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Class Catalog

Browse Fall 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, for the remainder of 2020.

If you would like to receive our quarterly catalogs in the mail, please contact us.


Fall Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ Donor Registration (by phone only): August 17
Member Registration: August 18
General Registration: August 25


Early Bird Pricing August 17 through August 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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Writing Pandemic Poems for Lament, Solace, Testimony

All Levels | Drawing on short readings from writers who have addressed pandemics — Giovanni Boccaccio, Daniel Defoe, Albert Camus, and writers addressing our predicament now — we will write poems to report personal experience, interrogate the public narrative, honor…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Kim Stafford

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Start Date: 09/27/2020 – 10:00 am
This class is full

Kim Stafford

Kim Stafford is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, most recently Wild Honey, Tough Salt (Red Hen Press). In 2018 he was named Oregon's Poet Laureate by Governor Kate Brown. He teaches writing at Lewis & Clark College, at Fishtrap, and at the Sitka Center.

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Write Your Memoir: The First Chapter

UPDATE: The course description and dates have been updated from the print catalog. Introductory/Intermediate | Memoir author and book coach Ingrid Ricks will teach you how to open and structure your story in a way that grabs readers and lays…

Course Type: 5 Sessions  |   Instructor: Ingrid Ricks

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Start Date: 09/27/2020 – 10:00 am

Ingrid Ricks

Ingrid Ricks is an NYT-bestselling author, writing coach, ghostwriter and speaker who is passionate about leveraging personal storytelling to foster healing, awareness, empathy and change. Her memoirs include Hippie Boy, A Girl's Story and Focus. Visit ingridricks.com.

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Writing About Loss

All Levels | In this class, we’ll use literature as a lens through which to explore how losses play out in individual lives and the lives of communities. We’ll turn a curious eye to how writers choose to represent grief,…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Liza Birnbaum

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Start Date: 09/28/2020 – 7:10 pm

Liza Birnbaum

Liza Birnbaum's fiction and essays have appeared in Web Conjunctions, jubilat, Open Letters Monthly, and other publications. She is a founding editor of Big Big Wednesday, an annual print journal of literature and visual art, and has taught creative writing in a number of settings, most recently at an alternative school for young women who are pregnant or parenting. In 2019, she will be a funded resident at the Lillian E. Smith Center at Piedmont College. She holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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Creating Your Book-Length Manuscript: Theme, Order, and Revision (ZOOM)

Intermediate/Advanced | We will explore the recurring images and motifs in your poems, looking toward the development of a chapbook or book-length manuscript. Order is more than merely a device or afterthought of one’s work. The instructor will provide exercises…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Judith Skillman

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Start Date: 09/29/2020 – 7:10 pm

Judith Skillman

Judith Skillman is the recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets and Artist Trust. Her recent collection is The Truth About Our American Births, Shanti Arts, 2020. Poems have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, Zyzzyva, We Refugees, and other journals and anthologies. She is the author of Broken Lines—The Art & Craft of Poetry. For more, please visit judithskillman.com.

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Yearlong in Short Story

The End Date has been corrected from the catalog. In weekly meetings over the course of the 2020-2021 academic year, yearlong classes provide dedicated writers with an intensive path toward finishing a draft of a book. Whether you are early…

Course Type: 30 sessions  |   Instructor: Ramon Isao

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Start Date: 09/29/2020 – 7:10 pm
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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Write In, Breathe Out

All Levels | Are you feeling creatively blocked? Are these blockages showing up in your body and negatively impacting your writing practice? We’ll spend our time implementing writing rituals and practices as a community, generate new work in response to…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anastacia-Renee

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Start Date: 09/29/2020 – 10:00 am

Anastacia-Renee

Anastacia-Renee is a multi-genre writer, educator, and interdisciplinary artist. She is the recipient of the 2018 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award for Washington artists (Artist Trust), and has served as the 2017-2019 Seattle Civic Poet and the 2015-2017 poet-in-residence at Hugo House. Anastacia-Renee is a two-time Pushcart nominee and 2017 Artist of Year (Seattle). She is the author of five books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.) (Black Ocean) 26 (Dancing Girl Press), Kiss Me Doll Face (Gramma Press), and Answer(Me) (Winged City Chapbooks, Argus Press) and has received writing fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Artist Trust, Jack Straw, Ragdale, Whiteley, Mineral School, and Hypatia in the Woods. Her cross-genre writing has appeared in a TEDx talk; the anthologies Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism, Sinister Wisdom: Black Lesbians—We Are the Revolution, and Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks; and Ms. Magazine, Split this Rock, Painted Bride Quarterly, Crab Creek Review, Seattle Review, The Fight & the Fiddle, Duende, Poetry Northwest, Synaethesia, Banqueted, Torch, Mom Egg Review, The Magazine of Glamorous Refusal, Pinwheel Journal, and many more. She teaches poetry and multi-genre workshops at Hugo House, libraries, universities, and high schools.

