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Class Catalog

Browse Fall 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, for the remainder of 2020.

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


Fall Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ Donor Registration (by phone only): August 17
Member Registration: August 18
General Registration: August 25


Early Bird Pricing August 17 through August 31:

  • $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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Poetry & Talking Objects

Poems give voice to people — including the poet — but they can also let us speak through, for, to, or with things and creatures that do not normally communicate in words; from an ancient vase to a lock and…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Stephanie Burt

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Start Date: 09/26/2020 – 10:00 am

Stephanie Burt

Stephanie Burt is a poet, literary critic, and professor with eight published books, including two critical books on poetry and three poetry collections. Her essay collection Close Calls with Nonsense (Graywolf Press, 2009) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her next poetry collection is Advice from the Lights: Poems (Graywolf, 2017). Her other works include Don’t Read Poetry (Basic Books, 2019); The Poem is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them (Harvard UP, 2016); Belmont (2013); The Art of the Sonnet (Harvard University Press, 2010); Something Understood: Essays and Poetry for Helen Vendler (University of Virginia Press, 2009); The Forms of Youth: Adolescence and 20th Century Poetry (Columbia University Press, 2007); Parallel Play: Poems (Graywolf, 2006); Randall Jarrell on W. H. Auden (University Press, 2005); Randall Jarrell and His Age (Columbia University Press, 2002); and Popular Music (Center for Literary Publishing, 1999).

Burt grew up around Washington, DC, and received an A.B. from Harvard in 1994 and a Ph.D. in English from Yale in 2000. She taught at Macalester College for several years before becoming a professor of English at Harvard University.

The New York Times called Burt “one of the most influential poetry critics of her generation.” The recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, her writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, the Believer, and the Boston Review.

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Write Your Memoir: The First Chapter

UPDATE: The course description and dates have been updated from the print catalog. Introductory/Intermediate | Memoir author and book coach Ingrid Ricks will teach you how to open and structure your story in a way that grabs readers and lays…

Course Type: 5 Sessions  |   Instructor: Ingrid Ricks

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Start Date: 09/27/2020 – 10:00 am

Ingrid Ricks

Ingrid Ricks is an NYT-bestselling author, writing coach, ghostwriter and speaker who is passionate about leveraging personal storytelling to foster healing, awareness, empathy and change. Her memoirs include Hippie Boy, A Girl's Story and Focus. Visit ingridricks.com.

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Writing Pandemic Poems for Lament, Solace, Testimony

All Levels | Drawing on short readings from writers who have addressed pandemics — Giovanni Boccaccio, Daniel Defoe, Albert Camus, and writers addressing our predicament now — we will write poems to report personal experience, interrogate the public narrative, honor…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Kim Stafford

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Start Date: 09/27/2020 – 10:00 am
This class is full

Kim Stafford

Kim Stafford is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, most recently Wild Honey, Tough Salt (Red Hen Press). In 2018 he was named Oregon's Poet Laureate by Governor Kate Brown. He teaches writing at Lewis & Clark College, at Fishtrap, and at the Sitka Center.

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Writing About Loss

All Levels | In this class, we’ll use literature as a lens through which to explore how losses play out in individual lives and the lives of communities. We’ll turn a curious eye to how writers choose to represent grief,…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Liza Birnbaum

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Start Date: 09/28/2020 – 7:10 pm

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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Creating Your Book-Length Manuscript: Theme, Order, and Revision (ZOOM)

Intermediate/Advanced | We will explore the recurring images and motifs in your poems, looking toward the development of a chapbook or book-length manuscript. Order is more than merely a device or afterthought of one’s work. The instructor will provide exercises…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Judith Skillman

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Start Date: 09/29/2020 – 7:10 pm

Judith Skillman

Judith Skillman is the recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets and Artist Trust. Her recent collection is The Truth About Our American Births, Shanti Arts, 2020. Poems have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, Zyzzyva, We Refugees, and other journals and anthologies. She is the author of Broken Lines—The Art & Craft of Poetry. For more, please visit judithskillman.com.

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Write In, Breathe Out

All Levels | Are you feeling creatively blocked? Are these blockages showing up in your body and negatively impacting your writing practice? We’ll spend our time implementing writing rituals and practices as a community, generate new work in response to…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anastacia-Renee

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Start Date: 09/29/2020 – 10:00 am

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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Yearlong in Short Story

The End Date has been corrected from the catalog. In weekly meetings over the course of the 2020-2021 academic year, yearlong classes provide dedicated writers with an intensive path toward finishing a draft of a book. Whether you are early…

Course Type: 30 sessions  |   Instructor: Ramon Isao

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Start Date: 09/29/2020 – 7:10 pm
This class is full

Ramon Isao

Ramon Isao is a recipient of the Tim McGinnis Award for fiction, and his work has appeared in the Iowa Review, American Reader, Ninth Letter, and Hobart. His screenplays include ZMD, Junk, and Dead Body.

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Book Lab

This yearlong mentorship program is for students who have completed a Yearlong Manuscript course or anyone with a complete manuscript ready for extensive feedback. Students will be part of an intimate cohort of fellow writers that work together and one-on-one…

Course Type: Book Lab  |   Instructor: Tara Conklin

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Start Date: 09/30/2020 – 5:00 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

Tara Conklin

Tara Conklin is the author of The House
Girl (William Morrow, 2013) and The
Last Romantics (William Morrow, 2019),
both New York Times bestsellers. The Last
Romantics was a Barnes & Noble Book Club
Pick, IndieNext Pick, and was selected by
Jenna Bush Hager as the inaugural read for
The Today Show Book Club.

