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Class Catalog

Browse Summer & Fall 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.

For help finding classes, contact our registrar or call us at 206.322.7030.

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: August 12
Member Registration: August 13
General Registration: August 20


Early Bird Pricing Aug. 12 through Aug. 26:

  • $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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Telling Tough Stories: Writing Illness and Healing

Join us for a writing workshop that addresses the challenges of writing about illness, healing, and caregiving in a culture that prizes novelty and speed. Do you worry you will you bore your readers? Depress them too much? Shock them…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Kathryn Trueblood

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Start Date: 09/22/2019 – 10:00 AM
3 seats available

Kathryn Trueblood

Kathryn Trueblood has been awarded the Goldenberg Prize for Fiction and the Red Hen Press Short Story Award. Her books include Take Daily As Needed, The Baby Lottery, and The Sperm Donor’s Daughter. She teaches at Western Washington University.

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Ten Approaches to the Image

We will write back to images. The course will activate creative, political, emotional, somatic, synesthesiac, analytical, attentional, and game-like responses to images. We will create images with which to create words. We will talk about the difference between words and…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Anne Lesley Selcer

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Start Date: 09/26/2019 – 6:00 PM

Anne Lesley Selcer

Anne Lesley Selcer is an art writer and a poet in the expanded field. Blank Sign Book is a collection of essays moving though the tensions and potentials between art and politics. Sun Cycle, winner of the CSU Poetry Center First Poetry Book Prize will be out September 2019. Named for the star that makes vision possible, it investigates image, power and gender. She is author of from A Book of Poems on Beauty, winner of the Gazing Grain prize, a chapbook emerging from her multidisciplinary research into Western beauty. Anne Lesley’s art writing includes Banlieusard, a commissioned book-length text on media and sense memory for Artspeak and Untitled (a treatise on form) for 2nd Floor Projects, a limited edition pamphlet in tandem with an exhibition. Critical writing appears in Fillip, Art Practical, Hyperallergic, The Capilano Review, Open Space, the anthology New Media Art 2017: Back to Nature, as well as in several exhibition catalogs, the most recent forthcoming this Fall for the Mills College Art Museum. Poetry appears in Fence, The Chicago Review, and Action, Yes! among several other small magazines. Anne Lesley wrote a column for Jacket2 on “art resistant to the transformation of social life into a frontier market” and a series of essays for SFMOMA’s Open Space on language and the moving image. In Vancouver BC, she created the Chroma Reading Series for creative research, artists working in language, and poetry; she was an initiating and contributing editor there to the Public Works anthology of art writing. Her language-based video, sound and text pieces have exhibited at the Krowswork, Visible Verse Festival, Southern Exposure, T-10 Video festival, and on Gauss PDF. Anne Lesley’s practice has been supported by residencies at Krowswork, Mildred’s Lane and Southern Exposure, and in tandem with the Nonsite collective, by The Headlands Center for the Arts and SFCameraworks.

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I Would Never Say That?: Getting Real Dialogue Out of Your Characters

Do you dread writing dialogue? Do you want to enjoy it but feel it falls flat on the page? Do you love it in the moment, then worry it isn’t serving the story when you reread it? In this intensive,…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Mira Jacob

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Start Date: 09/28/2019 – 1:00 PM
3 seats available

Mira Jacob

Mira Jacob is the author and illustrator of Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations. Her critically acclaimed novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick. She teaches at The New School.

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One-Page Fictions

Jayne Anne Phillips’s ‘flash’ or short-short fictions were included in her landmark short story collection, Black Tickets, published in the late ’70s. In this workshop on compression, rhythm, language, and the “spiral construction” of successful short-shorts, students will receive copies…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Jayne Anne Phillips

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Start Date: 09/28/2019 – 10:00 AM
This class is full

Jayne Anne Phillips

Jayne Anne Phillips is the award-winning author of the short story collections Black Tickets and Fast Lanes, and the novels Machine Dreams, Shelter, MotherKind, Lark and Termite, and Quiet Dell. Machine Dreams was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of twelve Best Books of the Year.

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Say it Loud!

