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Class Catalog

Browse Fall & Winter Classes!

 

Click on the cover above to view the Winter 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.

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


Winter Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ donor Registration: November 26
Member Registration: November 27
General Registration: December 4


New! Early Bird Pricing November 26 through December 10:

  • $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 Writer’s Welcome Kit

Want to be a writer? Don’t waste time. The Writer’s Welcome Kit aims to save you 100 hours of work and worry as you go from wanting to be a writer to working to be a writer. It’s the first e-course…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: The Writer's Welcome Kit

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The Writer's Welcome Kit

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Personal Coaching for the Writer’s Welcome Kit

If you need accountability and guidance while completing your Writer’s Welcome Kit and committing to the writing life, our coaching level class is for you. You’ll start with a 15-minute discussion of your goals with a professional writer, send in…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: The Writer's Welcome Kit

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The Writer's Welcome Kit

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Fiction II Online

This class will build upon craft learned in Fiction I. We will focus on point of view, scene construction, and dialogue through reading published examples, writing prompts, and workshop of each other’s writing. This course takes place online through our…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anca Szilágyi

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Start Date: 01/08/2019

Anca Szilágyi

Anca L.Szilágyi's fiction appears in Gastronomica, Fairy Tale Review, Washington City Paper, and elsewhere. Her nonfiction appears in Electric Literature, Kirkus, and on the Ploughshares blog. She was awarded an inaugural Made at Hugo House fellowship, a 4Culture grant, and a 2015 Jack Straw fellowship. The Stranger hailed Anca as one of the "fresh new faces in Seattle fiction." Her debut novel, Daughters of the Air, will be published by Lanternfish Press in December 2017.

Teaching philosophy: Compassion is at the heart of both good teaching and good writing. Having an open mind to students’ needs and desires is essential to helping them get inspired and stretch their minds and their art. Variety and flexibility, therefore, drive my approach to teaching writing. I am committed to bringing students a range of practical tools and creative stimuli.

Writers I return to: Anton Chekhov and Mavis Gallant, Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter

Favorite writing advice: "Whenever you're stuck in a piece of writing, think of what's most unholy. Then do that." -Heather McHugh

Past Student Feedback:
“I really enjoyed your class. It’s the most helpful one I’ve taken to date, and in large part because of the time you take for individual feedback. I also thought the story selection for readings was spot-on, and the exercises were fun and generative. I have a few new stories from those exercises that I’m excited to delve into further.”

“Anca is incredibly knowledgeable and kind in her critiques. I learned a lot just reviewing stories with her and the class. This has directly affected my own writing.”

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Craft Intensive: Story

As novelists, we must immediately grab the reader and not let go until the very last page. But how? During these five craft talks, we’ll go deep and get practical about ways to: create irresistible characters, find a vivid voice,…

Course Type: 5 Sessions  |   Instructor: Maria Semple

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Start Date: 01/08/2019 – 18:00:00
5 seats available

Maria Semple

Maria Semple is the author of the best-selling novels Today Will Be Different and Where’d You Go, Bernadette. She wrote for the TV shows Arrested Development, Mad About You, and Ellen. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and the New Yorker. Where’d You Go, Bernadette has been translated into 30 languages. It spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list and made over a dozen yearend best lists. It was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize and received the Alex Award from the American Library Association. The film version of the book, starring Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, and Billy Crudup, will premiere in March 2019. Today Will Be Different was featured on the cover of the New York Times book review. It made over a dozen year-end best lists and is currently in development as a limited TV series.

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The Art of the Question

All Levels | Before you jump into a big assignment, you need to get to the matter’s roots. What are the important granular bits of a story or subject? We will learn how to examine the decisions people make—whether that’s…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jake Uitti

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Start Date: 01/15/2019 – 7:10 PM

Jake Uitti

Jake Uitti is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, Alaska Airlines Magazine, The Seattle Times, Salon, Atlas Obscura, The Stranger and many other publications. When not poring over a keyboard mid-interview, Jake can be found rolling around the Emerald City in a 2003 Chevy Impala looking for the city’s best ramen or cheese pizza slice. He is the author of two books from Reedy Press: 100 Things To Do In Seattle Before You Die and Unique Eats and Eateries: Seattle. The son of two Ivy League professors, Jake grew up amidst books of poetry and French literature, but soulful meals and compelling music are his true loves.

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Reading Like a Writer

All Levels | Writers are often advised to read as much as possible. This class takes the concept further to turn the reading process into a learning tool. Through readings, exercises, and discussion, students will learn to identify the techniques…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Joe Ponepinto

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Start Date: 01/16/2019 – 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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Plot: It’s Not a Four-Letter Word

All Levels | We’ll examine how to build and revise plots for short stories and novels that grow organically out of a character’s choices, context, and desires. In doing so, we’ll encourage narratives that are rich in drama—not melodrama. While…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Michael Shilling

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Start Date: 01/16/2019 – 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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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: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Joshua Marie Wilkinson

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Start Date: 01/16/2019 – 5:00 PM
5 seats available

Joshua Marie Wilkinson

Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author of eight books, most recently Meadow Slasher (Black Ocean 2017). He teaches in the MFA program at University of Arizona in Tucson.

