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Class Catalog

Browse Summer & Fall 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.

For help finding classes, contact our registrar or call us at 206.322.7030.

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Fall Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ donor Registration: August 12
Member Registration: August 13
General Registration: August 20


Early Bird Pricing Aug. 12 through Aug. 26:

  • $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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Poetry II

We will broaden our poetic horizons through reading and writing, and discover our own personal writing goals, be that mastering a craft skill or publishing a poem in a literary magazine. We will also read each other’s work with a…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Keetje Kuipers

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Start Date: 09/18/2019 – 5:00 PM
Registration for this class has not started.

Keetje Kuipers

Keetje Kuipers is the author of three books of poems, all from BOA Editions: Beautiful in the Mouth (2010), which was selected by Thomas Lux as the winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, The Keys to the Jail (2014), which was a book club selection for The Rumpus, and All Its Charms (2019), which includes poems honored by publication in both The Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies. Keetje’s poetry and prose have appeared in Narrative, Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review, The New York Times Magazine, American Poetry Review, Orion, The Believer, and over a hundred other magazines. Her poems have also been featured as part of the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series and read on NPR’s Writer’s Almanac. Keetje has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, the Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellow in Poetry at Bread Loaf, the Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College, and the recipient of fellowships from numerous residencies including PEN Northwest’s Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency. She currently serves as Senior Editor at Poetry Northwest.

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Suspenseful Writing

Introductory | Why are some books impossible to put down? It’s simple: When an important outcome is unknown, people can hardly think of anything else. It’s that yearning to turn the pages in order to find out what happens next….

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Joshua Marie Wilkinson

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Start Date: 09/18/2019 – 5:00 PM
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Joshua Marie Wilkinson

Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author or editor of thirteen books. Born and raised in Seattle, he's on the English faculty at Seattle University.

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Writing Fiction that Dares

All Levels | Are your characters taking risks? Does your plot hold your reader’s heart? Does your dialogue sing? Do your scenes waltz along the page? Over these ten weeks, we will get into the nuts and bolts of what…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sonora Jha

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Start Date: 09/18/2019 – 5:00 PM
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Sonora Jha

Sonora Jha is the author of the novel Foreign, published in 2013 by Random House India. She is a professor of journalism and media studies at Seattle University. Formerly a journalist in India and Singapore, her recent political essays and Op-Eds have been published in the New York Times, the Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly and the Globalist. Apart from her academic and journalistic writing, she is currently finishing work on a memoir. Sonora is a 2016-2018 Hugo House Writer-in-Residence.

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Writing for Procrastinators

All Levels | If you consider yourself a writer, proclaim to love writing, but find a million things to do before you “let” yourself write, then this course is for you. We will explore why we avoid writing, hone techniques…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Beth Slattery

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Start Date: 09/19/2019 – 5:00 PM
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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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Yearlong in Memoir Section II

In weekly meetings over the course of the 2019-2020 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: Yearlong  |   Instructor: Theo Nestor

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Start Date: 09/19/2019 – 17:00:00
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Theo Nestor

Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too) (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008). Nestor has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education program since 2006.

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What Can We Learn from Harry Potter?

Introductory/Intermediate | J. K. Rowling changed the publishing industry with a fantasy series about a boy with an unusual scar. What can middle-grade and young adult authors learn from her work? We will discuss, dissect, and consider selections of the…

Course Type: Yearlong  |   Instructor: Karen Finneyfrock

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Start Date: 09/19/2019 – 7:10 PM
5 seats available

Karen Finneyfrock

Karen Finneyfrock's debut young adult novel, The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door, was published by Viking Children’s Books in 2013. Her second book of poems, Ceremony for the Choking Ghost, was released on Write Bloody press in 2010. She is a former Writer-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House and teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools program. A member of four National Poetry Slam Teams, Karen traveled to Nepal as a Cultural Envoy through the US Department of State to perform and teach poetry and in 2011, she did a reading tour in Germany sponsored by the US Embassy.

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The Art of the Personal Essay

Introductory / Intermediate | In an effort to better understand personal essays, we will study classic and contemporary essays and investigate uses of voice, characterization, description, humor, and structure in our own work. This course will include substantial discussion and…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Beth Slattery

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Start Date: 09/19/2019 – 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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Online Class | How to Develop a Writing Practice

Introductory / Intermediate | Successful writers understand that writing is not just an art—it’s a practice. If you’re having trouble finding time to write or lack the motivation to complete your writing projects, this class is for you. Students will…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Nicole Dieker

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Start Date: 09/19/2019
3 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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Online Class | Story Structure for Fiction Writers

Intermediate | Up in the Air author Walter Kirn says the “hack-screenwriter” has a better sense of storytelling than does the average fiction writer. Why is that? And what is storytelling? We’ll examine Christopher Vogler’s 12 Stages of Storytelling and…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jeff Bender

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Start Date: 09/21/2019

Jeff Bender

Jeff Bender is a graduate of Davidson College and Columbia's School of the Arts. His fiction and humor have appeared in McSweeneys.net, Electric Literature, Okey-Panky, The Iowa Review, City Arts, Guernica, and elsewhere. He's a former Writers-in-the-Schools Resident and winner of Hugo House's New Works Competition.