What are your origin stories? What are the textures of your world? Whose voices do you carry? What futures are you reaching for? Who will hold your stories? In this generative workshop, we will play and explore these questions by…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Ching-In Chen

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Start Date: 09/28/2019 – 13:00:00

Ching-In Chen

Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart's Traffic: a novel in poems (Arktoi/Red Hen Press, 2009), recombinant (Kelsey Street Press, 2017; 2018 Lambda Literary Award Winner for Transgender Poetry); to make black paper sing (speCt! Books, 2019) and Kundiman for Kin :: Information Retrieval for Monsters (forthcoming from Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs). Chen is also co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press, 2011; AK Press 2016) and Here Is a Pen: an Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets (Achiote Press, 2009). Born of Chinese immigrants, they have received fellowships from Kundiman, Lambda, Watering Hole, Callaloo, Can Serrat, Storyknife and Imagining America and are a member of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation. A community organizer, they have worked in Asian American communities in San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston. In Autumn 2019, they will join the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics at the University of Washington Bothell as an assistant professor. www.chinginchen.com

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Monsters I Will Be: Experimental Poetics & Politics

How do we, through poetry, take the monstrosities of modern life and politics and compost them into something new? In this workshop you’ll learn the “frankenpo” (Frankenstein poetry) method, which takes existing bodies of text, smashes them, and sews them…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Kenji Liu

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Start Date: 09/28/2019 – 10:00 AM

Kenji Liu

Kenji C. Liu is author of Monsters I Have Been (Alice James Books, 2019) and Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize (Inlandia Institute). His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, Gulf Coast, Apogee, and elsewhere, including two chapbooks, Craters: A Field Guide (2017) and You Left Without Your Shoes (2009). An alumnus of Kundiman, VONA/Voices, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the Community of Writers, he lives in Los Angeles.

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The Aeolian Post Office: Notebooks, Letters, Transcriptions and Prose Poetry from the Everyday

At what point does great poetry end and daily life begin? What happens when we erase that line? In this generative workshop, we will explore traditionally “disposable” prose forms to find new ways of following the lyric impulses that operate…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Daniel Poppick

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Start Date: 10/09/2019 – 6:00 PM

Daniel Poppick

Daniel Poppick is the author of Fear of Description (Penguin, 2019), selected by Brenda Shaughnessy for the National Poetry Series, and The Police (Omnidawn, 2017). He lives in Brooklyn, where he works as a copywriter and co-edits The Catenary Press with Rob Schlegel and Rawaan Alkhatib.

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The Joy of Syntax

In this hands-on workshop we’ll practice improvisational writing, using the often under-explored resources of syntax to draw our poems and stories into new territories.

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Catherine Barnett

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Start Date: 10/12/2019 – 10:00:00

Catherine Barnett

Catherine Barnett is the author of three collections of poems, Human Hours (a New York Times “Best Poetry of 2018” selection), The Game of Boxes (winner of the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets), and Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award). Her honors include a Whiting Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She teaches graduate and undergraduate students in the Creative Writing Program at NYU, is a Distinguished Lecturer at Hunter College, and lives in New York City.

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Step on It! Building Velocity in Poetry

Discover how to increase the tension, extend the breath, and quicken the psychological and emotional pace in a poem utilizing elements of craft and technique. Instructors will share examples from the greats, distribute a takeaway “tip-sheet,” and carve out time…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Tina Schumann and John Sibley Williams

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Start Date: 10/12/2019 – 2:00 PM

Tina Schumann and John Sibley Williams

Tina Schumann is a pushcart nominated poet and the author of three poetry collections, Praising the Paradox (Red Hen Press, 2019) which was a finalist in the National Poetry Series, Four Way Books Intro Prize and the New Issues Poetry Prize, As If (Parlor City Press, 2010) which was awarded the Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize, and Requiem. A Patrimony of Fugues (Diode Editions, 2016) which won the Diode Editions Chapbook Contest. She is editor of the IPPY-award winning anthology Two Countries. U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents (Red Hen Press, 2017). Schumann’s work received the 2009 American Poet Prize from The American Poetry Journal, finalist status in the Terrain.org annual poetry contest, as well as honorable mention in The Atlantic. She is a poetry editor for Wandering Aengus Press and Assistant Director at Artsmith.org. Her poems have appeared in publications and anthologies since 1999 including The American Journal of Poetry, Ascent, Atticus Review, Cimarron Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Nimrod, Parabola, Palabra, The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, and Verse Daily. You can read more about Tina at www.tinaschumann.com.

John Sibley Williams is the author of As One Fire Consumes Another (Orison Poetry Prize, 2019), Skin Memory (Backwaters Prize, University of Nebraska Press, 2019), Disinheritance, and Controlled Hallucinations. A nineteen-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Wabash Prize for Poetry, Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Phyllis Smart-Young Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Laux/Millar Prize. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a freelance poetry editor and literary agent. Previous publishing credits include: The Yale Review, Midwest Quarterly, Southern Review, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, TriQuarterly, Third Coast, and various anthologies.

