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Class Catalog

Browse Winter 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.

For help finding classes, contact our registrar or call us at 206.322.7030.

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: March 2
Member Registration: March 3
General Registration: March 10


Early Bird Pricing March 2 through March 16:

  • $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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Searching for Your Romance Voice and Style

All Levels | What’s the difference between a romantic story that grabs your imagination and one that puts you to sleep? The voice — so let’s go on a voice hunt. We’ll examine well-known romances and authors to figure out…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Eilis Flynn

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Start Date: 03/07/2020 – 10:00 am

Eilis Flynn

Over the years, Elizabeth Flynn, who writes as Eilis Flynn, has written fiction in the form of comic book stories, fantasies (romantic, urban, and historical), and short stories. She’s also a professional editor and has been for 40-some years, working with academia, technology, finance, genre fiction, and comic books. She can be reached at emsflynn.com (if you’re looking for an editor) or at eilisflynn.com (if you’re looking for a good read).

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Deep Wordplay

All Levels | By stripping language of its meaning, creating words, and focusing on sounds, shapes, and pleasure, this is an opportunity to step away from purpose and instead experience the joy of words for their own sake. We’ll find…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Erica Sklar

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Start Date: 03/07/2020 – 10:00 am

Erica Sklar

Erica Sklar writes, organizes, and scouts out wildlife around Seattle. You can find her and subscribe to her newsletter on Twitter @_sklarface_

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The Written and Then Spoken Word

All Levels | Should all poems be read aloud? Yes, indeed. Creating that credible voice — a poem that comes alive on the page as well from the mouth — is the goal of this workshop. Using innovated prompts, participants…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Gary Copeland Lilley

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Start Date: 03/07/2020 – 1:00 pm

Gary Copeland Lilley

Gary Copeland Lilley is the author of eight books of poetry, the most recent being The Bushman's Medicine Show, from Lost Horse Press (2017), and a chapbook, The Hog Killing, from Blue Horse Press (2018). He is originally from North Carolina and now lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has received the Washington DC Commission on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry. He is published in numerous anthologies and journals, including Best American Poetry 2014, Willow Springs, The Swamp, Waxwing, the Taos International Journal of Poetry, and the African American Review. He is a Cave Canem Fellow.

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The Title as Frame and Invitation Section II

All Levels | Where do great poem titles come from? What makes a title “great,” anyway? Through reading and discussing example poems by Angel Nafis, Alice Oswald, Lucille Clifton, Thomas Lux and others, we’ll explore this essential and too-often overlooked…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Elizabeth Austen

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Start Date: 03/07/2020 – 10:00 am

Elizabeth Austen

Elizabeth Austen traveled the state as Washington’s poet laureate for 2014-16, and is the author of Every Dress a Decision, which was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and is now in its fourth printing. New poems are forthcoming in New England Review and Spirited Stone: Lessons from Kubota’s Garden. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing - Poetry at Antioch University Los Angeles, and is an alumna of Hedgebrook and the Jack Straw Writers program.

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More than Memories: Making Meaning in Memoir

Memories aren’t enough. We have to connect them to culture, to history, to zeitgeist—and then be as clear and specific about our unique perspectives as possible. In this generative workshop, we’ll open a number of creative doorways (and windows and…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Kimberly Dark

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Start Date: 03/07/2020 – 10:00 am

Kimberly Dark

Kimberly Dark is the author of Fat, Pretty and Soon to be Old, The Daddies and Love and Errors. Her essays, stories and poetry are widely published in academic and popular online publications alike.

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Truth or Fiction?: Writing Life Stories

Introductory / Intermediate | Writing about real life can be tricky. You may not remember all the details—or, you may want to change information to protect people or make a story more interesting. But how much is OK to change?…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Susan Meyers

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Start Date: 03/07/2020 – 1:00 pm

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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Narrative Intimacy in Literary Nonfiction

All Levels | A recent New York Times article refers to a new wave of memoirs drawing on the intimate. While intimacy of voice in narrative nonfiction is not new, readers continue to seek deep human connection through books. Together,…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sarah Townsend

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Start Date: 03/10/2020 – 7:10 pm

Sarah Townsend

Sarah Townsend is the author of Setting the Wire: A Memoir of Postpartum Psychosis (The Lettered Streets Press, 2019). Her essays have appeared in The Writer in the World and Pitkin Review, and a coauthored paper with Elisabeth Young-Bruehl serves as a chapter in Subject to Biography: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and Writing Women’s Lives. Sarah received her MFA in creative writing from Goddard College, her MA in counseling psychology from Northwestern University, and is a graduate of the College of Letters at Wesleyan University. Setting the Wire has been featured on Beyond Well with Sheila Hamilton, The Ish with Cameron Dezen Hammon, and in the Chicago Review of Books. You can learn more about her at SarahTownsendWriter.com.

