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Class Catalog

Browse Spring 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 Spring quarter 2021.

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


Spring Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ Donor Registration (by phone only): March 8
Member Registration: March 9
General Registration: March 16


Early Bird Pricing March 8 through March 22:

  • $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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You’ve Got to Get Your Writing Life Organized

Section II: Due to great interest in this class, we have opened up a second section of this class on 6/2. Registration is open now. All Levels | Is your writing life a junkyard of started projects, scattered notes, and misplaced…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Paulette Perhach

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Start Date: 05/02/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT
This class is full

Paulette Perhach

Paulette Perhach’s writing has been published in the New York Times, Elle, Vice, Slate, Inc., McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Hobart, Vice, Yoga Journal, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Glamour, and The Stranger. She’s worked for Health and Coastal Living magazines, as well as various newspapers. In 2013, Hugo House selected her as a Made at Hugo House Fellow.

She received the 2016 BlogHer Voices of the Year award for her essay, “A Story of a Fuck Off Fund,” which is anthologized in The Future is Feminist from Chronicle Books, along with work by Roxane Gay, Mindy Kaling, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Caitlin Moran, and Audre Lorde.

A returned Peace Corps Volunteer, she’s also won multiple Solas Awards for her travel writing.

In 2015 she created the Writer’s Welcome Kit, the online course sold through Hugo House, which includes a 55,000-word workbook, writer’s templates, and writer interviews. To date, more than 600 students have taken the course.

Her book, Welcome to the Writer's Life, was published by Sasquatch Books, part of the Penguin Random House publishing family, and was selected as one of Poets & Writers' Best Books for Writers.

She blogs about everything a writer needs to thrive – craft, personal finance, business skills, and joy – at WelcomeToTheWritersLife.com. The site also offers a newsletter with a year of daily writing prompts.

She keeps a casual podcast about creativity and money called Can We Talk About Money?

Learn more and read her work at PaulettePerhach.com.

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Interiority Complex Section II

Intermediate/Advanced | The great advantage of prose (over theater, film, and life) is that we’re privy to characters’ interior states. But how can a writer get thoughts and emotions across, other than by stating them flat-out or by updating us…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Rebecca Makkai

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Start Date: 05/02/2021 - 10:00 am PDT
This class is full

Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Hundred-Year House and The Borrower, and the story collection Music for Wartime. Her work has appeared four times in The Best American Short Stories.

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Revision Strategies

Intermediate | Do you find yourself at a loss when revising your fiction, spending hours moving commas around while the larger edits evade you? Revising your writing can be an intimidating, overwhelming experience, but it doesn’t have to be. In…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Cari Luna

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Start Date: 05/02/2021 - 10:00 am PDT
2 seats available

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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Uptown Problems: Getting Real About The Great Gatsby

All Levels | The Great Gastby is a classic—but of what, exactly? Narrative economy or simplistic character development? Class striving or white supremacy? Love lost or childish ideas? As it goes into the public domain, let’s revisit this canonical novel…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Michael Shilling

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Start Date: 05/03/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT

Michael Shilling

Michael Shilling is the author of Rock Bottom, a novel published by Little, Brown. The musical adaptation of the book was staged in 2014 by the Landless Theater Company. His stories have appeared in The Sun, Fugue, and Other Voices.

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Writing a Philosophy of Time

All Levels | Time is always tricky, and writing about it is even trickier. Is the flow of passing moments subjective or is it something that’s out there and real? And what are moments? My class will be a combination…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Charles Tonderai Mudede

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Start Date: 05/04/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT

Charles Tonderai Mudede

Charles Tonderai Mudede is a Zimbabwean-born writer, filmmaker, and cultural critic. He writes about film, books, music, crime, art, economics, and urban theory for The Stranger. Mudede has made three films, two of which, Police Beat and Zoo, premiered at Sundance, and one, Zoo, was screened at Cannes. Mudede has written for the New York Times, Arcade Journal, Cinema Scope, Ars Electronica, The Village Voice, Radical Urban Theory, and C Theory. Mudede is also on the editorial board for the Black Scholar, which is based at the University of Washington, and between 1999 and 2005, lectured on post-colonial theory at Pacific Lutheran University, and in 2003 published a short book, Last Seen, with Diana George. Mudede has lived in Seattle since 1989.

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Writing Alongside The Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy 2020

All Levels | Each week, we will read and discuss at least two stories from BASFF 2020. Lesson plans will focus on story elements such as worldbuilding, character development, time management, information release, and more. In-class exercises and writing prompts…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Ruth Joffre

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Start Date: 05/04/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT

Ruth Joffre

Ruth Joffre is the author of the story collection Night Beast (Grove Atlantic 2018). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Mid-American Review, The Masters Review, Prairie Schooner, Hayden's Ferry Review, and Copper Nickel. Her book reviews have been published in The Rumpus, The Millions, Kenyon Review Online, and Colorado Review. Ruth is the 2020-2021 Prose Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House. She lives in Seattle.

