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Class Catalog

Browse Winter & 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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Building Tension, Winding Down the Clock

Intermediate | If your stories tend to run out of steam a few pages in, the problem may be that they lack tension. Creating drama requires building tension and the simplest way to do that is to set a countdown…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Josh Potter

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Start Date: 03/15/2021 – 7:10 pm

Josh Potter

Josh Potter is a writer based in Seattle whose prose is mainly concerned with the ways in which human interiority and physical landscapes relate. He grew up in Detroit, Michigan and studied journalism in Montana and moved to Seattle to work in outdoor education before earning his Masters in Fine Art at the University of Washington. Potter’s work attempts to reflect and examine his own complicity in colonial erasure as a white transplant to Seattle and the ways in which his own personal narrative is both inseparable and independent from national trauma. His stories and essays question how human conflict shapes geography. His personal essays have been featured in Guernica, Cascadia Rising and the New Limestone Review. His fiction has appeared in Driftwood Press, Sick Lit, City Arts and elsewhere. His short story, Snowdrift, won the JuxtaProse fiction contest in 2017.

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Writing Great Sentences

We’ll examine sentences from an array of authors and genres, analyzing how form and content align. We’ll look at structure (e.g. a “pocket” that hides or safeguards and a “u-turn” that surprises or subverts), diction (coinage, descriptions, word shifts), sound…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Geraldine Woods

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Start Date: 03/20/2021 – 10:00 am
This class is full

Geraldine Woods

I’m the author of a stack of grammar books (English Grammar For Dummies, English Grammar Workbook For Dummies, Webster’s New World Punctuation: Simplified and Applied, and more) and an educator with four decades of experience teaching every level of English from 5th grade through AP. My most recent book, 25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way (Norton, 2020), explores the techniques authors use to make their writing more effective. My only remotely cool moment came when I was interviewed by a reporter from MTV about the decision by “Panic! At the Disco” to drop their exclamation point.

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The Art of Experience

All Levels | Great travel writing, feature writing, personal essay, and memoir engages the reader in a writer’s keenly observed experience. But how, in an age of distraction, do you train yourself to observe intently, to soak in details like…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Kim Brown Seely

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Start Date: 03/20/2021 – 10:00 am

Kim Brown Seely

Kim Brown Seely’s debut memoir, Uncharted (Sasquatch Books / Penguin Random House 2019), was recently named one of the “best retirement books of 2019” by the Wall Street Journal, although Seely is nowhere near retiring. Winner of the 2016 Lowell Thomas Journalist of the Year Award and the Lowell Thomas Award in Environmental Journalism, she worked for many years as senior editor at Travel & Leisure magazine, contributing editor at National Geographic Adventure, and travel editor at Microsoft. She is a contributing writer for Virtuoso Life magazine, where she has won nearly a dozen awards for her work. She serves on the board of Copper Canyon Press and divides her time between Bellevue, WA and Hailey, Idaho.

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FREE Reaching for Joy

Poetry is not always about trauma or violence, though that is what makes us human. Poetry is also about happiness, joy, and triumph, and sometimes we forget these, too, make us human. This workshop will close-read and listen to works…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Luther Hughes

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Start Date: 03/25/2021 – 5:00 pm
This class is full

Luther Hughes

Luther Hughes, born and raised in Seattle, is author of Touched (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018), Founder of Shade Literary Arts, and Executive Editor for the The Offing . Along with Gabrielle Bates and Dujie Tahat, he co-hosts The Poet Salon podcast. He has been published in Poetry, Paris Review, New England Review, The Rumpus , and others. He is the recipient of the 2020 92Y Discovery Poetry Contest. Luther received his MFA from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Writing Great Sentences Section II

SECTION III: Due to great interest in this class, we’ve opened up a third section on 4/3 – registration is open now. We’ll examine sentences from an array of authors and genres, analyzing how form and content align. We’ll look…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Geraldine Woods

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Start Date: 03/27/2021 – 10:00 am
This class is full

Geraldine Woods

I’m the author of a stack of grammar books (English Grammar For Dummies, English Grammar Workbook For Dummies, Webster’s New World Punctuation: Simplified and Applied, and more) and an educator with four decades of experience teaching every level of English from 5th grade through AP. My most recent book, 25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way (Norton, 2020), explores the techniques authors use to make their writing more effective. My only remotely cool moment came when I was interviewed by a reporter from MTV about the decision by “Panic! At the Disco” to drop their exclamation point.