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Worldbuilding Outside of Fantasy Literature

Learn to develop a believable landscape for your characters that takes place in a country and time of your creation. In other words, are you writing about post-war Japan in the 1950s, but were born in the 1980s in Iowa?…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Domingo Martinez

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Start Date: 10/12/2019 – 10:00 AM

Domingo Martinez

Domingo Martinez is the New York Times bestselling author of The Boy Kings of Texas and was a finalist for the National Book Award. The book has been optioned by HBO for an original series through Salma Hayek’s production company, Ventanarosa. Martinez’s work has appeared in Texas Monthly, The New Republic, Saveur Magazine, and more. He has also appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered, This American Life, and The Diane Rehm Show.

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Scenes: A Collage Approach to Narrative Making

We are often made to think that stories come to us in a chronological order, but they often do not. Stories are scenes held together by powerful transitional moments. Most of us, consciously or not, have come to narrative through…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Chris Abani

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Start Date: 10/19/2019 – 10:00:00

Chris Abani

Chris Abani is a novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright. Born in Nigeria to an Igbo father and English mother, he grew up in Afikpo, Nigeria, received a BA in English from Imo State University, Nigeria; an MA in English, gender, and culture from Birkbeck College, University of London; and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California. He has resided in the United States since 2001. Abani is the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize and a Guggenheim Award. His work has been translated into thirteen languages.

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How to Plan a Novel in 10 Days

All Levels | In this workshop, writers turn a spark into a foundation that will take them all the way through National Novel Writing Month. Whether you’re seasoned or a newb, a planner or a pantser, you’ll benefit from a…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Molly Thornton

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Start Date: 10/21/2019 – 16:00:00
3 seats available

Molly Thornton

Molly Thornton is a Los Angeles based writer and writing coach who works with writers at every stage of their creative process to build sustainable writing habits and bring their stories to the page. She is a Lambda Literary Emerging Writers Fellow, and her poetry, essays, and fiction appear in publications including The Lavender Review, baldhip magazine, The Leveller, The Seattle Globalist, and They Said anthology from Black Lawrence Press.

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Revision: What It Is, What It Does, and How to Use It

Traditional workshops, MFA programs, and writing groups often leave the writer with pages of conflicting advice, comments, and critiques, no instruction on what to do.  “Revise!” they sing and expect—as if by magic—they will return with a revision. We will…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: CMarie Fuhrman

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Start Date: 10/23/2019 – 18:00:00

CMarie Fuhrman

CMarie Fuhrman is the co-editor of Native Voices (Tupelo 2019) and has published poetry and nonfiction in multiple journals including High Desert Journal, Yellow Medicine Review, Cutthroat a Journal of the Arts, Whitefish Review, Broadsided Press, Taos Journal of Poetry and Art, as well as several anthologies. CMarie is the 2019 recipient of the Grace Paley Fellowship at Under the Volcano in Tepotzlán, Mexico and a 2019 graduate of the University of Idaho's MFA program a columnist for the Inlander, and on the editorial team of Broadsided Press and Transmotion. Her book of poems Camped Beneath the Dam will be released in March 2020. CMarie resides in the mountains of West Central Idaho.

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The Personal/Impersonal Essay

Personal essays don’t always have to be so personal. By including details like place, culture, social commentary, current or historical events, etc., an essay becomes much more memorable and engaging to your reader. We’ll look at work by James Baldwin,…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Santi Holley

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Start Date: 10/24/2019 – 13:00:00

Santi Holley

Santi Elijah Holley has contributed to The Atlantic, Tin House, VICE, Atlas Obscura, Pacifica Literary Review, Longreads, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of the 2017 Oregon Literary Fellowship for nonfiction, and his work has been cited by the 2018 Best American Essays anthology. Holley lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Hybrid Forms: Sound and Color

All Levels | We’ll take a look at hybrid writing projects that incorporate music and/or images, taking a specific look at the work of hybrid artists like Douglas Kearney, Mendi + Keith Obadike and Bianca Stone. Students who took Shayla…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Shayla Lawson

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Start Date: 10/24/2019 – 13:00:00

Shayla Lawson

Shayla Lawson is the author of three hybrid poetry collections—A Speed Education in Human Being, PANTONE, I Think I’m Ready to See Frank Ocean—and a forthcoming collection of essays from Harper Perennial. Her work has appeared in Guernica, ESPN, Tin House, and Salon. She is the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo Artist Colony, and serves as Director of Creative Writing at Amherst College.

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