Class Catalog

Browse Summer Classes!

 

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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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Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ donor Registration: June 4
Member Registration: June 5
General Registration: June 12


New! Early Bird Pricing June 4 through June 18:

  • $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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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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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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Finding Inspiration in Dreams

All Levels | Dreams have a logic of their own. This strange quality has inspired many writers and artists, including Vladimir Nabokov, Kelly Link, David Lynch, and more. In this class, we’ll study dream logic and plumb our own dreams…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Ruth Joffre

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Start Date: 07/17/2018 – 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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Unleashing the Healing Power of Personal Narrative

All Levels | In this hands-on narrative-writing workshop, New York Times-bestselling author Ingrid Ricks draws on lessons learned from writing her story and working one-on-one with more than a thousand students to help you unleash the power of personal narrative—and…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Ingrid Ricks

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Start Date: 07/21/2018 – 10:00 AM

Ingrid Ricks

Ingrid Ricks is an author, speaker and founder of Write It Out Loud, a program that fosters healing and empowerment through narrative writing. Her memoirs include the New York Times bestseller Hippie Boy and Focus, a memoir about her journey with the blinding eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa. Her essays and stories have appeared on Salon and NPR. She lives in Ballard with her husband and two daughters. For more information, visit her website or her program website.

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Back to the Basics: A Painless Review

All Levels | A review of English language structure to help you recognize and avoid common usage errors; use punctuation correctly; find and correct mistakes; and know what to look for before you submit. The focus of this course is…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Cherie Tucker

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Start Date: 07/21/2018 – 1:00 PM

Cherie Tucker

Cherie Tucker has a B.A. in English from the UW. A national speaker, editor, and author, she writes the grammar column for the PNWA Newsletter and taught grammar in the UW Editing Certification Program and in the Construction Management Department.

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Money in Writing

All Levels | We will explore how we write and think about money through readings of relevant texts and, ultimately, the production of our own money-related texts in workshop. The amount of money a person possessed was clearly stated in…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Charles Mudede

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Start Date: 07/23/2018 – 7:10 PM

Charles Mudede

Charles Tonderai Mudede is a Zimbabwean-born writer, filmmaker, and cultural critic. He writes about film, books, music, crime, art, economics, and urban theory for The Stranger. Mudede has made three films, two of which, Police Beat and Zoo, premiered at Sundance, and one, Zoo, was screened at Cannes. Mudede has written for the New York Times, Arcade Journal, Cinema Scope, Ars Electronica, The Village Voice, Radical Urban Theory, and C Theory. Mudede is also on the editorial board for the Black Scholar, which is based at the University of Washington, and between 1999 and 2005, lectured on post-colonial theory at Pacific Lutheran University, and in 2003 published a short book, Last Seen, with Diana George. Mudede has lived in Seattle since 1989.

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Locate & Generate

All Levels | Together, we will generate new writing from collaborative prompts, experiencing other artistic mediums and challenging what we think is possible. We will write in conversation with artists like David Wojnarowicz, Cherrie Moraga, Layli Long Soldier, and with…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: JM Miller

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Start Date: 07/23/2018 – 7:10 PM

JM Miller

Janie Elizabeth Miller is a poet & essayist whose work explores environmental imagination & activism. She is founder of the anthology Ground Swell, a developing, online public forum for literary environmental activism. She teaches poetics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Her work has most recently been published in Written River: A Journal of Eco-Poetics, Tupelo Press (online), and Cimarron Review.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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Writing Scenes

Intermediate | A cornerstone of literary writing, scenes dramatize a moment and bring it to life for readers. This course will share some tools for effective scene-setting, from sensory detail and imagery to character, dialogue, and plot. Through reading samples…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Gail Folkins

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Start Date: 07/26/2018 – 7:10 PM
This class is full

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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The Political Essay

All Levels | Craft that chapter in your memoir where the personal meets the political, that OpEd you have the authority to write, that biting political analysis, or that cultural critique for a literary journal. Learning from James Baldwin, Rebecca…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sonora Jha

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Start Date: 07/31/2018 – 5:00 PM

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 current Hugo House Writer-in-Residence.

