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Class Catalog

Browse Spring 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 Spring quarter 2021.

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


Spring Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ Donor Registration (by phone only): March 8
Member Registration: March 9
General Registration: March 16


Early Bird Pricing March 8 through March 22:

  • $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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Revising with E.M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel

Intermediate | So you have a first draft of the novel. Congratulations! Now you need to make it better—but how? Where do you start? We’ll use E.M. Forster’s 1927 classic Aspects of the Novel to discuss how one might go…

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

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Start Date: 04/24/2021 - 10:00 am PDT

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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Building Plot and Character through Place

All Levels | There are stories that create place so palpably you can feel it scratch the souls of your feet—where setting is not just a literary device or decorative prop, but a dynamic feature, where each valley is imbued…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Naseem Rakha

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Start Date: 04/24/2021 - 10:00 am PDT

Naseem Rakha

Naseem Rakha is an award winning author and journalist. She has been the recipient of AP awards for her writing on the environment, and she was awarded the Waterston Desert Writing Prize for an essay about her month long winter journey down the Grand Canyon. Her novel, The Crying Tree has been published in eleven languages and is known for how it incorporates place into a family struggle over life and death. Naseem lives in a forest overlooking Oregon’s Willamette Valley. You can follow Naseem’s writing and photographs at www.naseemrakha.com

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Writing alongside Local Poets: Choi, Mangold, Wong, and Zaher

All Levels | We’ll read and write poems inspired by the work of four contemporary poets particularly concerned with community and exile; self and world; wounds and resilience. Weekly prompts and read-arounds of participants’ poems. Feedback from instructor. Required Texts:…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Deborah Woodard

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Start Date: 04/24/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT
This class is full

Deborah Woodard

Deborah Woodard's first full-length collection, Plato's Bad Horse, appeared in 2006 (Bear Star Press). Her new collection, Borrowed Tales, was recently published by Stockport Flats.

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Self-Portraits and Landscapes: Bringing the Personal into Nature Writing

All Levels | When we write about nature, there’s always an observing “I” embedded in what we describe–and when we write about our personal experience, there’s always some context beyond our human surroundings. In this class, we’ll try our hand…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Liza Birnbaum

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Start Date: 04/25/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT
This class is full

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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Writing the Self Sacred & Profane

All Levels | With poets such as Eric Tran, Jericho Brown, Vandana Khanna, and Essy Stone serving as our guiding lights, this generative poetry workshop explores how “the sacred” and “the profane” can provide entryways into thinking about our identities,…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Leah Silvieus

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Start Date: 04/25/2021 - 10:00 am PDT
4 seats available

Leah Silvieus

Leah Silvieus was born in South Korea and adopted to the U.S. at three-months old. She grew up in small towns in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley and western Colorado. She is the author of Anemochory (Hyacinth Girl Press), Season of Dares (Bull City Press), Arabilis (Sundress Publications) and co-editor with Lee Herrick of the poetry anthology, The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit (Orison Books). She is a recipient of awards and fellowships from Kundiman, The Academy of American Poets, and Fulbright and serves as a mentor on The Brooklyn Poets Bridge. A 2019-2020 National Book Critics Circle Emerging Fellow, Leah serves as a senior books editor at Hyphen magazine and an associate editor at Marginalia Review of Books. Her reviews and criticism have appeared in the Harvard Review Online, The Believer, and elsewhere.

She holds a BA from Whitworth University, an MFA from the University of Miami, and is currently an MAR candidate in Religion and Literature at Yale Divinity School/Institute of Sacred Music. Prior to Yale, she spent several years traveling between New York and Florida as a yacht chief stewardess.

