Class Catalog

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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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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

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Bring It Back, Come Rewind: A Generative Workshop

Too often, writers find themselves in a space where the words won’t come, can’t come. Sometimes, writers may not be satisfied with what they are writing, or even know how the words are arriving to the page. There are other…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Derrick Weston Brown

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Start Date: 05/26/2018 – 13:00:00

Derrick Weston Brown

Derrick Weston Brown holds an MFA in creative writing, from American University. He has studied poetry under Dr. Tony Medina at Howard University and Cornelius Eady at American University. He is a graduate of the Cave Canem and VONA Voices summer workshops. His work has appeared in such literary journals as The Little Patuxent Review, Colorlines, The This Mag, and Vinyl online. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012. He worked as a bookseller and book buyer for a bookstore which is operated by the nonprofit Teaching for Change. He was the founder of The Nine on the Ninth, a critically acclaimed monthly poetry series that ran from 2005-2015 at the 14th & V street location of Busboys and Poets. He was the 2012-2013 Writer-In-Residence of the Howard County Poetry Literary Society of Maryland. He is also a participating DC area author for the PEN/Faulkner Foundation’s Writers-in-Schools program. He’s performed at such esteemed venues as The Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe and the Bowery. He has lead workshops and performed at Georgetown University, George Washington University, Sweet Briar College and Chicago State. He has appeared on Al-Jazeera and NPR as well. In May of 2014 he was also the recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Grant. He is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, and resides in Mount Rainier, Maryland. His debut collection of poetry entitled, Wisdom Teeth, was released in April 2011 on Busboys and Poets Press/PM Press. You can follow him on social media on Facebook and on Instagram @theoriginalDerrickWestonBrown as well as his author website DerrickWestonBrown.com

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Finding a Home for Your Work

Introductory/Intermediate| Submitting creative work to literary journals is a great way to join a larger conversation of writers and readers. This course covers methods for submitting work, both for those starting out and those hoping to renew their process. Arrive…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Gail Folkins

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Start Date: 06/02/2018 – 1:00 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 Finances of Self-Publishing

Introductory | Self-publishing is easier than ever—but it isn’t cheap. When you become your own publisher, you take on all the costs associated with publication: hiring editors and designers, getting industry reviews, planning book launches and book tours. You also…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Nicole Dieker

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Start Date: 06/05/2018 – 18:00:00

Nicole Dieker

Nicole Dieker is a freelance writer and Senior Editor at The Billfold and her work has also appeared in Boing Boing, Popular Science, The Toast and numerous other publications. Nicole regularly speaks on or facilitates panels about the intersection of art and money, and her practical, actionable freelance advice is available at The Freelancer's "Ask A Freelancer" column and The Write Life's "Pitch Fix." Nicole's debut novel, The Biographies of Ordinary People, is forthcoming Summer 2017.

Teaching philosophy: I have two jobs, as a teacher. First, I need to ask the questions that uncover the real problems you are having in your writing. Then, I need to ask the questions that help you solve them.

Writers I return to: Lev Grossman, L.M. Montgomery, Cheryl Strayed—I read about a book a week, and there are a lot of books and writers I love, but these are three of the writers I consistently re-read. Online, I'll always click on a new piece by Nicole Chung, Ann Friedman, Roxane Gay, Meghan O'Connell, or Mallory Ortberg.

Favorite writing advice: "Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong." —Neil Gaiman

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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: 06/24/2018 – 10:00 AM
Registration for this class has not started.

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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Write, Revise, Workshop, Submit!

All Levels | We will generate new poems using a series of writing prompts, guided by both dead and contemporary poets. You’ll leave every class with a new piece of work and a renewed sense of writing discipline. In class…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anastacia Renee

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Start Date: 06/30/2018 – 10:00 AM
Registration for this class has not started.

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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Issues of Craft

Intermediate | A writing class focused on sharpening the tools in the poet’s toolbox. Using poem examples, we’ll look at basic elements of poetry and various craft issues, including line breaks, meter, rhyme and form, repetition, and revision. Each session…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Judith Roche

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Start Date: 07/14/2018 – 10:00 AM
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Judith Roche

Judith Roche is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Wisdom of the Body, an American Book Award winner. She has poems installed on several Seattle-area public art projects, has taught at various universities, and teaches poetry workshops throughout the country.