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How to Order Your Poetry Manuscript

All Levels | Part lecture and part workshop, this class gives you a hands-on approach to finding the best order for your manuscript to keep readers (and contest judges) hooked. Topics include why editors care about poem order, publishing industry…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

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Start Date: 03/27/2021 – 10:00 am
This class is full

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Last Train to the Midnight Market (Finishing Line Press), and Hour of the Ox (University of Pittsburgh Press), which won the 2015 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and the 2016 Florida Book Award bronze medal for poetry. She has received poetry fellowships from Kundiman and the Knight Foundation, and her work has appeared in Best New Poets 2015, december, The Georgia Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and more. She serves as a program coordinator for Miami Book Fair and producer for The Working Poet Radio Show.

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Learning from Lorde

All Levels | How do we navigate using anger productively? What is “erotic knowledge”? What is Black feminism? We will grapple with these questions and others as we explore selections from Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde, self-proclaimed…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Carlyn Ferrari

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Start Date: 03/28/2021 – 1:10 pm

Carlyn Ferrari

Carlyn Ferrari is an Assistant Professor of English at Seattle University where she teaches courses on African American literature and culture and Black Feminism. She received her Ph.D. in Afro-American Studies from the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she was awarded the Esther Terry Award for the Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation in Afro-American Studies. She also earned graduate certificates in Advanced Feminist Studies and African Diaspora Studies. Her research explores the intersection between Black feminist thought and literary ecocriticism. Her scholarship has been supported by William A. Elwood Fellowship in Civil Rights and African-American Studies at the University of Virginia, the Joyce Avrech Berkman Endowed Fund for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship, and the W. E. B. Du Bois Center Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is currently working on two book projects about poet and civil rights activist Anne Spencer.

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Writing Great Sentences Section III

We’ll examine sentences from an array of authors and genres, analyzing how form and content align. We’ll look at structure (e.g. a “pocket” that hides or safeguards and a “u-turn” that surprises or subverts), diction (coinage, descriptions, word shifts), sound…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Geraldine Woods

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Start Date: 04/03/2021 – 10:00 am
Registration for this class has not started.

Geraldine Woods

I’m the author of a stack of grammar books (English Grammar For Dummies, English Grammar Workbook For Dummies, Webster’s New World Punctuation: Simplified and Applied, and more) and an educator with four decades of experience teaching every level of English from 5th grade through AP. My most recent book, 25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way (Norton, 2020), explores the techniques authors use to make their writing more effective. My only remotely cool moment came when I was interviewed by a reporter from MTV about the decision by “Panic! At the Disco” to drop their exclamation point.

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Writing Riveting Sentences

All Levels | In this course, students will learn how to write suspenseful dialogue, riveting exposition, and descriptive detail that will keep your reader turning pages. Every week will feature a seminar-style discussion of what makes each craft element click,…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Joshua Marie Wilkinson

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Start Date: 04/05/2021 – 5:00 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

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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Writing Queerly

All Levels | Queer writers forced outside the margins have learned to write outside the margins: inventing new forms, language, new names for the world around us. In this generative workshop, students will trace the lineages and poetic strategies of…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sara Brickman

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Start Date: 04/05/2021 – 5:00 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

Sara Brickman

Sara Brickman (she/they) is a queer Jewish writer and performer born in Ann Arbor, MI. The winner of the Split This Rock Poetry Prize, Sara has received grants and recognition from the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Yiddish Book Center, 4Culture, and Artist Trust. A nationally renowned performer, she has collaborated with musicians Mary Lambert, Hollis Wong-Wear, and Led To Sea, and has created performances for On The Boards' Performance Lab and theaters nationwide. A BOAAT Writers Fellow and Ken Warfel Fellow for Poetry in Community, their writing appears in Narrative, Adroit, The Indiana Review, Muzzle, and the anthologies Ghosts of Seattle Past, The Dead Animal Handbook, and Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls. She is currently at work on a hybrid memoir about community resilience, trauma, statuary, and anti-racist organizing in Charlottesville, Virginia during the white-nationalist rallies of 2017. Sara holds an MFA from the University of Virginia and lives in Seattle, where they work in a library, teach writing to youth and adults, and parent a cat named Latke.