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Everything I Know About Writing, I Learned From Reading Nora Ephron

All Levels | These workshops will reveal just how much we can learn through a close reading of a single work. By laser-focusing our attention on one brilliant piece, we’ll be able to deconstruct all aspects of craft: narration, characterization,…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 04/25/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT
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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Creative Storytelling through Songwriting

Class Update: Class will now start on 4/27 and end on 6/15. This has been updated from the print catalog. All Levels | Songs share intimate tales of heartbreak, joy, rage, triumph, and defeat; understanding how to write them adds a…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sassy Black

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Start Date: 04/27/2021 - 5:00 pm PDT

Sassy Black

A graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, SassyBlack, who first started performing in clubs at 18, hit the public consciousness in 2008 with her hip-hop duo, THEESatisfaction, releasing two records on Sub Pop. Since, she has fostered a solo career, writing and producing all of her music and releasing 11 projects since 2015. With melodies often compared to Herbie Hancock and a voice often compared to Sarah Vaughan, Black has received acclaim from myriad publications, including Pitchfork, Noisey, Afropunk, SPIN, and Essence.

With the gravity of a celestial body the gods themselves would fawn over, the artist will release her next record, Ancient Mahogany Gold, fall of 2019. Black, who has shared stages with performers like Princess Nokia and Charles Bradley, has played popular summer festivals like Capitol Hill Block Party and SXSW. And along with her music, which has been featured on the Adult Swim compilation, LUXE, her acting prowess has been featured on the HBO series, Vinyl, and Comedy Central’s Broad City. In short, she’s a modern day creative oracle.

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FREE The BIPOC Writers Toolkit: Project Manage Your Writing Life!

This is a free course for writers in all genres who are Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color (BIPOC). Are you unsure how to organize a literary project, like writing a book? Or do you need support organizing literary events,…

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

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Start Date: 05/01/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT
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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Writing with Gabriel García Márquez

All Levels | This course will focus on Gabriel García Márquez, one of the best writers of the twentieth century. Based on his writings, we will center on how to find the story, choosing the right moment for the opening,…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Margarita Borrero

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Start Date: 05/01/2021 - 10:00 am PDT

Margarita Borrero

Doctora en literatura europea, Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain

Margarita Borrero es novelista, premiada y publicada en España, y escritora de relatos, género en el que ha ganado media docena de primeros lugares en distintos certámenes en España, Estados Unidos y Canadá. Durante más de una década se ha desempeñado como docente de Escuela de escritores, una de las instituciones privadas de escritura creativa más grandes del mundo hispanohablante, miembro de la Asociación Europea de programas de escritura creativa. También ha trabajado como profesora asociada en Mount Saint Mary University, en Los Ángeles.

PhD European Literature, Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain

Margarita Borrero is an award-winning novelist from Colombia. She has received numerous short story awards in Spain, Canada and the United States. She teaches at Madrid’s Escuela de Escritores, one of the top private creative writing institutions of the Hispanic world and a member of the European Association of Creative Writing Programs. She has also worked as an associate professor at Mount Saint Mary University in Los Angeles.

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How the Body Holds Its Stories

All Levels | How do our bodies hold on to experiences? In this course, writers will come together to consider the physical act of writing—how we translate embodied knowledge into language on the page. By moving our bodies and engaging…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jordan Alam

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Start Date: 05/01/2021 - 10:00 am PDT
4 seats available

Jordan Alam

Jordan Alam is a queer Bangladeshi-American writer, performer, and social change educator based out of Seattle. Their work engages with moments of rupture and transformation in the lives of people on the margins. Jordan has performed on stage and facilitated workshops nationwide, most recently at Town Hall Seattle. Their short stories and articles have been published in The Atlantic, CultureStrike Magazine, The Rumpus, and AAWW’s The Margins among others. They are currently writing a debut novel which explores intergenerational trauma, Bengali folklore, and borders – both literal and metaphorical. Learn more about their work at their website: www.jordanalam.com.

