Class Catalog

Browse Fall & Winter Writing Classes!

Click the cover above to view the Winter print catalog as a PDF.

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 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 team or call us at 206.322.7030.

All classes are in Pacific Time. Beginning Fall 2021, we will be adding select in-person classes back to our course catalog. The majority of our classes will still be offered via Zoom. If a class says IN-PERSON in its title, it will take place in person at our permanent home in Seattle. If a class says ASYNCHRONOUS in its title, it will take place on Wet Ink, our asynchronous learning platform. If a class does not have a marker after its title, it will take place via Zoom.

Click here to learn more about our in-person COVID-19 policies for fall.

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

Scholarship Donation Day (by phone only): November 29
Member Registration: November 30
General Registration: December 7

What’s Scholarship Donation Day?

The first day of registration (the Monday before member registration opens) will now be open to anyone who donates $250 to our scholarship fund*. Donations must be made over the phone.

Call us at 206.322.7030 on November 29 to make your donation and sign up for the classes of your choosing.

*Applicable to specific scholarship fund donations made between member registration of the previous quarter and Scholarship Donation Day each quarter. 


Early Bird Pricing November 30 through December 13:

  • $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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Everything I Know About Writing, I Learned from Meg Wolitzer

All Levels | These workshops will reveal just how much we can learn through a close reading of a single work. By laser-focusing our attention on one brilliant piece, we’ll be able to deconstruct all aspects of craft: narration, characterization,…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 01/10/2022 - 6:00 pm PST
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Steve Almond

Steve Almond is the author of twelve books of fiction and non-fiction including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His novel All the Secrets of the World, will be published in 2022. His short fiction has appeared in the Best American Short Stories, the Pushcart Prize, and Best American Mysteries. His essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere. Almond teaches at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and Wesleyan University, and lives outside Boston with his wife, three children, and considerable anxiety.

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Theme and Variation: Repeating Forms in Nonfiction

All Levels | How might deliberate formal repetitions shape a book and its inquiries? In this reading-centered class, we’ll explore Eula Biss’s Having and Being Had, Brian Blanchfield’s Proxies, Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights, and Paisley Rekdal’s Appropriate, each…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Liza Birnbaum

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Start Date: 01/18/2022 - 5:00 pm PST
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Liza Birnbaum

Liza Birnbaum's fiction and essays have appeared in Web Conjunctions, jubilat, Open Letters Monthly, and other publications. She is a founding editor of Big Big Wednesday, an annual print journal of literature and visual art, and has taught creative writing in a number of settings, most recently at an alternative school for young women who are pregnant or parenting. In 2019, she will be a funded resident at the Lillian E. Smith Center at Piedmont College. She holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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Braiding Sweetgrass and the Self

All Levels | Interwoven with themes from Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass, this generative class will encourage writers to delve into their relationship with identity, the body, nature, biology, ancestors, community, and the living world. Each week, students will come away…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Gabriela Denise Frank

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Start Date: 01/20/2022 - 5:00 pm PST
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Gabriela Denise Frank

Gabriela Denise Frank's work has appeared in galleries, storefronts, libraries, anthologies, magazines, podcasts and online. Her essays and short fiction have been published in True Story, Hunger Mountain, Bayou, Baltimore Review, Crab Creek Review and The Rumpus. Her writing and literary art installations are supported by 4Culture, Jack Straw, Artist Trust, Mineral School, Vermont Studio Center and the Civita Institute.

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I Versus Not-I: Writing alongside Samuel Beckett and Anastacia Reneé

Intermediate | In this class we’ll write alongside two writers who, in very different but equally striking and funny ways, call into question what we know about ourselves and our past. We’ll compare Beckett’s disembodied mouth-monologue, “Not I,” to Anastacia…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Deborah Woodard

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Start Date: 01/22/2022 - 1:10 pm PST
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Deborah Woodard

Deborah Woodard's first full-length collection, Plato's Bad Horse, appeared in 2006 (Bear Star Press). Her new collection, Borrowed Tales, was recently published by Stockport Flats.