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Structuring the Lyric Essay

All Levels | Is your essay or memoir in-progress not coming together structurally? You are not alone! This class will serve as a welcome space to brainstorm and troubleshoot this common challenge. Students will read multigenre works from writers who…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jessica Mooney

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Start Date: 09/21/2019 – 10:00 AM

Jessica Mooney

Jessica Mooney's short stories, essays and literary criticism have appeared in Entropy, Moss, The Seattle Review of Books, The Rumpus, Salon, City Arts Magazine, Arcade, the What to Read in the Rain Anthology published by 826 Seattle, and elsewhere. Jessica is grateful to have received artist grants from Artist Trust, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and 4 Culture. She was a finalist for Washington State's Gar La Salle Storyteller Award in 2015 and 2016. Jessica is a former Hugo House fellow.

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Advanced Poetry Workshop

Advanced | The aim of this poetry workshop will be to help the students, regardless of age or previous experience, work toward writing the best poems they can write. The instructor will offer examples from poetry of the past and…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: David Wagoner

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Start Date: 09/22/2019 – 10:00 AM
5 seats available

David Wagoner

David Wagoner has published 17 books of poems and 10 novels. He is professor emeritus at the University of Washington and was writer-in-residence (2005-2008) at Hugo House.

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Telling Tough Stories: Writing Illness and Healing

Join us for a writing workshop that addresses the challenges of writing about illness, healing, and caregiving in a culture that prizes novelty and speed. Do you worry you will you bore your readers? Depress them too much? Shock them…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Kathryn Trueblood

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Start Date: 09/22/2019 – 10:00 AM
3 seats available

Kathryn Trueblood

Kathryn Trueblood has been awarded the Goldenberg Prize for Fiction and the Red Hen Press Short Story Award. Her books include Take Daily As Needed, The Baby Lottery, and The Sperm Donor’s Daughter. She teaches at Western Washington University.

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Plotting: Soup to Nuts

Intermediate | This class will provide an overview of plotting, beginning with the basic “soup stock” of narrative, using index cards and outlines to work up a story. Then we will learn techniques for troubleshooting and plot-doctoring. Eventually the class…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Paul Mullin

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Start Date: 09/23/2019 – 5:00 PM
5 seats available

Paul Mullin

Paul Mullin was recognized by Seattle’s The Stranger with a “Genius Award” for achievement in theatre. His plays have been staged across the United States as well as Canada. His Louis Slotin Sonata won the L. A. Drama Critics Award for Outstanding World Premiere, and was read by invitation before scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory prior to its Off-Broadway run. Most recently a French translation, La Sonate Louis Slotin was produced in Quebec. Mullin’s The Sequence premiered at The Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena and The Ten Thousand Things at Washington Ensemble Theatre in Seattle. Both Louis Slotin Sonata and The Sequence, were commissioned by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, in collaboration with Ensemble Studio Theatre. Mullin conceived, co-wrote and co-produced NewsWrights United’s series of Living Newspapers, It’s Not in The P-I: A Living Newspaper About a Dying Newspaper and The New New News which enjoyed tremendous audience and media acclaim.

In addition to work for the stage, Mullin has had several poems published, most recently with the King County Metro’s Poetry on Buses program. He has written several feature film scripts and television documentaries, including Hitting The Ground, an independent feature in which he also starred as an actor. He has also contributed regularly as a writer and actor to Sandbox Radio Live.

His memoir The Starting Gate was published in early 2016.

Born in Baltimore, Paul now makes his home in Seattle with his wife and two sons. He hosts a monthly literary series called Loud Mouth Lit.

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Poetry and Publishing Part 2

Intermediate | In this class, we’ll continue the in-depth exploration of the publishing process and identify and send to three new markets (perfect for the fall, when many re-open for submissions). We’ll also dive deeply into the process of revision…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jeanine Walker

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Start Date: 09/24/2019 – 19:10:00
1 seats available

Jeanine Walker

Jeanine Walker was a 2015 Jack Straw Writer and has published poems in Cimarron Review, Narrative, Pleiades, and Web Conjunctions. She holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and teaches for Writers in the Schools.

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Yearlong in Short Story

In weekly meetings over the course of the 2019-2020 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: Yearlong  |   Instructor: Ramon Isao

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Start Date: 09/24/2019 – 7:10 PM
3 seats available

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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