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How to Hook Your Reader

All Levels | You want to grab your reader’s interest and not let go, but how do you do it? Whether you’re writing memoir or fiction, you’ve got a story to tell—and it needs to get heard. Come spend an…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Susan Meyers

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Start Date: 08/04/2018 – 1:00 PM

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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Hybrid Writing

We will (dis/un)cover the elements of creative writing by paying close attention to literary works that do not conventionally fit into any one genre or tradition. We will investigate these readings and the boundaries they establish (or disassemble), in addition…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Diana Khoi Nguyen

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Start Date: 08/04/2018 – 1:00 PM

Diana Khoi Nguyen

Diana Khoi Nguyen’s debut collection, Ghost Of (Omnidawn, 2018), was selected by Terrance Hayes for the Omnidawn Open Contest. She is a poet and multimedia artist whose work has appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and PEN America, among others. In addition to winning the 92Y "Discovery" / Boston Review Poetry Contest, she has received awards and scholarships from the Academy of American Poets, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Currently, she lives in Denver where she is pursuing a PhD in creative writing and teaches in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. www.dianakhoinguyen.com

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Bring Your Characters to Life

Intermediate | Characters are at the heart of every narrative, so they must be richly drawn and complex. We’ll look at ways to achieve this in a variety of narratives—description, gesture, spatial relationships, speech, and interior life—and practice these techniques….

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Mary Potter

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Start Date: 08/05/2018 – 1:00 PM
This class is full

Mary Potter

Mary Lane Potter is the author A Woman of Salt: A Novel (2001 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection) and Strangers and Sojourners: Stories from the Lowcountry. She was awarded a Washington State Arts Commission/Artist Trust Fellowship and MacDowell and Hedgebrook residencies.

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Writing as Curation

We’ll discuss how describing and dramatizing encounters with works of visual art—real or imagined—can open up new possibilities for poetry and prose. In addition to considering student work, we’ll look at examples of ekphrastic writing from The Iliad to the…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Ben Lerner

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Start Date: 08/10/2018 – 10:00 AM
5 seats available

Ben Lerner

Lerner is the author of the poetry collections Mean Free Path (2010) and Angle of Yaw (2006), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Northern California Book Award. His sonnet sequence, The Lichtenberg Figures (2004), won the Hayden Carruth Award, was chosen by Library Journal as one of the year’s twelve best poetry books, and was a Lannan Literary Selection.

His poetry has also been included in the anthologies Best American Poetry, New Voices (2008), and 12×12: Conversations in Poetry and Poetics (2009). His novels include Leaving the Atocha Station (2011) and 10:04 (2014). The Hatred of Poetry, his monograph, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Lerner has served as a Fulbright scholar in Madrid and as a Guggenheim fellow. In 2015 he was awarded a prestigious MacArthur fellowship. In 2002, Lerner cofounded, with Deb Klowden, No: a journal of the arts, and he has also served as the poetry editor for Critical Quarterly.

Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, he earned a BA in political science and an MFA in creative writing from Brown University. He has taught at the University of Pittsburgh and California College of the Arts, and he currently teaches at Brooklyn College.

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How to be an Effective Ally on The Page (and in the World)

All Levels | Do you get overwhelmed or feel helpless at the mere thought of raging against the racism machine? Do you ever feel like you want to help individuals who are systemically and subconsciously racially targeted or consistently being…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Anastacia Renee

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Start Date: 08/11/2018 – 1:00 PM

Anastacia Renee

Anastacia-Renee is Civic Poet of Seattle and former 2015-17 poet-in-residence at Hugo House. She is a hybrid genre writer, workshop facilitator, and multivalent performance artist. She is the author of four books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.) (Gramma Press), Answer(Me) (Argus Press), and 26 (Dancing Girl Press). Her poetry, prose, and fiction are published widely.

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