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Class Catalog

Browse Spring & Summer 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.

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


Summer Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ donor Registration: June 3
Member Registration: June 4
General Registration: June 11


New! Early Bird Pricing June 3 through June 17:

  • $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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Publishing Intensive

Intermediate / Advanced | This daylong intensive seminar will provide a comprehensive overview of the publishing business and opportunities for writers of memoir, adult fiction, and young adult fiction. Students will have the opportunity to pitch their books to small groups…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Karen Finneyfrock & Peter Mountford & Theo Nestor

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Start Date: 06/02/2019 – 10:00 AM

Karen Finneyfrock & Peter Mountford & Theo Nestor

Karen Finneyfrock is the author of two young adult novels: The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door and Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, both published by Viking Children’s Books. She is a former Writer-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House.

Peter Mountford is the author of the award-winning novels A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism, and The Dismal Science. His work has appeared dozens of major magazines and newspapers. He teaches at Sierra Nevada College’s MFA program.

Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink (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 Ed program since 2006.

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Pitch Laboratory

All Levels | To publish nonfiction in any commercial journal and many literary ones, you must learn the art of the pitch. To pitch is to distill a story to its fundamentals. In few words, you must conjure plot, characters,…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Madeline Ostrander

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Start Date: 06/24/2019 – 7:10 PM
Registration for this class has not started.

Madeline Ostrander

Madeline Ostrander’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Sun Magazine, Audubon Magazine, The Nation, Al Jazeera America, and High Country News. She is a full-time freelance science and environmental writer and the former senior editor of YES! Magazine.

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Online Class: How to Get Started as a Freelancer

Introductory | How do you get started as a freelance writer? Is it possible to turn freelancing into a full-time job? Nicole Dieker has been a full-time freelancer for nearly a decade, and she’ll teach you everything she knows about…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Nicole Dieker

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Start Date: 06/25/2019
Registration for this class has not started.

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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Poetry and Publishing

Introductory/Intermediate | Students will generate 4-6 new poems, participate in workshop, and submit work to a literary journal for publication. We’ll read and write in response to a wide array of contemporary poets, becoming familiar along the way with the…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jeanine Walker

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Start Date: 07/09/2019 – 10:00 AM
Registration for this class has not started.

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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Submission Strategies

All Levels | Work not sent out is very likely not completed, and writing that does not find a reader is an unfulfilled act of communication. Yet sending work out is difficult since it often involves judgment and rejection. We’ll…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Waverly Fitzgerald

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Start Date: 07/10/2019 – 7:10 PM
Registration for this class has not started.

Waverly Fitzgerald

Waverly Fitzgerald loves research as much as writing, which is sometimes a problem. She has written one non-fiction book, Slow Time (2007) and fourteen novels, of which nine have been published by publishers as diverse as Doubleday and Kensington. Her essays and poems have appeared in Facere and Raven Chronicles. For her essays on urban nature, she has been awarded a fellowship from Jack Straw Cultural Center, a grant from Artist Trust and residences at Hedgebrook and the Whiteley Center. She has presented at international and national writing conferences and taught for various continuing education programs including the UCLA Writers Program and the University of Washington Extension. She currently teaches online for Creative Nonfiction magazine.

Teaching philosophy: My only goal as a teacher is to make sure my students learn what they want to learn. So I provide accountability, offer feedback and encourage writing. I set up interesting situations where writers can practice either craft skills or generate new material on subjects of their own choosing. Although I bring in examples of writing from other writers, I encourage students to choose their own models. I’m as open to genre writing as I am to literary writing. Having found the workshop model of teaching (critique from the entire group of one manuscript at time) both inefficient and sometimes damaging, I rarely use it though I do encourage camaraderie in the classroom because second to writing I think participating in a writing community is an ingredient necessary for writerly success.

Writers I return to: Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Goudge, Anthony Trollope, William Lashner, Timothy Hallinan, Susan Howatch, Dorothy Dunnett, Ellis Peters, Jorge Amado, D. J. Waldie, Robert MacFarlane, Jay Griffiths, Rebecca Solnit, Lia Purpura.

Favorite writing advice: Consider the reader.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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The Art of Being Published Without an Agent

All Levels | If you ask ten successful writers how they got their first great work published, you will get ten completely different answers. We’ll explore the art of crafting the perfect query letter. We will discuss how to maneuver…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Richard Chiem

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Start Date: 08/10/2019 – 10:00 AM
Registration for this class has not started.

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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