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Class Catalog

Browse 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. All classes will take place on Zoom or our asynchronous learning platform, Wet Ink, for the remainder of 2020.

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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Jazz Songwriting

Class Update: The dates of this class have been updated from the print catalog. All Levels | Jazz is considered a free-form genre that leaves plenty of space for improvisation. However, even within that notably flexible structure, there is a…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Sassy Black

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Start Date: 10/24/2020 – 10:00 am

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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What We Really Mean to Say: Utilizing Poetic Techniques in Prose

All Levels | In his seminal creative writing craft text, The Triggering Town, poet Richard Hugo claims “all truth must conform to music,” for in music, we find a fuller, stronger truth. In attending to language, we not only say…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Joe Wilkins

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Start Date: 10/24/2020 – 1:10 pm
This class is full

Joe Wilkins

Joe Wilkins is the author of the novel,
Fall Back Down When I Die (Little Brown),
a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers
(Counterpoint), and three poetry collections,
most recently When We Were Birds, winner
of the 2017 Oregon Book Award in Poetry.
He directs the creative program at Linfield
College.

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Funny Is The New Deep

This is a Workshop for Democracy. The instructor will be contributing 100% of his teaching pay to the organization Black Votes Matter [https://blackvotersmatterfund.org/donate/]. The instructor asks that students pay Hugo House a discounted fee for the class, and contribute the…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 10/26/2020 – 6:00 pm

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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Preach — How the Bible Taught Me to Write

This class analyzes the Bible as a literary document that can teach us important craft tools. We’ll discuss endings and beginnings; setting the stage and stakes; making your conflicts matter; the power of scene; working with plot and memory; and…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Emily Rapp Black

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Start Date: 10/28/2020 – 1:10 pm
4 seats available

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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Literary Description

All levels | Clear and powerful description is the cornerstone of any piece of writing, regardless of genre, though description is one of the most complex modes of compositional rhetoric. How well do you create vivid imagery for your readers? Through…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Janée Baugher

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Start Date: 11/01/2020 – 1:10 pm

Janée Baugher

Janée J. Baugher has taught creative writing for twenty years, and is a poetry submission reader for Boulevard. She’s the author of Coördinates of Yes, The Body’s Physics, and the forthcoming, The Ekphrastic Writer: Creating Art-Influenced Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction (McFarland, 2020).

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Writing About Your Childhood

All Levels | Childhood provides a rich vein of material for a writer — if you know how to tap into it. In this class, we’ll explore strategies for shaping stories about our childhoods and making them meaningful to readers…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Andrew Palmer

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Start Date: 11/01/2020 – 1:10 pm

Andrew Palmer

Andrew Palmer's writing has appeared in Slate, Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He has received a fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and he has been awarded residencies at UCross and Yaddo.

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Writing Monologues (ONLINE)

All Levels | What are monologues? Whether it is in a play or a novel, monologues give both author and audience a direct peek on what is going on inside a character’s head. Often uncensored and unfiltered, monologues express the…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Ana Pastor

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Start Date: 11/02/2020

Ana Pastor

A native of Barcelona, Ana Pastor studied European Theater, Playwriting and Literature. She wrote and directed "El Oyente" (2006), and a free adaptation of a Jean-Paul Sartre play (2010). Her short story "La noche del elefante" received the 2011 Fungible award. She is a translator and a Spanish language teacher, and writing fiction is her passion.

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Writing from Afar

All Levels | James Joyce had Paris (and Zürich) but his best work was set in Dublin; Elizabeth Bishop returned to Boston but wrote about Brazil to the end of her days. These self-exiled writers wrote their best work about…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Carolyne Wright

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Start Date: 11/03/2020 – 1:10 pm

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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Talkin’ the Talk: Crafting Killer Dialogue for TV & Film

All levels | Great dialogue is the key to making your script exceptional. Who will ever forget, “There’s no place like home?” or “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose?” Want to learn how to craft undeniable dialogue? In this workshop,…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Ali Laventhol

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Start Date: 11/07/2020 – 1:10 pm