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Fiction II

This class will build upon craft learned in Fiction I. In life, we try to avoid making messes—but stories love disaster. Good writers get characters all fired up and let that tension drive a story all the way through. Come…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Susan Meyers

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Start Date: 01/17/2019 – 5:00 PM
2 seats available

Susan Meyers

Susan V. Meyers has lived and taught in Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico. She earned an MFA from the University of Minnesota and a PhD from the University of Arizona, and she currently directs the Creative Writing Program at Seattle University. Her fiction and nonfiction have been supported by grants from the Fulbright foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, 4Culture, Artist Trust, and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, as well as several artists residencies. Her novel Failing the Trapeze won the Nilsen Award for a First Novel and the Fiction Attic Press Award for a First Novel, and it was a finalist for the New American Fiction Award. Other work has recently appeared in Per Contra, Calyx, Dogwood, The Portland Review, and The Minnesota Review, and it has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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How to Break Hearts

All Levels | Explore a variety of writing methods and approaches to create your most heartbreaking works of fiction. We will learn how to draw the reader in and make them fall in love with our characters, and what tangible…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Richard Chiem

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Start Date: 01/17/2019 – 7:10 PM

Richard Chiem

Richard Chiem is the author of You Private Person (Sorry House Classics) and the novel King of Joy (Soft Skull Press, 2019). His work has appeared in City Arts Magazine, NY Tyrant, and Gramma Poetry, among other places. His book, You Private Person, was named one of Publisher Weekly's 10 Essential Books of the American West. He lives in Seattle, WA.

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Writing Alongside The Best Small Fictions 2018

All Levels | Every year, the Best Small Fictions publishes an anthology of the best flash fiction published in print and online in the past year. We’ll work through the entire 2018 anthology, reading works by some of the best…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Ruth Joffre

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Start Date: 01/17/2019 – 7:10 PM

Ruth Joffre

Ruth Joffre is the author of the story collection Night Beast (forthcoming Grove Atlantic 2018). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Mid-American Review, The Masters Review, Prairie Schooner, Hayden's Ferry Review, and Copper Nickel. Her book reviews have been published in The Rumpus, The Millions, Kenyon Review Online, and Colorado Review. She lives in Seattle.

Teaching Philosophy: I believe every piece of literature is an emotional education. A story like Mavis Gallant's "The Ice Wagon Going Down the Street," for instance, requires us not only to understand the inner workings of its characters' psyches but to become the kind of people who are capable of feeling as they feel and thinking as they think. In this way, we learn to feel sympathy for the socially awkward, love for the romantically jilted, and sorrow for the painfully ambitious. When we can't expand our minds this way, our writing and our reading suffers.

Writers I return to: Alice Munro, Annie Proulx, Mavis Gallant, W. G. Sebald, Elizabeth Strout, Maggie Nelson, Anita Brookner, Penelope Fitzgerald, Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Richard Yates, Elizabeth McCracken, and James Baldwin, to name a few.

Favorite writing advice: Hands down, this piece of advice from Benjamin Percy: "Keep hammering."

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Witness & Transformation On the Road

All Levels | We will read and write with poets and writers on the road—visiting literary landmarks, making pilgrimages to the sites of great events of history and culture, sending posts (and postcards) from our voyages of discovery. We will…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Carolyne Wright

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Start Date: 01/19/2019 – 1:00 PM

Carolyne Wright

Carolyne Wright’s new book is This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse Press, 2017), whose title poem received a Pushcart Prize and was included in The Best American Poetry 2009 and the Pushcart Prize XXXIV: Best of the Small Presses (2010). Her ground-breaking anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse, 2015), received ten Pushcart Prize nominations and was a finalist in the Foreword Review's Book of the Year Awards. Her nine earlier volumes of poetry include Seasons of Mangoes & Brainfire (Eastern Washington UP/Lynx House Books), which won the Blue Lynx Prize and the American Book Award; and A Change of Maps (Lost Horse Press), finalist for the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award and the Idaho Prize. A Seattle native who studied with Elizabeth Bishop, Richard Hugo, and William Stafford, among others, Wright lived in Chile and traveled in Brazil on a Fulbright Grant during the presidency of Salvador Allende; and spent four years on Fulbright and other fellowships in India and Bangladesh, translating Bengali women poets. She has five volumes of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali. A Contributing Editor for the Pushcart Prizes, a Senior Editor for Lost Horse Press, and an Advisory Board member for Raven Chronicles, Wright has received grants and fellowships from the NEA, 4Culture, Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, and she will spend two months in Bahia, Brazil, on a writing residency at the Instituto Sacatar.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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Fiction III

This class will build upon craft learned in Fiction I and II (although these classes are not prerequisites; all experienced fiction writers are welcome). Students can expect regular workshops (including opportunities for workshopping revisions depending on class size), and feedback…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Alma García

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Start Date: 01/20/2019 – 10:00 AM

Alma García

Alma García's short fiction has been published as award-winning in Narrative Magazine, Passages North, and Boulevard, and is forthcoming in Enizagam and in the anthology Roadside Curiosities: Short Stories on American Pop Culture (University of Leipzig Press/Picador).

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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: 01/23/2019 – 5:00 PM

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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The Theater of the Absurd

Intermediate | Have you ever wanted to read weird books, see enormous costumes, laugh one minute and cry the next? We’ll study a literary movement called the Theater of the Absurd. We’ll ask questions like “What does it mean for…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Evelynn

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Start Date: 01/23/2019 – 7:10 PM

Evelynn

Eve Yuen received her MFA in poetry from Cornell University, where she also taught for three years. Her interests are in book length poems, philosophy of language, and the history of the avant-garde. She is at work on a book about light and a book about trans poetics. Her poems have appeared in The Seattle Review, TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics, and other publications. She lives and writes in Seattle.

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