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How Stories Get Told: Voice and Narrative Distance

All Levels | Students will learn to differentiate author voice from character voice and how to blend the two. Also, they’ll learn how to manipulate the distance between the telling and the story events and characters. We will read selected…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Scott Driscoll

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Start Date: 09/30/2020 – 7:10 pm
This class is full

Scott Driscoll

Scott Driscoll is an award-winning instructor (UW, Educational Outreach award for Excellence in Teaching in the Arts and Humanities 2006), and his debut novel, Better You Go Home, was selected as the Foreword Reviews First Book Contest winner. He was the 1989 winner of the University of Washington’s Milliman Award for Fiction.

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Poetry II

Poetry II will add to your growing skill set in a supportive workshop environment. We’ll learn by closely reading and responding to mentor texts as well as each other’s poems, and practice the art of revision so that you can…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Erin Malone

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Start Date: 09/30/2020 – 1:00 pm

Erin Malone

Erin Malone was raised in Nebraska and Colorado. She’s the author of Hover (Tebot Bach Press), and a chapbook, What Sound Does It Make (Concrete Wolf). Her recent work has received fellowship support from Kimmel-Harding Nelson, The Anderson Center, Ucross, and Jentel, and has been included in journals such as FIELD, New Ohio Review, Radar Poetry, and Ruminate. She lives in Seattle and from 2016-2020 served as Editor of Poetry Northwest.

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Yearlong in Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction

In weekly meetings over the course of the 2020-2021 academic year, yearlong classes provide dedicated writers with an intensive path toward finishing a draft of a book. Whether you are early in the writing process or already have a rough…

Course Type: 30 sessions  |   Instructor: Karen Finneyfrock

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Start Date: 09/30/2020 – 7:10 pm
This class is full

Karen Finneyfrock

Karen Finneyfrock is a poet and novelist in Seattle, WA. She is the author of two young adult novels: The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door and Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, both published by Viking Children’s Books. She is one of the editors of the anthology Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls and the author of Ceremony for the Choking Ghost, both released on Write Bloody press. A former Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House, Karen teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools, Seattle Writes and Young Women Empowered.

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The Long Game

All Levels | A generative intensive establishes the foundations for a consistent creative practice. From making a commitment to your writer self to forming a creative habit, this course focuses on generating new work and developing critical and editorial skills…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Amber Flame

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Start Date: 10/01/2020 – 5:00 pm

Amber Flame

Amber Flame is a writer, composer, and performer whose work has garnered residencies with Hedgebrook, The Watering Hole, Vermont Studio Center, and YEFE NOF. Flame’s original work has been published in diverse arenas, including Def Jam Poetry, Winter Tangerine, The Dialogist, Split This Rock, Black Heart Magazine, Sundress Publications, FreezeRay, Redivider Journal, and more. A 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, Jack Straw Writer, and recipient of the CityArtist grant from Seattle’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Amber Flame’s first full-length poetry collection, Ordinary Cruelty, was recently published through Write Bloody Press. Amber Flame is a queer Black single mama just one magic trick away from growing her unicorn horn.

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The Late Show: Fast & Furious Writing for Writers 50 & Up

Introductory | In this generative workshop, we’ll learn the seven crucial steps to (re)entering and maintaining a writing practice at a later stage in life; explore three different genres (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) through prompts and a few readings; and…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Stephanie Barbe Hammer

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Start Date: 10/01/2020 – 1:10 pm

Stephanie Barbe Hammer

Stephanie Barbé Hammer is a 4 time nominee for the Pushcart Prize in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her work has appeared in Pearl, Hayden’s Ferry, the Bellevue Literary Review and S/tick among other places. She was a comp lit scholar for many years, but then decided she wanted to make creative work, rather than just talk about it. Born in New York City she now lives on Whidbey Island where she writes flash fiction, poetry, and occasional essays and teaches creative writing at community colleges and non-profits. She is the author of a novel The Puppet Turners of Narrow Interior (Urban Farmhouse Press in 2015), a poetry collection How Formal? (Spout Hill Press, 2014), and a chapbook, Sex with Buildings (Dancing Girl Press, 2012). She’s working on a new novel about a repentant drug dealer and a new poetry collection about being a city dweller attempting to deal with nature.

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The Fearless Pen

Introductory | For many writers, there is nothing as anxiety-inducing as the blank page, and this class is designed to help fearful writers find the courage needed to begin, or finish, a project. We will look at writers who admit…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Beth Slattery

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Start Date: 10/01/2020 – 10:00 am

Beth Slattery

Beth Slattery moved to Seattle after eighteen years of teaching creative writing and literature at Indiana University East. Since her relocation, she has been writing and editing. Beth is currently working on a collection of personal essays about her mid-life marriage to a Zimbabwean, a move from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest, and a reluctant acceptance of the call to adventure. Her most recent publications appear in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies and Southern Women’s Review. Beth’s recent editing work includes being a “beta” reader for an author with a multi-book publishing contract, content and copy editing of a personal essay collection, and providing comprehensive editing services on an edited academic volume that was later published by Oxford University Press. She has an M.A. in fiction writing from Miami University and an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine—Stonecoast.

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The Most Personal Essay

All Levels | We’ll study, write, and revise short essays that delve deeply into the first person, focusing on structure, narrative voice, and scene in order to cultivate vulnerability without self-indulgence, pathos without sentimentality, sharing without oversharing. Students will receive…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Nicole Hardy

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Start Date: 10/01/2020 – 5:00 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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