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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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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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Online Class: Speculative Nonfiction

All Levels | Speculative nonfiction dives into what we suspect, but do not yet know—secret biographies, deathbed confessions, weird science, and anything you need to research but don’t know where to start. Participants will collect information, conduct interviews, and discover…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Kathleen Alcala

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Start Date: 06/27/2019
Registration for this class has not started.

Kathleen Alcala

Kathleen Alcalá is the author of a short story collection, three novels set in 19th Century Mexico and the Southwest, and a collection of essays based on family history. Her work has received the Western States Book Award, the Governor’s Writers Award, and a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award. She received her second Artist Trust Fellowship in 2008, and was honored by the national Latino writers group, Con Tinta, at the Associated Writing Programs Conference in 2014. She has been designated an Island Treasure in the Arts on Bainbridge Island.

Kathleen's latest book is The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island, by the University of Washington Press. In it, she explores our relationship with food and the land through research and numerous interviews with the people who bring us our food on Bainbridge Island.

Kathleen has a B.A. in Linguistics from Stanford University, an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans. Kathleen has a great affinity for the story-telling techniques of magic realism and science fiction, and has been both a student and instructor in the Clarion West Science Fiction Workshop.

Kathleen was a faculty member at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts on Whidbey Island until it closed in 2016. She still lectures and gives readings and workshops in creative writing.

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Online Class: Mastering the Scene

All Levels | We will dive into how scenes work and what they accomplish. Through writing exercises and readings by published writers, we’ll explore how scenes develop characters, seed tension, establish place and time, facilitate flashbacks, soften research, and build…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Katherine E. Standefer

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Start Date: 07/08/2019
Registration for this class has not started.

Katherine E. Standefer

Katherine E. Standefer's debut book, Lightning Flowers, is forthcoming from Little, Brown in early 2020 and was shortlisted for the 2018 J. Anthony Lukas Works-in-Progress Prize from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard. Her writing won the 2015 Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction, appears in The Best American Essays 2016, and was selected as Notable in Best American Essays 2017. She writes about the body, consent, and medical technology from Tucson, where she earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Arizona in 2014. Her writing appears in the anthologies Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays and How We Speak To One Another: An Essay Daily Reader, as well as many literary journals, including The New England Review, The Normal School, The Iowa Review, Fourth Genre,
and the Colorado Review. She is a Fall 2018 Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good in Rensselaerville, New York, which supports deeply reported nonfiction about the most pressing issues of our day, and a Fall 2018 resident at Jentel Arts in Banner, Wyoming. She was previously a Fall 2017 Marion Weber Healing Arts Fellow at The Mesa Refuge in Point Reyes, California, which supports writers working at the intersection of nature, human economy, and equity. She teaches creative writing and medical humanities at the University of Arizona. As a creative arts entrepreneur, she teaches community-level writing classes that help people write about sexuality, illness, and trauma, using a unique embodied pedagogy that considers the craft challenges, physiological hurdles and social barriers to telling stories of the body. A Certified Sexologist, she has provided sexuality education to more than 8,000 people and draws on more than 30 hours of trauma sensitivity training. She is Nonfiction Faculty at Ashland University's Low-Residency MFA program. www.katherinestandefer.com

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Online Class: From History to Story: Writing Your Life

Introductory/Intermediate | You’ve got a life story to tell, but how can you turn “history” into a “story?” What should you include? And what should you leave out? Moreover, how can you make your memories interesting to a reader? This…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Susan Meyers

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Start Date: 07/09/2019
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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Online Class: Finishing Your Book

Intermediate/Advanced | This is a class for anyone struggling with a book. Although that first sprint of fifty pages into a book—either novel or nonfiction—can be exhilarating, it’s hard to sustain. Sooner or later, you’re likely to find yourself in…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Peter Mountford

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

Peter Mountford

Peter Mountford’s novel A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism won a 2012 Washington State Book Award. His second novel, The Dismal Science, was published in February, 2014. A former Hugo House writer in residence, Peter is currently on faculty at Sierra Nevada College's low residency MFA program.

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Online Class: Level Up Your Young Adult Novel

Intermediate | Have you been working on a draft of a young adult novel and gotten stuck? Or maybe you want to make your story shine so agents, editors, and readers will love it? Summer is an excellent time to…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Stephanie Kuehnert

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Start Date: 07/25/2019
Registration for this class has not started.