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Hit the Road

All Levels | What is it about road trips? From Twain to Kerouac, writers have found inspiration in hitting the road, making the American road narrative an essential genre. In this class, we’ll examine the ‘road’ in literature as a…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Kim Brown Seely

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Start Date: 05/01/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT
5 seats available

Kim Brown Seely

Kim Brown Seely’s debut memoir, Uncharted (Sasquatch Books / Penguin Random House 2019), was recently named one of the “best retirement books of 2019” by the Wall Street Journal, although Seely is nowhere near retiring. Winner of the 2016 Lowell Thomas Journalist of the Year Award and the Lowell Thomas Award in Environmental Journalism, she worked for many years as senior editor at Travel & Leisure magazine, contributing editor at National Geographic Adventure, and travel editor at Microsoft. She is a contributing writer for Virtuoso Life magazine, where she has won nearly a dozen awards for her work. She serves on the board of Copper Canyon Press and divides her time between Bellevue, WA and Hailey, Idaho.

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You’ve Got to Get Your Writing Life Organized

Section II: Due to great interest in this class, we have opened up a second section of this class on 6/2. Registration is open now. All Levels | Is your writing life a junkyard of started projects, scattered notes, and misplaced…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Paulette Perhach

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Start Date: 05/02/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT
This class is full

Paulette Perhach

Paulette Perhach’s writing has been published in the New York Times, Elle, Vice, Slate, Inc., McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Hobart, Vice, Yoga Journal, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Glamour, and The Stranger. She’s worked for Health and Coastal Living magazines, as well as various newspapers. In 2013, Hugo House selected her as a Made at Hugo House Fellow.

She received the 2016 BlogHer Voices of the Year award for her essay, “A Story of a Fuck Off Fund,” which is anthologized in The Future is Feminist from Chronicle Books, along with work by Roxane Gay, Mindy Kaling, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Caitlin Moran, and Audre Lorde.

A returned Peace Corps Volunteer, she’s also won multiple Solas Awards for her travel writing.

In 2015 she created the Writer’s Welcome Kit, the online course sold through Hugo House, which includes a 55,000-word workbook, writer’s templates, and writer interviews. To date, more than 600 students have taken the course.

Her book, Welcome to the Writer's Life, was published by Sasquatch Books, part of the Penguin Random House publishing family, and was selected as one of Poets & Writers' Best Books for Writers.

She blogs about everything a writer needs to thrive – craft, personal finance, business skills, and joy – at WelcomeToTheWritersLife.com. The site also offers a newsletter with a year of daily writing prompts.

She keeps a casual podcast about creativity and money called Can We Talk About Money?

Learn more and read her work at PaulettePerhach.com.

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Revision Strategies

Intermediate | Do you find yourself at a loss when revising your fiction, spending hours moving commas around while the larger edits evade you? Revising your writing can be an intimidating, overwhelming experience, but it doesn’t have to be. In…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Cari Luna

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Start Date: 05/02/2021 - 10:00 am PDT
1 seats available

Cari Luna

Cari Luna is the author of The Revolution of Every Day, which won the Oregon Book Award for Fiction. A fellow of Yaddo and Ragdale, her writing has appeared in Guernica, Salon, Jacobin, Electric Literature, Catapult, The Rumpus, PANK, and elsewhere. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Interiority Complex Section II

Intermediate/Advanced | The great advantage of prose (over theater, film, and life) is that we’re privy to characters’ interior states. But how can a writer get thoughts and emotions across, other than by stating them flat-out or by updating us…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Rebecca Makkai

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Start Date: 05/02/2021 - 10:00 am PDT
This class is full

Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Hundred-Year House and The Borrower, and the story collection Music for Wartime. Her work has appeared four times in The Best American Short Stories.

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Uptown Problems: Getting Real About The Great Gatsby

All Levels | The Great Gastby is a classic—but of what, exactly? Narrative economy or simplistic character development? Class striving or white supremacy? Love lost or childish ideas? As it goes into the public domain, let’s revisit this canonical novel…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Michael Shilling

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Start Date: 05/03/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT

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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