Teaching philosophy: My teaching philosophy is to met each student at his or her comfortable level and try to point out ways to extend that comfort level to gently and respectfully lead the student to try things he or she hasn’t thought of before. We all tend to write within our own conventions and I hope, by my exercises and suggestions, to facilitate students to surprise themselves by write something they might not have thought they would write. In other words, to break out of their own conventions, while assisting them to write further and deeper into what they are already passionate about..

Writers I return to: Blake, Whitman, Keats, H.D., Bob Hicock, Dorianne Laux, Sharon Doubiago, Anne Carson, Lorca, Hugo, Roethke, Richard Wilber, Robert Duncan, Michael Palmer, Sherman Alexie. As you can see, my aesthetic is all over the place in terms of poetic lineage but I teach (and read) what has really spoken to me and that’s what I want to pass on.

Favorite writing advice: A famous poet once told me to “go against the grain” and I’ve listened to that advice, which did extend my writing chops. Another famous poet told me to follow your obsessions. It’s that combination, which could be taken as contradictory, but really isn’t. To follow your obsessions but find new ways to talk about what you are really passionate about that makes for fresh and surprising writing.

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Anthropomorphic Poems & What Makes Them Breathe

All Levels | In this generative workshop we’ll look at human-centric—or “social”—poems: extroverted, talkative, curious, and concerned with human potential and prosperity. This workshop mimics speed dating: we’ll read and discuss at least half a dozen poems characterized by any of the…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Cody Pherigo

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Start Date: 07/14/2018 – 1:00 PM
Registration for this class has not started.

Cody Pherigo

Cody Pherigo is a queer writing animal whose studies at Bent Writing Institute and Goddard College convinced him that poets uproot politicians. He was a 2016 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize finalist and 4Culture Artists Grant recipient. Cody has self-published two chapbooks: Blue Thunder Children (2011) and Animal’s Sabbath (2013). He is a writer-in-residence with the WITS program at Seattle Arts & Lectures. Born with meconium stuck in his throat, he has been extracting it ever since.

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Writing with Your Languages

All Levels | Most of us have important relationships to other languages, even if we only speak English. In this course, we will explore a range of techniques for drawing upon the languages we care about. We will read short…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sarah Dowling

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Start Date: 07/14/2018 – 1:00 PM
Registration for this class has not started.

Sarah Dowling

Sarah Dowling is the author of two books of poetry, DOWN (Coach House, 2014) and Security Posture (Snare, 2009), which received the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Sarah has also published three chapbooks, US (The Elephants, 2018), Entering Sappho (above/ground, 2017), and Birds & Bees (TrollThread, 2012). Her writing appears in numerous literary journals. Sarah's scholarly book, Translingual Poetics: Writing Personhood under Settler Colonialism, is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press. She teaches at the University of Washington Bothell.

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Getting Unstuck

All Levels | Looking for practical methods and techniques for overcoming obstacles to creativity? In this course we will discuss tricks for writing poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Together we’ll examine the kinds of blocks all of us encounter in our…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Joshua Marie Wilkinson

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Start Date: 07/15/2018 – 1:00 PM
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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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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
Registration for this class has not started.

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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Commit to Submit

Intermediate/Advanced | An intensive session to create and flesh out a submission schedule for your developed work. For intermediate and advanced writers who have 3-10 final drafts of poems. We will explore advantages and disadvantages of reading fees, simultaneous submissions,…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Amber Flame

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Start Date: 07/21/2018 – 1:00 PM
Registration for this class has not started.

Amber Flame

Amber Flame is a writer, composer, and performer whose work has garnered residencies with Hedgebrook, The Watering Hole, Vermont Studio Center, and YEFE NOF. Flame’s original work has been published in diverse arenas, including Def Jam Poetry, Winter Tangerine, The Dialogist, Split This Rock, Black Heart Magazine, Sundress Publications, FreezeRay, Redivider Journal, and more. A 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, Jack Straw Writer, and recipient of the CityArtist grant from Seattle’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Amber Flame’s first full-length poetry collection, Ordinary Cruelty, was recently published through Write Bloody Press. Amber Flame is a queer Black single mama just one magic trick away from growing her unicorn horn.

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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
Registration for this class has not started.

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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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
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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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