Ali Laventhol

Ali Laventhol got her start in show business working on movies like “National Treasure,” “Terminator” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Only not as a writer. She was a visual effects compositor for features, commercials and music videos before making the leap to her original love: writing. Teaming up with Tawnya Bhattacharya led to writing gigs on the staff of shows like “A Million Little Things,” “Famous In Love,” “Perception,” and “The Client List.” Most recently the duo have been Co-Executive Producers for “Ginny & Georgia” at Netflix and “Salsa” at Apple. A former competitive equestrian and yoga teacher, Ali has worked for the gun control lobby, climbed pyramids and held her Dad’s hand as he took his last breath. It’s a life she now puts into her writing. Ali lives in Los Angeles with her rescue mutt, Mavis.

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You Must Change Your Life: Rilke-Inspired Writing Practices

Intermediate | Feeling alone and stagnant in your writing life? This course will pull from Rilke’s letters, poetry, and life to spark new energy in your practice. Each session will begin with a reading, followed by prompted writing and discussion…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Wryly McCutchen

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Start Date: 11/07/2020 – 10:00 am

Wryly McCutchen

Wryly T. McCutchen is a poet, memoirist, and Seattle Area native. Their work has appeared in Wilde Magazine, Alive With Vigor, and Raven Chronicles. Their poetry collection My Ugly and Other Love Snarls is available from University of Hell Press.

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You’ve Done the Work. Now What?

Intermediate/Advanced | Not connected to a consistent writers’ circle, but looking for constructive feedback from other writers? This workshop is for you. Bring up to six previously written pieces and give them the workshop attention they need in a structured,…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anastacia-Renee

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Start Date: 11/09/2020 – 5:00 pm

Anastacia-Renee

Anastacia-Renee is a multi-genre writer, educator, and interdisciplinary artist. She is the recipient of the 2018 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award for Washington artists (Artist Trust), and has served as the 2017-2019 Seattle Civic Poet and the 2015-2017 poet-in-residence at Hugo House. Anastacia-Renee is a two-time Pushcart nominee and 2017 Artist of Year (Seattle). She is the author of five books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.) (Black Ocean) 26 (Dancing Girl Press), Kiss Me Doll Face (Gramma Press), and Answer(Me) (Winged City Chapbooks, Argus Press) and has received writing fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Artist Trust, Jack Straw, Ragdale, Whiteley, Mineral School, and Hypatia in the Woods. Her cross-genre writing has appeared in a TEDx talk; the anthologies Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism, Sinister Wisdom: Black Lesbians—We Are the Revolution, and Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks; and Ms. Magazine, Split this Rock, Painted Bride Quarterly, Crab Creek Review, Seattle Review, The Fight & the Fiddle, Duende, Poetry Northwest, Synaethesia, Banqueted, Torch, Mom Egg Review, The Magazine of Glamorous Refusal, Pinwheel Journal, and many more. She teaches poetry and multi-genre workshops at Hugo House, libraries, universities, and high schools.

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Crash Course Rainbow: A Generative Workshop on Color & Poetry

The price has been corrected from the print catalog. All Levels | “A lane of Yellow led the eye…” -Emily Dickinson As the light lengthens its autumnal slant, it’s the perfect time to reawaken color in our writing. Drawing from…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sierra Nelson

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Start Date: 12/06/2020 – 1:10 pm

Sierra Nelson

Sierra Nelson is a poet, performer, and installation artist. Her books include forthcoming poetry collection The Lachrymose Report (Poetry Northwest Editions), lyrical choose-your-own-adventure I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal Press), and chapbook In Case of Loss (Toadlily). Earning her MFA in Poetry from University of Washington (2002), Nelson is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, Carolyn Kizer Prize winner, Pushcart Prize nominee, and winner of the Carolyn Kizer Prize and Seattle Office of Arts & Culture's CityArtist Grant. She is also co-founder of literary performance groups The Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society, and president of Seattle's Cephalopod Appreciation Society. For more info: songsforsquid.tumblr.com

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