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Ulysses: Reading and Interpreting a Masterwork and its Orbiters

Intermediate | Ulysses was partially serialized and then published fully in 1922. Promptly, it was banned. The book is composed of three parts and eighteen episodes, and is widely considered a masterpiece, yet also deemed inaccessible by many readers. In…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Stacy Selby

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Start Date: 01/23/2022 - 1:10 pm PST
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Stacy Selby

Stacy Selby is a graduate of the MFA program in fiction at Syracuse University. Their work has been published in the New Ohio Review, Boulevard, and Bellevue Literary Review, amongst others. They have a book forthcoming from Grove Atlantic.

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Reading & Writing the SAL Poetry Series

All Levels | Join Seattle Arts & Lectures Executive Director and Poetry Series host Rebecca Hoogs for a generative writing class inspired by this year’s Poetry Series. In this class you will read and discuss a poem or two by…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Rebecca Hoogs

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Start Date: 01/23/2022 - 10:00 am PST
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Rebecca Hoogs

Rebecca Hoogs is the author of Self-Storage and a chapbook, Grenade. She is the Associate Director for Seattle Arts & Lectures and occasionally teaches in the summer Creative Writing in Rome program for the UW.

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Melissa Febos’ Girlhood: Writing Against Patriarchy

Intermediate | Each week, we’ll read an essay from Melissa Febos’s new memoir-in-essays, Girlhood, and use her work as a basis for drafting our own essays about experiences of gender, sexuality, and embodiment. We’ll focus on how she uses writing…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Kaelie Giffel

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Start Date: 02/01/2022 - 1:10 pm PST
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Kaelie Giffel

Kaelie Giffel is a writer, labor organizer and teacher, formerly based in Seattle, WA. Now, she is living in Durham, NC. Kaelie is working on a dissertation that blends literary criticism and memoir to critique contemporary patriarchy and capitalism. Kaelie has received fellowships to support her research, dissertation, and collaborative work with community colleges in Seattle. She has been published in academic and online venues, including Twentieth-Century Literature and Reimagining the PhD. She has previously taught at the University of South Carolina and the University of Washington where she received teaching awards for her writing courses. She currently works as a sexual harassment prevention training specialist with University of Washington’s Empowering Prevention and Inclusive Communities (EPIC), where she develops curriculum to empower workers against harassment. Her teaching style is trauma-informed and strengths-based, focusing on the knowledge students bring in and how best to help them build their writing projects.

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Gabriel García Márquez (EN ESPAÑOL)

Este curso se enfoca en Gabriel García Márquez, uno de los mejores escritores del siglo XX. Basados en sus trabajos, nos centraremos en cómo encontrar una historia, la elección del momento adecuado para comenzar, cómo aprovechar el punto de vista,…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Margarita Borrero

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Start Date: 02/03/2022 - 10:00 am PST
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Margarita Borrero

Doctora en literatura europea, Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain

Margarita Borrero es novelista, premiada y publicada en España, y escritora de relatos, género en el que ha ganado media docena de primeros lugares en distintos certámenes en España, Estados Unidos y Canadá. Durante más de una década se ha desempeñado como docente de Escuela de escritores, una de las instituciones privadas de escritura creativa más grandes del mundo hispanohablante, miembro de la Asociación Europea de programas de escritura creativa. También ha trabajado como profesora asociada en Mount Saint Mary University, en Los Ángeles.

PhD European Literature, Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain

Margarita Borrero is an award-winning novelist from Colombia. She has received numerous short story awards in Spain, Canada and the United States. She teaches at Madrid’s Escuela de Escritores, one of the top private creative writing institutions of the Hispanic world and a member of the European Association of Creative Writing Programs. She has also worked as an associate professor at Mount Saint Mary University in Los Angeles.

