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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: 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

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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The Art of Being Published Without an Agent

All Levels | If you ask ten successful writers how they got their first great work published, you will get ten completely different answers. We’ll explore the art of crafting the perfect query letter. We will discuss how to maneuver…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Richard Chiem

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Start Date: 08/10/2019 – 10:00 AM

Richard Chiem

Richard Chiem is the author of You Private Person (Sorry House Classics) and the novel King of Joy (Soft Skull Press, 2019). His work has appeared in City Arts Magazine, NY Tyrant, and Gramma Poetry, among other places. His book, You Private Person, was named one of Publisher Weekly's 10 Essential Books of the American West. He lives in Seattle, WA.

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Telling One Story to Tell Another: Nonfiction of Depth and Width

All Levels | Whether you’re working on a memoir or a long essay, this will help you find a fresh way to frame your narrative. Like a Rothko painting with several bandwidths of color, your book or essay can possess…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Christine Hemp

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Start Date: 08/10/2019 – 10:00 AM
2 seats available

Christine Hemp

Christine Hemp has aired her essays and poems on NPR’s Morning Edition, and a poem of hers has traveled over a billion miles on a NASA mission to monitor the prenatal activity of stars. Her awards include a Washington State Artist Trust Fellowship for Literature, an Iowa Review Award for Nonfiction, and the Harvard University Extension Award for Teaching Writing. She is on the 2019-20 Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau with her talk “From Homer to #hashtags,” which explores our changing language. Her forthcoming memoir, Wild Ride Home, is scheduled for publication in Spring 2020. She lives in Port Townsend, Washington with two horses, two cats, and one husband.

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Part Monster: Writing ‘Craziness’

Intermediate/Advanced | Writers explore the craft questions of writing “crazy,” from the quiet stutterings of mental illness to the way violence echoes in us. Beginning with an overview of how trauma and shame interact with writing, we’ll discuss bearing self-exposure,…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Katherine E. Standefer

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Start Date: 08/10/2019 – 10:00 AM

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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Editing Your Work

Introductory/Intermediate | They say writing is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. However, many aspiring writers get stuck after inspiration because they don’t know how to edit their own work. This class will offer an overview of key craft…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Laurel Saville

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Start Date: 08/10/2019 – 1:00 PM

Laurel Saville

Laurel Saville has been a self-supporting, award-winning writer for more than a decade. She is a corporate communications consultant, the author of the memoir Unraveling Anne and the novel Henry and Rachel. She has taught at the graduate and undergraduate level.

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Heart of the Story

Intermediate | What is it that beats beneath the surface of a story and breathes into every page and revision? “The story knows itself better than the writer does at some point,” writes Joy Williams—but getting closer to the devious…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Diana Xin

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Start Date: 08/17/2019 – 10:00 AM

Diana Xin

Diana Xin holds an MFA from the University of Montana. Her fiction has appeared in Gulf Coast, Narrative, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. Most recently, she was named winner of Third Coast Magazine's 2017 fiction contest. She is a contributing editor to Moss Lit and a 2015 recipient of the Made at Hugo House fellowship.

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The Art of Applying: Fellowships, Residencies, and Grants

Knowing how to write a strong application for fellowships, residencies, or grants is an essential skill for all writers. This class will teach you how to identify and apply for a wide range of funding opportunities. Topics covered will include…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Chelsea Biondolillo

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Start Date: 08/17/2019 – 10:00 AM

Chelsea Biondolillo

Chelsea Biondolillo is the author of The Skinned Bird, and two prose chapbooks, Ologies and #Lovesong. Her work has been collected in Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016, Waveform: Twenty-first Century Essays by Women, and How We Speak To One Another: An Essay Daily Reader, among others. She is a former Olive B. O'Connor fellow at Colgate University, and her work has been supported by Oregon Literary Arts, Wyoming Arts Council and the Consortium for Science and Policy Outcomes/NSF. She has a BFA in photography from Pacific NW College of Art and an MFA in creative writing/environmental studies from the University of Wyoming. She lives and works outside of Portland, Oregon. roamingcowgirl.com

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Memory Space: Inherited Trauma & the Failure of Language

How does writing open up space for processing trauma or grief? We will explore the articulation of experience and trauma (lived and inherited), looking at how personal history and identity relate to aesthetics and narrative. We’ll investigate personhood and interspecies…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Janice Lee

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Start Date: 08/17/2019 – 10:00 AM

Janice Lee

Janice Lee is the author of KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), and The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). She writes about the filmic long take, slowness, interspecies communication, the apocalypse, and asks the question, how do we hold space open while maintaining intimacy? She is Founder & Executive Editor of Entropy, Co-Publisher at Civil Coping Mechanisms, Contributing Editor at Fanzine, and Co-Founder of The Accomplices LLC. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Portland State University. She can be found online at janicel.com.

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The Story Circle: The Modern Hero’s Journey

All Levels | This class guides students through the planning and creation of fiction using the Story Circle, which is a modern adaptation of the Hero’s Journey in myth and literature. We’ll look at how each protagonist’s path was developed…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Joe Ponepinto

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Start Date: 08/17/2019 – 10:00 AM

Joe Ponepinto

Joe Ponepinto is the publisher and fiction editor of Tahoma Literary Review, a nationally-recognized literary journal, and teaches fiction writing at Tacoma Community College. His novel, Mr. Neutron, will be published by 7.13 Books in spring 2018. His stories and criticism have been published in dozens of journals in the U.S. and abroad.

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Generative Revision

Intermediate/Advanced | Toni Morrison has said that “as a writer, a failure is just information,” and revision is recognition of past failure. In this class, we’ll study how to improve our writing through utilizing a process of “conscious” revision, where…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Bill Carty

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Start Date: 08/26/2019 – 6:00 PM

Bill Carty

Bill Carty has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Artist Trust, and Hugo House. He is the author of Huge Cloudy (forthcoming, Octopus Books). His poems have appeared in the Boston Review, Ploughshares, Iowa Review, and other journals.

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Wounded Little Liars: Characters in Fiction and Non-Fiction

All Levels | These people in your stories… Who hurt them? Who loved them once and left them? What are your characters doing to their world and themselves because of their wounds? In this one-day deep-dive into your characters’ truths…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Sonora Jha

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Start Date: 08/31/2019 – 1:00 PM
4 seats available

Sonora Jha

Sonora Jha is the author of the novel Foreign, published in 2013 by Random House India. She is a professor of journalism and media studies at Seattle University. Formerly a journalist in India and Singapore, her recent political essays and Op-Eds have been published in the New York Times, the Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly and the Globalist. Apart from her academic and journalistic writing, she is currently finishing work on a memoir. Sonora is a current Hugo House Writer-in-Residence.

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