and the Murder of Her Children (St. Martin's 2014) with bestselling author Gregg Olsen. They are also the authors of the Notorious USA series, including The Boy Who Fired the First Shot, The Girl and the Horrors of Howard Ave., and The Stranger and the World’s Bravest Little Girl.

Rebecca attended Oregon State University, received a B.A. in Journalism from Seattle University, and has an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Brown University. She speaks about her work at libraries, schools, and writers’ conferences. She has taught writing, journalism, and playwriting at colleges and universities across the country. She lives in Seattle.

She appears frequently on television as a crime expert.

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Advanced Creative Nonfiction Workshop

Intermediate / Advanced | This class is for those who are looking for respectful, in-depth feedback on their essays- or memoirs-in-progress. Each week we will workshop two student pieces, freewrite from prompts, and explore craft issues inspired by student work…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anne Liu Kellor

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Start Date: 07/09/2019 – 7:10 PM
This class is full

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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Online Class: From History to Story: Writing Your Life

Introductory/Intermediate | You’ve got a life story to tell, but how can you turn “history” into a “story?” What should you include? And what should you leave out? Moreover, how can you make your memories interesting to a reader? This…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Susan Meyers

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Start Date: 07/09/2019

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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