Writers I return to: Kelly Link, N. K. Jemisin, Ted Chiang, Jeff VanderMeer, Alexander Chee, Mary Gaitskill, Lydia Davis, Annie Proulx, Kathy Fish

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Point of View in Poems

Intermediate | Every story has a teller. Every poem has a speaker and a point of view: first person, second person, or third person. First person uses I, second person uses you (one other person, the self, a crowd), and…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sharon Bryan

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Start Date: 05/05/2021 - 5:00 pm PDT

Sharon Bryan

Sharon Bryan received her BA in Philosophy and an MA in Anthropology before she began to write poetry, and then received her MFA from the University of Iowa.

She has published four books of poems: Sharp Stars, Flying Blind, Objects of Affection, and Salt Air, which won The Governor’s Award from the State of Washington. She received the Isabella Gardner Award for Sharp Stars. Her other awards include two NEA Fellowships in Poetry, an Academy of American Poet’s Prize, the Discovery Award from The Nation, an Artist Trust Grant from the Washington State Arts Council, a Senior Fellowship to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, a grant from the Utah Arts Council for the film collaboration Eureka, and a Fellowship in Poetry from the Tennessee Arts Commission, among others. She was Poet-in-Residence at The Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire.

She is also the editor of two collections: Where We Stand: Women Poets on Literary Tradition, and, with William Olsen, Planet on the Table: Poets on the Reading Life.

She taught at the University of Washington for seven years and at Memphis State University for six. Since then she has taught as a visiting poet in almost twenty writing programs around the country, including Dartmouth, the University of Houston, Western Michigan, Kalamazoo College, Ohio University, Wichita State, the University of Missouri at St. Louis, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, San Diego State, and Fresno State. She has also been on the faculty of low-residency MFA Programs at Pacific Lutheran Universitiy, Warren Wilson, Pacific University, and Fairfield University.

She is currently on the faculty of the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Collaborative Playwriting for the Digital Space

All Levels | Playwriting can often be a solitary process, at least until rehearsals start. But what if it didn’t have to be? Each week, we’ll explore the fundamentals of playwriting and discuss how digital spaces like Zoom, podcasts, TikTok,…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Danielle Mohlman

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Start Date: 05/05/2021 - 5:00 pm PDT

Danielle Mohlman

Danielle Mohlman is a nationally produced playwright based in Seattle, WA. Her plays have been developed at Arena Stage, the Kennedy Center, the Cherry Lane Theatre, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Cygnet Theatre, Rorschach Theatre, Field Trip Theatre, Umbrella Project, Youth Theatre Northwest, The Scratch & Really Really Theatre Group, and Seattle Public Theater, among others. Danielle is an alumna of Playwrights’ Arena at Arena Stage, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship, and the Umbrella Project Writers Group. She is a proud graduate of both Cal Poly Pomona and Emerson College. She is currently developing multiple projects for theatre, film, and audio.

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Assembling the Manuscript

Advanced | As poets, how do we put books together? What does it mean to move from writing good poems to weaving and assembling an entire book? How do poets listen to the specific calls of the muse toward disparate…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Tess Taylor

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Start Date: 05/05/2021 - 5:00 pm PDT

Tess Taylor

Tess Taylor is a poet and the poetry critic for NPR’s All Things Considered and a columnist for CNN. Her most recent book is Rift Zone (Red Hen Press, 2020), which the Los Angeles Times called “brilliant.” In his
introduction to the collection, Ilya Kaminsky describes Taylor’s voice as “invaluable” and she is a “poet for our moment.” Her other books include Work & Days (Red
Hen Press, 2016), named one of the best poetry books of 2016 by The New York Times; The Forage House (Red Hen Press, 2013), a finalist
for the Believer Poetry Award which The San Francisco Chronicle called “stunning,” and the chapbook The
Misremembered World, which was selected by Eavan Boland for the Poetry
Society of America’s inaugural chapbook fellowship. In February 2020, Last West, an exciting book length commission from the Museum of
Modern Art, was published in conjunction with the MOMA show, Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures. ” Her work explores California and the
American West, her life as a critic, and the intersection of poetry and journalism.

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Mary Gaitskill’s Short Fiction

All Levels | This class will explore the craft of Mary Gaitskill’s short fiction, such as her concept of the “inner weave,” temporal distortions, and her matter-of-fact portrayal of taboo subjects. We will also discuss the recurring themes of sexuality,…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: John Englehardt

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Start Date: 05/05/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT

John Englehardt

John Englehardt is the author of Bloomland, winner of the 2018 Dzanc Prize for Fiction and the 2020 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. He has taught writing classes at University of Arkansas, Seattle Writes, Hugo House, and Seattle University.

