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Class Catalog

Browse Fall & Winter 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, through Winter quarter 2021.

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


Winter Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ Donor Registration (by phone only): November 20
Member Registration: December 1
General Registration: December 8


Early Bird Pricing November 30 through December 14:

  • $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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Dialogue 101

Introductory | When done well, dialogue can make our characters come alive on the page. When done poorly, it can make them sound robotic, contrived, or stilted. So what’s the difference between good dialogue and bad dialogue? How do we…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Becky Mandelbaum

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Start Date: 12/05/2020 – 1:10 pm
This class is full

Becky Mandelbaum

Becky Mandelbaum is the author of Bad Kansas (University of Georgia Press, 2017), which received the 2016 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and is a finalist for the 2018 High Plains Book Award for First Book. Her work has appeared in The Missouri Review, The Georgia Review, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, Necessary Fiction, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and elsewhere. Originally from Kansas, she currently lives in Washington’s Skagit Valley.

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Documentary Poetry: Writing the Facts in Stanzas

All Levels | Documentary poetry captures historical moments in words and images. The poet may use multiple points of view, historical records and quotations, and even visual imagery or video. In this class, we’ll discuss and create mixed-genre contemporary documentary…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Anastacia-Renee

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Start Date: 12/05/2020 – 12:00 pm
This class is full

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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Writing Toward & Against Identity

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken,” goes the famous quote quite ironically misattributed to Oscar Wilde—but the point still stands! In this multi-genre class, we will explore various practices in service of piecing together and presenting ourselves for the…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Porochista Khakpour

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Start Date: 12/05/2020 – 10:00 am

Porochista Khakpour

Porochista Khakpour was born in Tehran in 1978 and raised in the Greater Los Angeles area. She has been awarded fellowships from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, Northwestern University, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Ucross Foundation, Djerassi, and Yaddo. Her work has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes. She is most recently the recipient of a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Literature Fellowship in Creative Writing (Prose).

Her debut novel Sons and Other Flammable Objects (Grove/Atlantic, 2007) was a New York Times “Editor’s Choice,” Chicago Tribune “Fall’s Best,” and 2007 California Book Award winner. It also made the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing shortlist, the Dylan Thomas Prize long list, the Believer Book Award longlist, and many others. Her second novel, The Last Illusion (Bloomsbury, 2014) was a Kirkus Best Book of 2014, a Buzzfeed Best Fiction Book of 2014, an NPR Best Book of 2014, one of Buzzfeed’s 28 Best Books By Women in 2014, an Electric Literature Best Book of 2014, a Volume1 Brooklyn Favorite Book of 2014, a PopMatters Best Book of 2014, one of Refinery29’s 2015 Books to Read in 2015, and one of Largehearted Boy’s 11 Favorite Novels of 2014. It was also one of Flavorwire’s 15 “Most Anticipated Books of 2014”, io9.com’s “Mind-Blowing Science Fiction and Fantasy Books to Watch Out For in 2015”, The Millions “Most Anticipated” in their “The Great 2014 Book Preview”, Flavorwire’s “50 Excellent Fabulist Novels Everyone Should Read,”, and the Huffington Post’s “30 Books You NEED to Read in 2014.”

Her other writing (essays, features, reviews, cover stories, and columns) have appeared in or are forthcoming in Harper’s, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other magazines and newspapers around the world.

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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
This class is full

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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Recharge Your Revision Process

All Levels | Join us for a class that focuses on revision strategies to help you flesh out, shape, and polish your draft poems. We’ll discuss key craft elements such as lineation and syntax, as well as ways to create…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Dilruba Ahmed

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Start Date: 12/06/2020 – 1:10 pm
3 seats available

Dilruba Ahmed

Dilruba Ahmed is the author of Bring Now the Angels (Pitt Poetry Series, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020). Her debut book of poetry, Dhaka Dust (Graywolf Press), won the Bakeless Prize. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Poetry. Her poems have also been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2019 (Scribner), Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books), Literature: The Human Experience (Bedford/St. Martin’s), Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry (University of Arkansas), and elsewhere. Ahmed is the recipient of The Florida Review’s Editors’ Award, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Prize, and the Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellowship in Poetry awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. She holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers.

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Memoir Techniques: Traveling through Time

All Levels | We’ll read selections from a range of memoirs and talk about the different ways authors travel through time without losing their readers. We’ll practice using different techniques in our works-in-progress. Check out the rest of the Memoir…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Nicole Hardy

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Start Date: 12/06/2020 – 12:00 pm

Nicole Hardy

Nicole Hardy is the author of the memoir Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin and the poetry collections This Blonde and Mud Flap Girl's XX Guide to Facial Profiling — a chapbook of pop-culture inspired sonnets.

