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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.

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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The Heart of the Matter: Writing Flash Nonfiction

Bernard Cooper describes the brief essay as calling for “an alertness to detail, a quickening of the senses, a focusing of the literary lens . . . until one has magnified some small aspect of what it means to be…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Susanne Paola Antonetta

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Start Date: 09/05/2019 – 1:00 PM
1 seats available

Susanne Paola Antonetta

Susanne Paola Antonetta’s Make Me a Mother, ranked a Top Ten Book of the Year by Image Journal, was published by W.W. Norton. A digital chapbook, Curious Atoms: A History with Physics, was published by Essay Press in May 2016. She is also author of Body Toxic: An Environmental Memoir, A Mind Apart: Travels in a Neurodiverse World, the novella Stolen Moments, and four books of poetry. Awards for her poetry and prose include a New York Times Notable Book, an American Book Award, a Library Journal Best Science Book of the Year, a Lenore Marshall Award finalist, an Oprah Bookshelf pick, a Pushcart prize, and others. Her essays and poems have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Orion, The New Republic, and many anthologies. Her work has been translated into Korean, Dutch, and Italian and distributed internationally. She lives in Bellingham, Washington and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bellingham Review.

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Voice and Dialogue

Words on paper are “spoken” by a narrator whose voice might be similar to our own, but it’s not our own. Whatever the point of view, and even in memoir or autobiographical fiction, the narrator is a character discrete from…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Binnie Kirshenbaum

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Start Date: 09/11/2019 – 6:00 PM

Binnie Kirshenbaum

Binnie Kirshenbaum is the author of the story collection History on a Personal Note and six novels, including On Mermaid Avenue, Hester Among the Ruins, An Almost Perfect Moment, and The Scenic Route. Her novels have been chosen as Notable Books of the Year by The Chicago Tribune, NPR, TIME, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Washington Post. Her work has been translated into seven languages.

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Painting Prose: Crafting Narratives Through Visual Storytelling

What is the relationship between the world we experience, the worlds we create, and the stories we tell about both? The author of Children of Grass, widely published writer and visual artist B.A. Van Sise, will work with students to…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: B.A. Van Sise

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Start Date: 09/14/2019 – 1:00 PM

B.A. Van Sise

B.A. Van Sise is an internationally-known photographer and the author of the visual poetry anthology Children of Grass. His visual work has previously appeared in many major museum exhibitions throughout the United States, as well as the New York Times, Village Voice, and Washington Post. His written work has been published in Poets & Writers, Eclectica, the Southampton Review, the North American Review, and a broad swath of anthologies.

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The Ultimate Craft Class How to Narrate, Construct Character, and Build Scenes

In this two-day intensive workshop, Almond will lead participants through several essential craft lessons. Participants will learn how to create dramatic scenes, unforgettable characters, and an irresistible narrator. They will complete in-class exercises to help bring the lessons home. The…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 09/14/2019 – 10:00 AM
This class is full

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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Funny is the New Deep

Contrary to popular belief, writing funny doesn’t mean sacrificing depth. On the contrary, for most literary writers, the comic impulse is inextricably linked to tragedy. It’s not a conscious effort to entertain the reader so much as an unconscious effort…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 09/16/2019 – 2:00 PM
This class is full

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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The Beauty and Peril of Friendship

As writers, we tend to focus on romance and family drama as subjects worthy of our work. What we often overlook are the intense friendships that we have over the course of our lives, friendships that can rescue and redeem…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 09/16/2019 – 6:00 PM
This class is full

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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Letting Your Characters Tell the Story

Fully imagined characters always produce a story. Trust me about that. When writers tell me they have trouble with plots, what I believe they’re actually saying is, they have trouble fully imagining their characters. In my Word Works lecture, we’ll…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Michael Cunningham

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Start Date: 09/21/2019 – 1:00 PM
5 seats available

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours, By Nightfall, and The Snow Queen, as well as a short story collection, A Wild Swan and Other Tales, all published by Farrar Straus & Giroux. The Hours won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize and PEN Faulkner Award, and was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Cunningham’s fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, the Paris Review, and other publications. A recipient of National Endowment for the Arts, Guggenheim and Whiting Foundation fellowships, he is Senior Lecturer in English at Yale University.

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Writing Without a Map

To write from an outline is to know from the beginning where you’re headed. But what happens if you dive in with nothing but some scraps of dialogue, an idea, or a gut feeling? To write without a planned destination…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Cari Luna

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Start Date: 09/21/2019 – 10:00 AM

Cari Luna

Cari Luna is the author of The Revolution of Every Day, which won the Oregon Book Award for Fiction. A fellow of Yaddo and Ragdale, her writing has appeared in Guernica, Salon, Jacobin, Electric Literature, Catapult, The Rumpus, PANK, and elsewhere. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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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

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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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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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

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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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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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

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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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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