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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

All Levels | Each week we will read a chapter of this ground-breaking, award-winning, Pulitzer Prize-nominated memoir that changed the shape of the genre. We will discuss the craft elements that make this book exemplary, including pacing, layering, lyricism, scene…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Emily Rapp Black

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Start Date: 05/05/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT

Emily Rapp Black

Emily Rapp Black is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir (BloomsburyUSA) and The Still Point of the Turning World (Penguin Press), a New York Times bestseller and an Editor’s Pick. A former Fulbright scholar, she was educated at Harvard University, Trinity College-Dublin, Saint Olaf College, and the University of Texas-Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. A Guggenheim Fellow, she has received awards and fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Jentel Arts Foundation, the Corporation of Yaddo, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Fundacion Valparaiso, and Bucknell University, where she was the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence. Her work has appeared in VOGUE, the New York Times, Die Zeit, The Times-London, Sunday Independent (UK), the Sydney Herald, Lenny Letter, Salon, Slate, Huffington Post, The Sun, TIME, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Redbook, O the Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and other publications and anthologies. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times Book Review, and frequently publishes scholarly work in the fields of disability studies, bioethics, and theological studies. She has taught literature and writing at Antioch University-Los Angeles, The University of New Mexico, where she was the Joseph M. Russo Endowed Chair of Creative Writing, UCLA, the Gotham Writers’ Workshop, The Lighthouse Writers’ Workshop, 24PearlStreet, and the UCR-Palm Desert Low Residency MFA in Writing and the Performing Arts. She is active in medical advocacy groups dedicated to changing socio-cultural discussions around palliative/hospice/end of life care and quality of life health care decisions. She is currently Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California-Riverside, where she also teaches medical narratives in the School of Medicine. She is a member of the Inequities in Health Care Working Group and an architect of the Medical Narratives minor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She is a founding member of Zoeglossia, a literary organization dedicated to creating inclusive spaces for poets with disabilities, as well as a mentor in the Along the Chaparral Project for Veterans at UCR. She regularly collaborates with visual artist Carrie Scanga; their most recent collaboration is an interactive, traveling art installation inspired by Rapp Black’s forthcoming book, Sanctuary. She was recently named the nonfiction editor of The Los Angeles Review of Books. Her book that explores art and disability through the life of Frida Kahlo is forthcoming from Nottinghill Editions/New York Review of Books in 2021. She is the mother of two children: Ronan (2010-2013), and Charlotte (age 6).

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The Next-Level Micro Essay

Intermediate/Advanced | This course operates as an extension of Anna’s original Micro Essay class–a dynamic study in techniques, with readings, prompts, and discussion of your own work, which you’ll generate in and out of class. Using the foundations of The…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anna Vodicka

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Start Date: 05/05/2021 - 5:00 pm PDT
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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Finding Your Subject and Your Authority in Nonfiction

Intermediate | This is a class about strategies writers use to discover their subjects and develop their authority while not-knowing, and how this essential risk can lead to greater vulnerability, complexity, and artistic surprise. We’ll read a lot–whole books by…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Kate Lebo

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Start Date: 05/05/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT
4 seats available

Kate Lebo

Kate Lebo’s writing is anthologized in Best American Essays 2015 and her first collection of nonfiction, The Book of Difficult Fruit, is forthcoming from FSG. She’s the author of Pie School and co-editor (with Samuel Ligon) of Pie & Whiskey.

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Language Renovation via the Lyric Essay

Intermediate | Part playful reading, part generative writing, this class explores how creative nonfiction and poetry can blend to become a fantastic “Other.” We’ll do a close reading of a plethora of essays, poems, and experimental forms. Class will include…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Cody Pherigo

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Start Date: 05/06/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT
5 seats available

Cody Pherigo

Cody Pherigo is a queer writing animal whose studies at Bent Writing Institute and Goddard College convinced him that poets uproot politicians. He was a 2016 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize finalist and 4Culture Artists Grant recipient. Cody has self-published two chapbooks: Blue Thunder Children (2011) and Animal’s Sabbath (2013). He is a writer-in-residence with the WITS program at Seattle Arts & Lectures. Born with meconium stuck in his throat, he has been extracting it ever since.

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Get Your Novel Done

All Levels | In this class, we’ll focus on every stage of writing a novel: from outlining and drafting to revision and completion. Each week we’ll focus on one aspect of the novelist’s practice—like developing an outline—as well as one…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Joshua Marie Wilkinson

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Start Date: 05/06/2021 - 5:00 pm PDT

Joshua Marie Wilkinson

Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author or editor of thirteen books. Born and raised in Seattle, he's on the English faculty at Seattle University.

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