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Personal Mythologies

What does it look like when we build our own mythologies? Maybe yours is a mythology of mix tapes, or maybe you’ve learned from mermaid stories or ghosts. In this class, we will discover our own origin stories, explore our…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Sasha LaPointe

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Start Date: 12/12/2020 – 10:00 am
5 seats available

Sasha LaPointe

Sasha LaPointe is from the Upper Skagit and Nooksack Indian Tribes. Native to the Pacific Northwest she draws inspiration from her coastal heritage as well as her life in the city. She writes with a focus on trauma and resilience, ranging topics from PTSD, sexual violence, the work her great grandmother did for the Lushootseed language revitalization, to loud basement punk shows and what it means to grow up mixed heritage. With strange obsessions revolving around Twin Peaks, the Seattle music scene, and Coast Salish Salmon Ceremonies, Sasha explores her own truth of indigenous identity in the Coast Salish territory. Sasha holds a double MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in creative nonfiction and poetry.

Her memoir Red Paint is forthcoming from Counterpoint Press.

Her collection of poetry, Rose Quartz will be published by Milkweed.

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How to Write Riveting Scenes

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: 12/13/2020 – 1:10 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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Memoir Techniques: Writing The Things I Don’t Remember

All Levels | Every writer of memoir stresses out about the gaps in their memories; we’ll see how authors handle this problem in their work and apply the techniques to our works-in-progress. Check out the rest of the Memoir Techniques…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Nicole Hardy

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Start Date: 12/13/2020 – 12:00 pm
4 seats available

Nicole Hardy

Nicole Hardy is the author of the memoir Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin and the poetry collections This Blonde and Mud Flap Girl's XX Guide to Facial Profiling — a chapbook of pop-culture inspired sonnets.

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Mindful Writing

All Levels | We’ll explore writing as a contemplative practice: one that can center and ground us amid chaos and distraction, activate awareness and acceptance, and radically transform experience. Using the principles of mindfulness, we’ll start with a guided meditation,…

Course Type: 7 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anna Vodicka

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Start Date: 01/05/2021 – 5:00 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

Anna Vodicka

Anna Vodicka's essays have appeared in AFAR, Brevity, Guernica, Harvard Review, Longreads, McSweeneys' Internet Tendency, Paste, and Best Women's Travel Writing 2017. She has had residency fellowships to Vermont Studio Center and Hedgebrook.

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30 Prompts, 30 Days, 30 Lines, 30 Ways

Intermediate | Is the current way of life making you feel creatively stagnant? Are your stories lacking luster? Is your free verse feeling restrictive? Do you stare at the blank computer and “wait” to be inspired? This is the class…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anastacia-Renee

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Start Date: 01/05/2021 – 7:10 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

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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Dear You: Creative Experiments with Letters

All Levels | “This is my letter to the world / That never wrote to me…” – Emily Dickinson From the playful to political, the personal to persona, we’ll use the form of the letter (an address from, reaching out…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sierra Nelson

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Start Date: 01/05/2021 – 7:10 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

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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Poetry I (ASYNCHRONOUS)

Whether a beginning poet or lover of the art, this class will introduce you to the beauty and complexity of writing and reading poetry, as well as the basics of the workshop model. We will look to image, metaphor, sound,…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Michelle Peñaloza

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Start Date: 01/06/2021
Registration for this class has not started.

Michelle Peñaloza

Michelle Peñaloza’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the New England Review, the Asian American Literary Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships and scholarships from Kundiman, Hugo House, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, among others. Peñaloza has been teaching since 2005.

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Creative Nonfiction I

Introductory | This class will help you decide the best way to tell the nonfiction story you want to tell. We will figure out the true topic of our pieces, and how to most effectively explore those topics through points…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Gail Folkins

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Start Date: 01/06/2021 – 7:10 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

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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Fiction I

Whether you’re looking to write stories or a novel, this course will introduce three key elements of fiction: description, conflict, and character. Alongside published examples and writing prompts, you will write a short story and learn the basics of the…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Susan Meyers

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Start Date: 01/06/2021 – 5:00 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

Susan Meyers

Susan V. Meyers has lived and taught in Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico. She earned an MFA from the University of Minnesota and a PhD from the University of Arizona, and she currently directs the Creative Writing Program at Seattle University. Her fiction and nonfiction have been supported by grants from the Fulbright foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, 4Culture, Artist Trust, and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, as well as several artists residencies. Her novel Failing the Trapeze won the Nilsen Award for a First Novel and the Fiction Attic Press Award for a First Novel, and it was a finalist for the New American Fiction Award. Other work has recently appeared in Per Contra, Calyx, Dogwood, The Portland Review, and The Minnesota Review, and it has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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