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Everything I Know About Writing, I Learned from John Williams

All Levels | These workshops will reveal just how much we can learn through a close reading of a single work. By laser-focusing our attention on one brilliant piece, we’ll be able to deconstruct all aspects of craft: narration, characterization,…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 02/07/2022 - 6:00 pm PST
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Steve Almond

Steve Almond is the author of twelve books of fiction and non-fiction including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His novel All the Secrets of the World, will be published in 2022. His short fiction has appeared in the Best American Short Stories, the Pushcart Prize, and Best American Mysteries. His essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere. Almond teaches at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and Wesleyan University, and lives outside Boston with his wife, three children, and considerable anxiety.

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Toni Morrison’s Beloved

All Levels | One of the most celebrated writers in American English, Toni Morrison creates masterful and complicated narrative structures and employs neologisms to convey unspeakable things often left unspoken. We’ll look at the structure of Morrison’s masterpiece, Beloved (1987)…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Michele L. Simms-Burton

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Start Date: 02/12/2022 - 1:10 pm PST
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Michele L. Simms-Burton

Michele L. Simms-Burton, Ph.D. is a writer, instructional systems designer, scholar of African American and Africana studies, and a former tenured and university professor. She has held appointments as a professor at the University of Michigan, University of Rochester, Howard University, the University of Maryland University College, the George Washington University, and George Mason University. She also served as the Academic Dean for the Center for Talented Youth (CTY) at Johns Hopkins University. Her publications include flash guides, essays, book reviews, short stories, and poetry appearing in The Crisis Magazine, African Voices, DownBeat, DC Metro Theater Arts, For Harriet, Medium, Callisto Media, Joint Literary Studies, The Chronicles of Higher Education, The San Francisco Chronicle, the American Studies Journal of Turkey, the Hemingway Review, Callaloo, the Detroit Free Press, and the Detroit Women’s Voices, to name a few. She has served as a ghostwriter for various media outlets and individuals. She was the founding secretary-treasurer of the Toni Morrison Society and has co-chaired the Committee on Language and Literatures of People of Color in the Americas at the Modern Language Association (MLA). She has been a researcher and consultant on various film projects about African American culture, with her most recent contribution being a documentary about Sammy Davis Jr. to be aired on the American Masters program on PBS. She is also a radio commentator on “The Margins” hosted by E. Ethelbert Miller on WPFW in Washington, DC. She lectures on African American studies in Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the United States. Her current writing projects are a novel about the 1967 Detroit Rebellion and collection of short stories that unveils the suppressed, ignored, or silenced voices of historical Black women and girls.

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Among Animals: Living With and Writing About Species Other Than Our Own

All Levels | A marmoset joins Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s household in Sigrid Nunez’s Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury; a falconer bonds with a goshawk after her father’s death in H is for Hawk. Dogs see Jennifer Finney Boylan and…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jacqueline Kolosov

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Start Date: 02/17/2022 - 7:10 pm PST
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Jacqueline Kolosov

Jacqueline Kolosov is the recipient of an NEA Literature Fellowship. She has published 3 full-length collections of poetry along with YA/NA novels, and stories, essays & myriad hybrid forms. She has coedited 3 anthologies of contemporary writing, most recently Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of 8 Hybrid Literary Genres, winner of Foreword's IndieFab Gold Medal in Writing.

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Metaphor in Theory and Practice (IN-PERSON)

All Levels | To craft powerful metaphors, writers need a deep understanding of how metaphors work. In this co-taught course, we’ll discuss metaphor theory. We’ll ask: How does the body give rise to metaphor? Is metaphor conceptual or ornamental? Are…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Kascha Semonovitch and Roger Gilman

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Start Date: 02/19/2022 - 1:10 pm PST
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Kascha Semonovitch and Roger Gilman

Kascha Semonovitch’s poems and essays have appeared in journals including Quarterly West, The Bellingham Review, Zyzzyva, The Kenyon Review and others, and in the chapbook Genesis by Dancing Girl Press. She has a PhD in philosophy from Boston College, an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College. She has fellowships at the MacDowell Colony and the Ucross Foundation, and her creative nonfiction was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Kascha has edited two collections of philosophical essays on early twentieth century European thought, and published academic essays, mostly recently Attention and Expression in Simone Weil. She has taught philosophy at Boston College, Seattle University, and Hugo House in Seattle. She runs an art gallery in Seattle.

