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Class Catalog

Browse Summer and 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. Some summer writing classes may be held in person if stay-at-home directives are lifted and gatherings are again permitted. Remote (Zoom) access to all classes will continue, however, for anyone who cannot or prefers not to attend in person. If a class has (ZOOM) in the title, it will remain on Zoom regardless of stay-at-home directives.

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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Creative Nonfiction I (ONLINE) Section I

This class will introduce you to the diverse styles of creative nonfiction, including memoir, personal essays, and lyric essays. Each week we will study craft elements such as scene, reflection, point of view, metaphor, and locating the heart of the…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anne Liu Kellor

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Start Date: 09/08/2020
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Anne Liu Kellor

Anne Liu Kellor’s essays have appeared in Longreads, The New England Review, Entropy, Fourth Genre, Normal School, Vela Magazine, Literary Mama, The International Examiner, and more. She has been awarded grants and residencies from Seventh Wave, Hedgebrook, Jack Straw, 4Culture, and Hypatia-in-the-Woods. Her memoir, Heart Radical, is forthcoming in 2021.

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The Beauty & Peril of Friendship (ZOOM)

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time. All Levels | As writers, we tend to focus on romance and family drama as subjects worthy of our work. What we often overlook are the intense friendships that we…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 09/12/2020 – 12:00 pm
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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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The Words to Say It: Reading & Writing Poems about Illness, Trauma & Healing (ZOOM) Section I

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time. All Levels | The body is the repository for experiences of illness and trauma, but often we can’t find the words to communicate our realities to ourselves or others. By…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Suzanne Edison

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Start Date: 09/14/2020 – 5:00 pm
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Suzanne Edison

Suzanne Edison, MA, MFA is a poet, educator and former therapist. She has led workshops for parents and medical professionals on the effects of chronic illness on families at Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH), NIH, and at national conferences for the Cure JM Foundation. She created a writing group for parents of kids with chronic illness at SCH, and the workshop “Teens Writing from the Heart of Illness & Healing” at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Her recent chapbook, The Body Lives Its Undoing, was published in 2018 by The Benaroya Research Institute. It is an exploration in poetry and visual art about autoimmune diseases based on interviews with researchers, doctors, patients and caregivers.

Suzanne is the recipient of grants from Artist Trust, 4Culture of King County, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and will be a Hedgebrook fellow in Fall of 2019.

Some of Suzanne’s work can be found in her first chapbook, The Moth Eaten World, and in the following journals and anthologies: Michigan Quarterly Review; Naugatuck River Review; JAMA; CMAJ; The Healing Art of Writing, Vol. I; The Examined Life Journal; Face to Face: Women Writers on Faith, Mysticism and Awakening. Her work can be read online in various other journals and on her website. www.seedison.com

Writers I Return To: Louise Gluck, Wislawa Szymborska, Rachel Zucker, Seamus Heaney, Galway Kinnell

Favorite Writing Advice: Read, write, read, write

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Creative Nonfiction II

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time. This class will build on craft learned in Creative Nonfiction I with a focus on structure and form. The class is appropriate for those familiar with creative nonfiction and interested…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Gail Folkins

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Start Date: 09/14/2020 – 5:00 pm
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Gail Folkins

Gail Folkins often writes about her deep roots in the American West. She is the author of two creative nonfiction books from Texas Tech University Press: a Pacific Northwest memoir titled Light in the Trees (2016), and Texas Dance Halls: A Two-Step Circuit (2007), which was a popular culture finalist in ForeWord Review’s 2007 Book of the Year Awards. Folkins’ essay “A Palouse Horse” was a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2010. Her essays and poetry have appeared in publications such as River Teeth Journal - Beautiful Things, North Dakota Quarterly, Wisconsin Life, Texas Highways, and Wildflower Magazine. She has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, St. Edward’s University (Austin), and Austin Community College.

Teaching philosophy: My goal is to further understanding of craft while also encouraging expression of students’ unique voices. Students have praised my workshop format and student-centered approach. Students learn to not only share a narrative, but to also explore their experiences and discoveries. I encourage students to read as writers, meaning focusing on elements of craft in addition to literary themes.

Writers I return to: Edward Abbey, Julia Alvarez, Margaret Atwood, Kim Barnes, Rick Bass, Dennis Covington, Louise Erdrich, Ernest Hemingway, Pico Iyer, and Jhumpa Lahiri.

