Class Catalog

Browse Fall Classes!


Click on the cover above to view the print catalog as a PDF.

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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Note: All Fall 2018 classes will take place at our new home at 1634 Eleventh Avenue on Capitol Hill. 

Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ donor Registration: August 20
Member Registration: August 21
General Registration: August 28

New! Early Bird Pricing August 20 through September 3:

  • $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 Role of Place in Fiction

Intermediate | Place in creative writing is much more than setting, time-frame, and description. When written well, place provides a sense of regional and cultural nuance that helps shape characters into real people and makes the world of the story…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Joe Ponepinto

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Start Date: 10/24/2018 – 5:00 PM

Joe Ponepinto

Joe Ponepinto is the publisher and fiction editor of Tahoma Literary Review, a nationally-recognized literary journal, and teaches fiction writing at Tacoma Community College. His novel, Mr. Neutron, will be published by 7.13 Books in spring 2018. His stories and criticism have been published in dozens of journals in the U.S. and abroad.

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Writing the TV Pilot

Intermediate | In this course, we’ll discuss what makes an exciting and intriguing television pilot screenplay and critique each other’s work. The first three weeks of the class will be seminar and discussion of a range of pilots such as…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Michael Shilling

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Start Date: 10/24/2018 – 7:10 PM

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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Novel Immersion

All Levels | Designed to complement National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), this popular class will set your course for writing a novel, which you can pursue at the pace you prefer. Using in-class writing exercises and homework assignments, you’ll devise…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Waverly Fitzgerald

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Start Date: 10/24/2018 – 5:00 PM
This class is full

Waverly Fitzgerald

Waverly Fitzgerald loves research as much as writing, which is sometimes a problem. She has written one non-fiction book, Slow Time (2007) and fourteen novels, of which nine have been published by publishers as diverse as Doubleday and Kensington. Her essays and poems have appeared in Facere and Raven Chronicles. For her essays on urban nature, she has been awarded a fellowship from Jack Straw Cultural Center, a grant from Artist Trust and residences at Hedgebrook and the Whiteley Center. She has presented at international and national writing conferences and taught for various continuing education programs including the UCLA Writers Program and the University of Washington Extension. She currently teaches online for Creative Nonfiction magazine.

Teaching philosophy: My only goal as a teacher is to make sure my students learn what they want to learn. So I provide accountability, offer feedback and encourage writing. I set up interesting situations where writers can practice either craft skills or generate new material on subjects of their own choosing. Although I bring in examples of writing from other writers, I encourage students to choose their own models. I’m as open to genre writing as I am to literary writing. Having found the workshop model of teaching (critique from the entire group of one manuscript at time) both inefficient and sometimes damaging, I rarely use it though I do encourage camaraderie in the classroom because second to writing I think participating in a writing community is an ingredient necessary for writerly success.

Writers I return to: Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Goudge, Anthony Trollope, William Lashner, Timothy Hallinan, Susan Howatch, Dorothy Dunnett, Ellis Peters, Jorge Amado, D. J. Waldie, Robert MacFarlane, Jay Griffiths, Rebecca Solnit, Lia Purpura.

Favorite writing advice: Consider the reader.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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Ekphrasis as Translation: Poetry as Post-Event

This workshop will focus on ekphrastic poetry through the lens of translation theory in order to produce original works that expand the possibilities of translation and ekphrasis—translating only the sounds, only the emotional cores, only that which light touches. No…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

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Start Date: 10/25/2018 – 14:00:00

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. He is the author of the collection Cenzontle (2018), which won the 2017 A. Poulin Jr. prize, and the chapbook Dulce (2018). His memoir, Children of the Land, is forthcoming from Harper Collins in 2020. His work has appeared or been featured in The New York Times, PBS Newshour, People Magazine en Español, The Paris Review, Fusion TV, Buzzfeed, Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, New England Review, and Indiana Review, among others. He currently teaches in the Low-Res MFA program at Ashland University.

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How to Start a Novel You Can Actually Finish

All Levels | Jennifer Haigh is the author of five novels, each of which nearly killed her. She is also the author of three unfinished and unfinishable manuscripts — woefully ill-conceived stories that will never see the light of day….

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Jennifer Haigh

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Start Date: 10/27/2018 – 1:00 PM

Jennifer Haigh

Jennifer Haigh is the author of five novels and a collection of short stories. Her most recent novel, Heat and Light, received a 2017 Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was named a Best Book of 2016 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio and Slate. Her previous books have won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction, the Massachusetts Book Award and the PEN New England Award in fiction, and have been published in eighteen languages. Her short stories have been published widely, in The Atlantic, Granta, The Best American Short Stories anthology and many other places. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, she is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.

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Finding Your Voice in Children’s Writing

Introductory | Voice is one of the most important and often the most elusive element of writing for middle grade and young adult audiences. This class will break down what constitutes a strong voice in children’s literature, provide instructive examples…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Clelia Gore

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Start Date: 10/27/2018 – 10:00 AM

Clelia Gore

Clelia Gore is a literary agent who heads the children's division of the Seattle-based agency, Martin Literary Management. Clelia represents authors of fiction and nonfiction picture, middle grade and young adult books. Prior to her career as an agent, she worked as an attorney in Manhattan.