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Alternative Structures, Familiar Patterns

DATE CHANGE: This class will now start on 3/11 and is 4 sessions long. This has been updated from the print catalog.  Intermediate | Each piece we set out to write presents endless choices and decisions. By studying the structures…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Diana Xin

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Start Date: 03/11/2020 – 7:10 pm

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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Researching and Writing True Crime

Introductory | No matter when the crime in question took place, crime-writing is different than any other genre. It requires digging for documents, finding sources, conducting sensitive interviews, being at the scene of the crime, and researching cold cases. This…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Rebecca Morris

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Start Date: 03/11/2020 – 7:10 pm

Rebecca Morris

New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Morris is also a veteran journalist who worked in radio and television news in New York City; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington and was a free-lance writer for The Seattle Times, The Oregonian, People, Entertainment Weekly, and many other publications before she began writing true crime books.

Her first book, Ted and Ann, continues to be an e-book bestseller on Amazon (and is also available in paperback), and her e-book, Bad Apples – Inside the Teacher/Student Sex Scandal Epidemic, is the only book to look at the trend of female teachers having sex with underage students.

She is the author of A Murder in My Hometown (2018), A Killing in Amish Country - Sex Betrayal and a Cold-Blooded Murder (St. Martin's, 2016) and If I Can't Have You - Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance and the Murder of Her Children (St. Martin's 2014) with bestselling author Gregg Olsen. They are also the authors of the Notorious USA series, including The Boy Who Fired the First Shot, The Girl and the Horrors of Howard Ave., and The Stranger and the World’s Bravest Little Girl.

Rebecca attended Oregon State University, received a B.A. in Journalism from Seattle University, and has an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Brown University. She speaks about her work at libraries, schools, and writers’ conferences. She has taught writing, journalism, and playwriting at colleges and universities across the country. She lives in Seattle.

She appears frequently on television as a crime expert.

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The Ultimate Craft Class: How to Narrate, Construct Character, and Build Scenes

In this two-day intensive workshop, Almond will lead participants through several essential craft lessons. Participants will learn how to create dramatic scenes, unforgettable characters, and an irresistible narrator. They will complete in-class exercises to help bring the lessons home. The…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 03/14/2020 – 10:00 am
This class is full

Steve Almond

Steve Almond is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His forthcoming book is William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life. Steve's short stories have appeared in the Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies. His essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere. For many years, he hosted the Dear Sugars podcast with Cheryl Strayed.

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Dug up, Corrupted, Disarranged: Derived Poetry and Its Forms

Intermediate | In this course we’ll dig up, corrupt, and disarrange existing texts through forms like the glossa, and Terrance Hayes’s The Golden Shovel. We’ll also experiment with erasures and collage. Together we?ll look at the approaches and forms used…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Wryly McCutchen

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Start Date: 03/14/2020 – 1:00 pm

Wryly McCutchen

Wryly T. McCutchen is a poet, memoirist, and Seattle Area native. Their work has appeared in Wilde Magazine, Alive With Vigor, and Raven Chronicles. Their poetry collection My Ugly and Other Love Snarls is available from University of Hell Press.

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Mothering as Transformation: a Poetic Journey

All Levels | Writing poetry about mothers and the experience of motherhood is not easy because the act of mothering/being mothered is both beautiful and complicated. As more writers explore the lessons unique to this deeply personal passage and bond,…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Jessica Gigot

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Start Date: 03/14/2020 – 1:00 PM

Jessica Gigot

Jessica Gigot is a poet, farmer, teacher and musician. She has a small farm in Bow, WA called Harmony Fields that makes artisan sheep cheese and grows organic herbs. Jessica has lived in the Skagit Valley for over fifteen years and is deeply connected to the artistic and agricultural communities that coexist in this region. Her first book of poems, Flood Patterns, was published by Antrim House Books in 2015 and her writing appears in several publications, including Orion, Taproot, Gastronomica, The Hopper, Pilgrimage, About Place Journal, and Poetry Northwest.

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Write Stories in a Single Scene

All Levels | Some of the best stories get everything done in a single scene, no set change needed. We will look at examples of these small stories from masters of the form such as Yusinari Kawabata and Lucia Berlin…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Laura Scott

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Start Date: 03/15/2020 – 1:00 PM
This class is full

Laura Scott

Laura Lampton Scott’s work has appeared publications including Michigan Quarterly Review, Tin House online, and Notre Dame Review. She served as senior associate editor for the oral history Lavil: Life, Love and Death in Port-au-Prince. She’s a MacDowell Colony fellow.

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Your Obsession is Your Muse: Don’t Fight It, Write It!

Most good writing—whether fiction or nonfiction—arises from a writer’s obsessions. In this intensive session, we’ll discuss how to explore our obsessions on the page, without falling prey to self-absorption or sentiment. We’ll start by looking at the work of folks…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 03/16/2020 – 2:00 pm
1 seats available

Steve Almond

Steve Almond is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His forthcoming book is William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life. Steve's short stories have appeared in the Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies. His essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere. For many years, he hosted the Dear Sugars podcast with Cheryl Strayed.

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Where Your Story Starts: Doubt & Disequilibrium

Too often in our lives (off the page and on) we seek refuge in a sense of assurance and psychological stability. But our most intense and lasting experiences are ones that involve doubt and disequilibrium. So what happens when we…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Steve Almond

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Start Date: 03/16/2020 – 6:00 pm
This class is full

Steve Almond

Steve Almond is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His forthcoming book is William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life. Steve's short stories have appeared in the Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies. His essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere. For many years, he hosted the Dear Sugars podcast with Cheryl Strayed.

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