Stephanie Kuehnert

Stephanie Kuehnert is the author of two young adult novels, I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone and Ballads of Suburbia, and she has a young adult memoir forthcoming from Dutton in 2017. Stephanie has also been a contributing writer to Rookie, an online magazine for teenage girls, since its inception in 2011. She received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago in 2006 and has been teaching since 2009. She’s taught general Fiction Writing courses, classes that focus on character, and Young Adult Fiction courses to teenagers, undergraduates, graduates, and working professionals both in person and online at a variety of institutions including Columbia College Chicago, StoryStudio Chicago, MediaBistro, Hugo House, and Seattle University.

Teaching philosophy: I believe that learning to write is a never-ending process (and this is why I take classes at Hugo House too!). I strive to help my students build their writerly toolbox by providing helpful exercises and ways to look at storytelling that they can continually revisit. All of my classes include a generative component and a focus on craft. In workshops, I aim to create an environment that is positive and productive and helps each student zero in both on what needs work and what already is working.

Writers I always return to: Francesca Lia Block, Melissa Marr, Libba Bray, JK Rowling, John Steinbeck, and Louise Erdrich

Favorite writing advice: Let reading be your greatest teacher. Study the books you love, examine them at a craft level, and use what you learn. Also: Butt. In. Chair. Fingers. On. Keyboard. Do what you need to do to finish your draft. There is no one magical routine, but you know what works for you—do it!

Past Student Feedback:
“I loved Stephanie's year-long class. Stephanie is smart and organized, all-around supportive, and a great mentor. She was always open to new ideas, considered everyone equals, and was encouraging of all discussion, never shying away from emotion. Very inclusive. She has a unique view of the world, and that perspective seems to put everyone at ease. She's a kind and funny person with a good sense of humor, but also gave honest and valuable critique. I learned a lot quickly, and also felt like there was time for questions and building community. Great experience!”

“Stephanie is the kind of teacher who uses positive, thoughtful feedback to tease the best stuff from writers in her classes. On the other hand, she's not shy about giving exercises that stretch us out of our zones of comfort, including identifying (and pushing) our story's main idea and diagramming our entire book (drawings optional) before we've even finished chapter four. She's organized and prepared. She really knows her stuff, which gives her students confidence in her.”

“Stephanie is an inspired teacher with a gift for bringing out the best in her students. She is always well prepared to discuss every angle of the writing process and brings a tremendous amount of energy to each class. Stephanie is extremely supportive and engages with her students’ work, always finding positive ways to help. I was constantly amazed at how meticulously she read each student’s work and gave constructive feedback. Her enthusiasm and passion for the craft of writing is contagious.”

“Stephanie Kuehnert is an awesome, talented combination of teacher and facilitator. At the start of our yearlong YA fiction writing class, she provided the class with a well-organized syllabus and suggested reading list. After each class, we received class notes in email form which proved useful both for people who missed class and for those in attendance. She also provided us with in-class writing exercises and handouts that I continue to reference. Along with being very knowledgeable about the craft of writing, Stephanie is also skilled in the art of critique. She provided helpful feedback on my writing, both in written and verbal form, offering encouragement and suggesting areas that could be changed to make my writing stronger. During in-class critiques, she would start the class off by providing her own, brief feedback on a student's work, and would then open the discussion up to the class. While she allowed the discussion to flow organically, she kept it respectful and on topic, which was appreciated. She also kept the class on schedule, both in regards to the syllabus and to the individual classes, which is no easy feat. I found Stephanie's YA fiction writing class to be the best writing class I've ever taken (and I've got a BA in Creative Writing). Not only did I learn countless writing techniques and tips to add to my writer's toolbox, but through her encouragement, I have started querying my novel with literary agents. I greatly respect Stephanie as a teacher, a writer and an all-around supporter of the writing community.”

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Online Class: The Art of Interviewing

All Levels | If you want to build your freelance career, you need to know how to interview. How do you find and interview a source when your editor wants your draft by Friday? What questions should you avoid? What…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Nicole Dieker

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Start Date: 08/08/2019
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.

See current classes >