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Creating Tension in Prose

All Levels | Tension is one of the main driving forces of narrative—it’s the thing that keeps the reader turning the page, the addictive quality that makes people stay up past their bedtime to see what happens next. In this…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Becky Mandelbaum

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Start Date: 10/27/2018 – 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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Metaphor in Theory & Practice

Introductory/Intermediate | To craft powerful metaphors, writers need a deep understanding of how metaphors work. In this co-taught workshop, we’ll discuss metaphor theory by Black, Lackoff & Johnson, and Ricouer, and look at examples of metaphor in poets like Auden,…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Kascha Semonovitch and Roger Gilman

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Start Date: 10/28/2018 – 1:00 PM
4 seats available

Kascha Semonovitch and Roger Gilman

Kascha Semonovitch holds a PhD in philosophy and MFA in poetry. Her poems and essays have appeared in journals including The Bellingham Review, Zyzzyva, and The Kenyon Review. She taught philosophy at Seattle University and edited two collections of philosophical essays.

Roger Gilman has a PhD in Philosophy from The University of Chicago. He taught interdisciplinary courses in the Arts and Sciences at Northeastern University in Chicago. He held positions as department Chair and Dean of the College. He is a former poetry editor of the Chicago Review and has published poems in various magazines, among them Poetry Northwest. He is a winner of the Boynton Prize in poetry and of a National Endowment of the Humanities fellowship. His research concerns theories of metaphoric meaning-making and the role of metaphors in artworks and scientific explanations.

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Fiction I Online

Whether you’re looking to write stories or a novel, this course will introduce three key elements of fiction: character, plot, and landscape. Alongside published examples and writing prompts in and out of class, you will write a short story and…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Peter Mountford

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Start Date: 10/29/2018

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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Writing the Body

The dates for this class have been updated from the print catalog. We will interrogate poems that succeed at venturing below the surface valence of confession to empower us as readers to see, feel, understand, and empathize with their speakers….

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: L. Lamar Wilson

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Start Date: 11/01/2018 – 13:00:00

L. Lamar Wilson

L. Lamar Wilson is the author of Sacrilegion—the 2012 selection for the Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series, a 2013 Independent Publishers Group bronze medalist, and a 2013 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry finalist—and co-author of Prime: Poetry and Conversation (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014), with the Phantastique Five. Individual poems and scholarly and personal essays have appeared in African American Review, Black Gay Genius (2014), Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, jubilat, Muzzle, Oxford American, Prairie Schooner, Rattle, The 100 Best African American Poems (2010), Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation (2015), Vinyl, The Washington Post/The Root, and elsewhere. Wilson, a Cave Canem and Callaloo graduate fellow, Florida A&M University alumnus, and Affrilachian Poet, holds an MFA from Virginia Tech and a doctorate in African American and multiethnic American poetics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He teaches creative writing and African American literature at The University of Alabama.

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Kick-Starting the Memoir

All Levels | This is a popular class with proven results, aimed at those who want to write a memoir or have begun one and are stalled. Each week requires an essay of 300 words providing important building blocks for…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: John Marshall

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Start Date: 11/01/2018 – 7:10 PM
1 seats available

John Marshall

John Douglas Marshall is the author of Reconciliation Road, an award-winning memoir. The longtime book critic for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has interviewed and profiled many prominent memoir authors.

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The Lyric Self

The lyric poem is a text of emotion, a text of thought, expressed directly from the poet to the reader. Participants will read various examples of lyric poetry to observe differences in the mode and discuss methods of finding and…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Dante Micheaux

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Start Date: 11/02/2018 – 11:00 AM

Dante Micheaux

Dante Micheaux is the author of Circus (Indolent Books, 2018) and Amorous Shepherd (Sheep Meadow Press, 2010). His poems and translations have appeared in Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Callaloo, PN Review, The African American Review and Tongue—among other journals and anthologies. He has been shortlisted for the Benjamin Zephaniah Poetry Prize and the Bridport Prize. Micheaux’s honors include a prize in poetry from the Vera List Center for Art & Politics, the Oscar Wilde Award and fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation and The New York Times Foundation.

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Writing Public Tragedies: How to Write Beyond the Media Feed with Empathy and Craft

How do we come to the page in private to write creatively with media informing the details of mass shootings, ICE detention camps, or the Syrian war and refugee crisis? Natural disasters, war, and conflict disturb the peace and inspire…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Amanda Johnston

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Start Date: 11/03/2018 – 10:00 AM

Amanda Johnston

Amanda Johnston earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. She is the author of two chapbooks, GUAP and Lock & Key, and the full-length collection Another Way to Say Enter (Argus House Press). Her poetry and interviews have appeared in numerous online and print publications, among them, Callaloo, Poetry, Kinfolks Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Muzzle, Pluck!, No, Dear and the anthologies, Small Batch, Full, di-ver-city, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, and Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism. The recipient of multiple Artist Enrichment grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Christina Sergeyevna Award from the Austin International Poetry Festival, she is a member of the Affrilachian Poets and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. Johnston is a Stonecoast MFA faculty member, a cofounder of Black Poets Speak Out, and founding executive director of Torch Literary Arts. She serves on the Cave Canem Foundation board of directors and currently lives in Texas.

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More or Less?

Modernist poet Ezra Pound famously said that poetry is the most compressed form of verbal expression. By this he didn’t mean that a poem is necessarily brief. He meant that poetry packs more meaning (or activity) into each word than…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Rae Armantrout

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Start Date: 11/03/2018 – 10:00 AM

Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout has published thirteen books of poems. Her most recent books are Itself and Just Saying, both from Wesleyan. Versed (Wesleyan, 2009) won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the National Book Critics Circle award in 2010. She is professor emeritus at UC San Diego.

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Poetry from Stage to Page

All Levels | This workshop is for performance poets to develop their collection for the page, either in developing a manuscript or for individual submissions to journals. We’ll utilize form and structure, line and stanza breaks, and space and repetition…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Amber Flame

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Start Date: 11/04/2018 – 1:00 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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