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Poetry II

Poetry II will add to your growing skill set in a supportive workshop environment. We’ll learn by closely reading and responding to mentor texts as well as each other’s poems, and practice the art of revision so that you can…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Erin Malone

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Start Date: 09/30/2020 – 1:00 pm

Erin Malone

Erin Malone was raised in Nebraska and Colorado. She’s the author of Hover (Tebot Bach Press), and a chapbook, What Sound Does It Make (Concrete Wolf). Her recent work has received fellowship support from Kimmel-Harding Nelson, The Anderson Center, Ucross, and Jentel, and has been included in journals such as FIELD, New Ohio Review, Radar Poetry, and Ruminate. She lives in Seattle and from 2016-2020 served as Editor of Poetry Northwest.

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Yearlong in Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction

In weekly meetings over the course of the 2020-2021 academic year, yearlong classes provide dedicated writers with an intensive path toward finishing a draft of a book. Whether you are early in the writing process or already have a rough…

Course Type: 30 sessions  |   Instructor: Karen Finneyfrock

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Start Date: 09/30/2020 – 7:10 pm
This class is full

Karen Finneyfrock

Karen Finneyfrock is a poet and novelist in Seattle, WA. She is the author of two young adult novels: The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door and Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, both published by Viking Children’s Books. She is one of the editors of the anthology Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls and the author of Ceremony for the Choking Ghost, both released on Write Bloody press. A former Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House, Karen teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools, Seattle Writes and Young Women Empowered.

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Book Lab

This yearlong mentorship program is for students who have completed a Yearlong Manuscript course or anyone with a complete manuscript ready for extensive feedback. Students will be part of an intimate cohort of fellow writers that work together and one-on-one…

Course Type: Book Lab  |   Instructor: Tara Conklin

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Start Date: 09/30/2020 – 5:00 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

Tara Conklin

Tara Conklin is the author of The House
Girl (William Morrow, 2013) and The
Last Romantics (William Morrow, 2019),
both New York Times bestsellers. The Last
Romantics was a Barnes & Noble Book Club
Pick, IndieNext Pick, and was selected by
Jenna Bush Hager as the inaugural read for
The Today Show Book Club.

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How Stories Get Told: Voice and Narrative Distance

All Levels | Students will learn to differentiate author voice from character voice and how to blend the two. Also, they’ll learn how to manipulate the distance between the telling and the story events and characters. We will read selected…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Scott Driscoll

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Start Date: 09/30/2020 – 7:10 pm
This class is full

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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Sprout Your Seeds

In this three-hour generative workshop, we’ll explore new ways to see our own work in relationship to the living world around us. Following a series of prompts and possibilities, you’ll have a chance to start growing in new directions on…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Camille Dungy

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Start Date: 10/01/2020 – 1:10 pm
This class is full

Camille Dungy

“Dungy’s poems depict a universe of clockwork precision whose logic can be too complex for mortal minds.”—Publishers Weekly

“Earthly and visionary.” –Yusef Komunyakaa

Camille T. Dungy is the author of four collections of poetry: Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017); Smith Blue (Southern Illinois UP, 2011) winner of the 2010 Crab Orchard Open Book Prize; Suck on the Marrow (Red Hen Press, 2010) winner of the American book award in 2010; and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (Red Hen Press, 2006).

Her debut collection of personal essays, Guidebook to Relative Strangers (W. W. Norton, 2017) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. As a working mother whose livelihood as a poet-lecturer depended on travel, Camille Dungy crisscrossed America with her infant, then toddler, intensely aware of how they are seen, not just as mother and child, but as black women. The Kirkus Review noted of this lyrical memoir, “Each essay flows smoothly into the next, and they are all interlinked with themes of race, fear, joy, and love, bringing readers eye to eye with the experiences of being a black female poet, lecturer, mother, and woman. Forthright, entertaining, often potent essays that successfully intertwine personal history and historical context regarding black and white in America.”

Dungy is the editor of the anthology Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (UGA, 2009), the first anthology to focus on nature writing by African American poets. About the anthology, a Booklist starred review notes, “Just as nature is too often defined as wilderness when, in fact, nature is everywhere we are, our nature poetry is too often defined by Anglo-American perspectives, even though poets of all backgrounds write about the living world. Dungy enlarges our understanding of the nexus between nature and culture, and introduces a ‘new way of thinking about nature writing and writing by black Americans.'” Black Nature brings to the fore a neglected and vital means of considering poetry by African Americans and nature-related poetry as a whole.