Teaching Philosophy: I believe that we learn by reading – whether the work of our classmates, contemporary authors or canonical works. The work of a teacher lies in asking –and re-asking –questions that motivate us to pay attention to these texts. In class, we think together by articulating our interpretations. When we reach a conflict of interpretation – “Oh, I thought Robert Hass was talking about beauty” or “I thought Descartes meant his elbow”– then we inquire into the reasons for the conflict. After such careful reading, we are ready to re-read our own writing. We are better at paying attention to what is happening in syntax and semantics.

As a faculty member at Seattle University for over seven years, I taught the history of philosophy, critical thinking, and ethics. Philosophers pay attention to the history and internal consistency of systems and concepts. This type of paying attention is also invaluable to writers. For example, we might ask whether poet thought through the connections between the terms in a text and the deep history of texts that precede it? Does a fictional or poetic world hold together consistently? I love learning by reading with students.

Roger Gilman has a PhD in Philosophy from The University of Chicago. He taught interdisciplinary courses in the Arts and Sciences at Northeastern University in Chicago. He held positions as department Chair and Dean of the College. He is a former poetry editor of the Chicago Review and has published poems in various magazines, among them Poetry Northwest. He is a winner of the Boynton Prize in poetry and of a National Endowment of the Humanities fellowship. His research concerns theories of metaphoric meaning-making and the role of metaphors in artworks and scientific explanations.

Teaching Philosophy: Good teaching, in my view, requires listening well. I design classes around a question or puzzle. And I start each class session with a question. The question may be one I’ve elicited from the students or one that I think helps unfold the issues presented by the overall course plan. I think all of us are naturally and intensely curious about the world and ourselves. And especially about all the dimensions of our craft that helps define us and gives meaning to our lives. When a student makes a comment and adds to our conversation, I follow up their line of thinking and feeling with questions that I hope help them unfold their own ideas and induces them to compare them with the ideas others have expressed in class. My classes usually deploy a mixture of mini-lectures and group discussion, the use of well-targeted texts and liberal use of the white board. I usually provide short texts of theoretical work and a generous supply of poems to analyze, and hope that these texts inform each other.

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Turning Ancestral Research into Narrative

Intermediate | In this class, we’ll build stories of ourselves from letters, photographs, public records, doctors’ prescriptions, dating profiles, and other sources via study of Audre Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, Porochista Khakpour’s Brown Album, Sophia Shalmiyev’s…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Katie Lee Ellison

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Start Date: 03/07/2022 - 5:00 pm PST
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Katie Lee Ellison

Katie Lee Ellison is an author for the Penguin Random House children's biography series Who was/What was...?, and she is working on a memoir tentatively entitled Everything We Wanted. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Shenandoah, Moss, Crab Creek Review, Arcadia, Jewish in Seattle, and elsewhere. She holds a BA in English Lit from Wellesley and an MFA from the University of Idaho. She was a 2016-2017 Hugo House Fellow, a 2018 alum of the TENT program at the Yiddish Book Center, and 2020 Tin House Summer Workshop attendee.

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Everything I Know About Writing, I Learned from James Baldwin

All Levels | These workshops will reveal just how much we can learn through a close reading of a single work. By laser-focusing our attention on one brilliant piece, we’ll be able to deconstruct all aspects of craft: narration, characterization,…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 03/14/2022 - 6:00 pm PDT
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Steve Almond

Steve Almond is the author of twelve books of fiction and non-fiction including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His novel All the Secrets of the World, will be published in 2022. His short fiction has appeared in the Best American Short Stories, the Pushcart Prize, and Best American Mysteries. His essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere. Almond teaches at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and Wesleyan University, and lives outside Boston with his wife, three children, and considerable anxiety.

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