Favorite writing advice: Find the extraordinary in the everyday.

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Intro to Writing Memoir: Part I* Discovering Your Stories (ZOOM)

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time. All Levels | Do you want to write about your life, but you’re not sure where to begin? Or maybe you know where to begin — you’ve begun a thousand…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Theo Nestor

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Start Date: 09/15/2020 – 5:00 pm
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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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The Words to Say It: Reading & Writing Poems about Illness, Trauma & Healing (ZOOM) Section II

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time. All Levels | The body is the repository for experiences of illness and trauma, but often we can’t find the words to communicate our realities to ourselves or others. By…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Suzanne Edison

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Start Date: 09/15/2020 – 10:00 am
Registration for this class has not started.

Suzanne Edison

Suzanne Edison, MA, MFA is a poet, educator and former therapist. She has led workshops for parents and medical professionals on the effects of chronic illness on families at Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH), NIH, and at national conferences for the Cure JM Foundation. She created a writing group for parents of kids with chronic illness at SCH, and the workshop “Teens Writing from the Heart of Illness & Healing” at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Her recent chapbook, The Body Lives Its Undoing, was published in 2018 by The Benaroya Research Institute. It is an exploration in poetry and visual art about autoimmune diseases based on interviews with researchers, doctors, patients and caregivers.

Suzanne is the recipient of grants from Artist Trust, 4Culture of King County, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and will be a Hedgebrook fellow in Fall of 2019.

Some of Suzanne’s work can be found in her first chapbook, The Moth Eaten World, and in the following journals and anthologies: Michigan Quarterly Review; Naugatuck River Review; JAMA; CMAJ; The Healing Art of Writing, Vol. I; The Examined Life Journal; Face to Face: Women Writers on Faith, Mysticism and Awakening. Her work can be read online in various other journals and on her website. www.seedison.com

Writers I Return To: Louise Gluck, Wislawa Szymborska, Rachel Zucker, Seamus Heaney, Galway Kinnell

Favorite Writing Advice: Read, write, read, write

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Pop Songwriting

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time. All Levels | While all music can resonate with listeners, for most people, pop music seems to be the go-to genre. But what is pop music? Isn’t “pop” just a…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sassy Black

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Start Date: 09/15/2020 – 5:00 pm
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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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Adventures in Poetry

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time. All Levels | How do we make a poem more powerful without sacrificing its heart? By taking control of our choices! Each week we’ll dismantle a poem’s engine to find…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sara Brickman

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Start Date: 09/15/2020 – 5:00 pm
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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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Yearlong in Fiction & Nonfiction

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time. 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…

Course Type: 30 sessions  |   Instructor: Peter Mountford

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Start Date: 09/15/2020 – 7:10 pm
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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 (ZOOM)

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time. Disabilities studies, medical narratives, illness narratives, narrative medicine: all of these subfields of literature and scholarship are concerned with capturing the experience of living with and within a non-normative body….

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Emily Rapp Black

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Start Date: 09/16/2020 – 1:10 pm
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Emily Rapp Black

Emily Rapp Black is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir (BloomsburyUSA) and The Still Point of the Turning World (Penguin Press), a New York Times bestseller and an Editor’s Pick. A former Fulbright scholar, she was educated at Harvard University, Trinity College-Dublin, Saint Olaf College, and the University of Texas-Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. A Guggenheim Fellow, she has received awards and fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Jentel Arts Foundation, the Corporation of Yaddo, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Fundacion Valparaiso, and Bucknell University, where she was the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence. Her work has appeared in VOGUE, the New York Times, Die Zeit, The Times-London, Sunday Independent (UK), the Sydney Herald, Lenny Letter, Salon, Slate, Huffington Post, The Sun, TIME, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Redbook, O the Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and other publications and anthologies. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times Book Review, and frequently publishes scholarly work in the fields of disability studies, bioethics, and theological studies. She has taught literature and writing at Antioch University-Los Angeles, The University of New Mexico, where she was the Joseph M. Russo Endowed Chair of Creative Writing, UCLA, the Gotham Writers’ Workshop, The Lighthouse Writers’ Workshop, 24PearlStreet, and the UCR-Palm Desert Low Residency MFA in Writing and the Performing Arts. She is active in medical advocacy groups dedicated to changing socio-cultural discussions around palliative/hospice/end of life care and quality of life health care decisions. She is currently Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California-Riverside, where she also teaches medical narratives in the School of Medicine. She is a member of the Inequities in Health Care Working Group and an architect of the Medical Narratives minor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She is a founding member of Zoeglossia, a literary organization dedicated to creating inclusive spaces for poets with disabilities, as well as a mentor in the Along the Chaparral Project for Veterans at UCR. She regularly collaborates with visual artist Carrie Scanga; their most recent collaboration is an interactive, traveling art installation inspired by Rapp Black’s forthcoming book, Sanctuary. She was recently named the nonfiction editor of The Los Angeles Review of Books. Her book that explores art and disability through the life of Frida Kahlo is forthcoming from Nottinghill Editions/New York Review of Books in 2021. She is the mother of two children: Ronan (2010-2013), and Charlotte (age 6).