Dungy is also the editor of several other anthologies, including From the Fishouse (Persea, 2009) and Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade (University of Michigan Press, 2006).

Dungy is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Sustainable Arts Foundation, The Diane Middlebrook Residency Fellowship of the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and other organizations. Her poems and essays have been published in Best American Poetry, The 100 Best African American Poems, nearly thirty other anthologies, and over one hundred print and online journals.

Dungy is currently University Distinguished Professor in the English Department at Colorado State University.

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Little Glimmers

All Levels | We all have bits and pieces of something that struck us as a piece of a poem — an image, a few lines we wrote down because there was something there. But what? Sometimes nothing. More often,…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sharon Bryan

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Start Date: 10/01/2020 – 10:00 am

Sharon Bryan

Sharon Bryan received her BA in Philosophy and an MA in Anthropology before she began to write poetry, and then received her MFA from the University of Iowa.

She has published four books of poems: Sharp Stars, Flying Blind, Objects of Affection, and Salt Air, which won The Governor’s Award from the State of Washington. She received the Isabella Gardner Award for Sharp Stars. Her other awards include two NEA Fellowships in Poetry, an Academy of American Poet’s Prize, the Discovery Award from The Nation, an Artist Trust Grant from the Washington State Arts Council, a Senior Fellowship to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, a grant from the Utah Arts Council for the film collaboration Eureka, and a Fellowship in Poetry from the Tennessee Arts Commission, among others. She was Poet-in-Residence at The Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire.

She is also the editor of two collections: Where We Stand: Women Poets on Literary Tradition, and, with William Olsen, Planet on the Table: Poets on the Reading Life.

She taught at the University of Washington for seven years and at Memphis State University for six. Since then she has taught as a visiting poet in almost twenty writing programs around the country, including Dartmouth, the University of Houston, Western Michigan, Kalamazoo College, Ohio University, Wichita State, the University of Missouri at St. Louis, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, San Diego State, and Fresno State. She has also been on the faculty of low-residency MFA Programs at Pacific Lutheran Universitiy, Warren Wilson, Pacific University, and Fairfield University.

She is currently on the faculty of the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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The Long Game

All Levels | A generative intensive establishes the foundations for a consistent creative practice. From making a commitment to your writer self to forming a creative habit, this course focuses on generating new work and developing critical and editorial skills…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Amber Flame

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Start Date: 10/01/2020 – 5:00 pm

Amber Flame

Amber Flame is a writer, composer, and performer whose work has garnered residencies with Hedgebrook, The Watering Hole, Vermont Studio Center, and YEFE NOF. Flame’s original work has been published in diverse arenas, including Def Jam Poetry, Winter Tangerine, The Dialogist, Split This Rock, Black Heart Magazine, Sundress Publications, FreezeRay, Redivider Journal, and more. A 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, Jack Straw Writer, and recipient of the CityArtist grant from Seattle’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Amber Flame’s first full-length poetry collection, Ordinary Cruelty, was recently published through Write Bloody Press. Amber Flame is a queer Black single mama just one magic trick away from growing her unicorn horn.

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The Late Show: Fast & Furious Writing for Writers 50 & Up

Introductory | In this generative workshop, we’ll learn the seven crucial steps to (re)entering and maintaining a writing practice at a later stage in life; explore three different genres (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) through prompts and a few readings; and…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Stephanie Barbe Hammer

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Start Date: 10/01/2020 – 1:10 pm

Stephanie Barbe Hammer

Stephanie Barbé Hammer is a 4 time nominee for the Pushcart Prize in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her work has appeared in Pearl, Hayden’s Ferry, the Bellevue Literary Review and S/tick among other places. She was a comp lit scholar for many years, but then decided she wanted to make creative work, rather than just talk about it. Born in New York City she now lives on Whidbey Island where she writes flash fiction, poetry, and occasional essays and teaches creative writing at community colleges and non-profits. She is the author of a novel The Puppet Turners of Narrow Interior (Urban Farmhouse Press in 2015), a poetry collection How Formal? (Spout Hill Press, 2014), and a chapbook, Sex with Buildings (Dancing Girl Press, 2012). She’s working on a new novel about a repentant drug dealer and a new poetry collection about being a city dweller attempting to deal with nature.

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The Fearless Pen

Introductory | 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 admit…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Beth Slattery

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Start Date: 10/01/2020 – 10:00 am

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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