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The Micro Essay (ZOOM)

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time. All Levels | Between Twitter and wall feeds, blogs and Brevity, some of the most exciting contemporary writing is happening in the space between 140 characters and 1,000 words. In…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anna Vodicka

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Start Date: 09/16/2020 – 5:00 pm
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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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Advanced Poetry Workshop

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time. Advanced | In this inclusive, welcoming workshop, we will explore and experiment with innovative and traditional group feedback methods with the intended outcome of creating poems that meet each workshop…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Martha Silano

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Start Date: 09/16/2020 – 1:10 pm
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Martha Silano

Martha Silano is the author of five poetry books, including Gravity Assist, Reckless Lovely, and The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, all from Saturnalia Books. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, New England Review, American Poetry Review, and Paris Review, among others, and in four dozen print anthologies, including American Poetry: The Next Generation and ​Best American Poetry 2009. She also co-authored, with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice. Martha received Yaddo's 2017 Martha Walsh Pulver Residency. She teaches at Bellevue College.

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The Political Act of Vulnerability

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time. All Levels | What makes a poem vulnerable? How does one become vulnerable on the page, and what is the risk of such vulnerability? What about vulnerability is political? This…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Luther Hughes

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Start Date: 09/17/2020 – 5:00 pm
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Luther Hughes

Luther Hughes, born and raised in Seattle, is author of Touched (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018), Founder of Shade Literary Arts, and Executive Editor for the The Offing . Along with Gabrielle Bates and Dujie Tahat, he co-hosts The Poet Salon podcast. He has been published in Poetry, Paris Review, New England Review, The Rumpus , and others. He is the recipient of the 2020 92Y Discovery Poetry Contest. Luther received his MFA from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Yearlong Advanced Memoir Workshop

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time. Each meeting we will workshop two student chapters in the first hour. In the second hour we will have a 30-minute prompted writing time and 30 minutes for focused small…

Course Type: 9 sessions  |   Instructor: Theo Nestor

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Start Date: 09/17/2020 – 5:00 pm
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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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Writing Our Lives: Witness & Transformation

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time. All Levels | In this class, we’ll explore how our lives are affected by the public events of our era. We’ll draw connections between social changes we’ve experienced in our…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Carolyne Wright

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Start Date: 09/17/2020 – 5:00 pm
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Carolyne Wright

Carolyne Wright’s most recent books are This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse Press, 2017), whose title poem received a Pushcart Prize and appeared in The Best American Poetry 2009; and the bilingual volume by Chilean poet Eugenia Toledo, Trazas de mapa, trazas de sangre / Map Traces, Blood Traces (2017), a Finalist for the 2018 Washington State Book Award in Poetry, and also for the 2018 PEN Los Angeles Award in Translation. She is co-editor of the ground-breaking anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse, 2015), which received ten Pushcart Prize nominations. Author of nine previous books and chapbooks of poetry, four other volumes of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali, and a book of essays, Wright has served as Visiting Poet and professor of Creative Writing at colleges and universities throughout the U.S., including Harvard, Radcliffe, Emory University and the University of Miami. She returned in 2005 to her native Seattle, where she teaches for Hugo House, the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Program (from 2005 until the program’s closure in 2016), and for national and international literary conferences and festivals. She spent a year in Chile on a Fulbright Study Grant during the presidency of Salvador Allende, and also traveled throughout Brazil. Wright has received fellowships from the NEA, 4Culture, and Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture. She returned to Brazil for two months in 2018 with an Instituto Sacatar artists residency in Bahia, and she has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award for Brazil for 2020-2021, which she will take up once the global coronavirus travel advisory is lifted.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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