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Reading and Writing Disability

Introductory | This is an introductory course in disability studies. We will read work written by people with disabilities about their experiences living and thriving with disability, and we will also read some literary and cultural theory. We will read…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Emily Rapp Black

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Start Date: 04/06/2021 – 1:10 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

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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Intro to Writing Memoir: Part III Structuring and Sharing Your Stories

Introductory | This eight-week course will focus on methods for structuring your personal narratives so that they are powerful, unified, and publishable. The course will offer strategies for improving your stories’ impact, flow, and coherence, and give you plenty of…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Theo Nestor

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Start Date: 04/06/2021 – 5:00 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

Theo Nestor

Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too) (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008). Nestor has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education program since 2006.

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Out of the Blue, a Meteorite: Writing with South Asian Bhakti Poetry

All Levels | South Asian bhakti poetry has been described as “the breath-catching moment when self speaks to self more directly than you ever thought possible.” This centuries-old movement of devotional poetry finds the divine in the beloved, resulting in…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Shankar Narayan

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Start Date: 04/06/2021 – 7:10 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

Shankar Narayan

Shankar Narayan explores identity, power, mythology, and technology in a world where the body is flung across borders yet possesses unrivaled power to transcend them. Shankar is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Fellow at Kundiman and at Hugo House, and winner of prizes from Flyway and Paper Nautilus. Shankar draws strength from his global upbringing and from his work as a civil rights attorney for the ACLU. His work has appeared in Jaggery, Panoply, Crab Creek Review, Raven Chronicles, The Litfuse Anthology, WA 129 (a collection of Washington state poems curated by Poet Laureate Tod Marshall), and many other publications. Shankar is a recent 4Culture grant recipient for Claiming Space, a project to lift the voices of writers of color. In Seattle, he awakens to the wonders of Cascadia every day, but his heart yearns east to his other hometown, Delhi.

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Creative Nonfiction III

This class will be a mix of craft discussion and workshop to hone your essays so they pop on the page. Readings will include key elements of structure and narrative. For much of the class, your essays will serve as…

Course Type: 10 Sessions  |   Instructor: Gail Folkins

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Start Date: 04/06/2021 – 5:00 pm
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Gail Folkins

Gail Folkins often writes about her deep roots in the American West. She is the author of two creative nonfiction books from Texas Tech University Press: a Pacific Northwest memoir titled Light in the Trees (2016), and Texas Dance Halls: A Two-Step Circuit (2007), which was a popular culture finalist in ForeWord Review’s 2007 Book of the Year Awards. Folkins’ essay “A Palouse Horse” was a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2010. Her essays and poetry have appeared in publications such as River Teeth Journal - Beautiful Things, North Dakota Quarterly, Wisconsin Life, Texas Highways, and Wildflower Magazine. She has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, St. Edward’s University (Austin), and Austin Community College.

Teaching philosophy: My goal is to further understanding of craft while also encouraging expression of students’ unique voices. Students have praised my workshop format and student-centered approach. Students learn to not only share a narrative, but to also explore their experiences and discoveries. I encourage students to read as writers, meaning focusing on elements of craft in addition to literary themes.

Writers I return to: Edward Abbey, Julia Alvarez, Margaret Atwood, Kim Barnes, Rick Bass, Dennis Covington, Louise Erdrich, Ernest Hemingway, Pico Iyer, and Jhumpa Lahiri.

Favorite writing advice: Find the extraordinary in the everyday.

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Writing a World of Wonders

All Levels | Aimee Nezhukumatathil describes wonder as surprise—when one’s curiosity is, “confronted with something unfamiliar or unexpected and that sense of curiosity turns into joy and excitement.” We will immerse ourselves in her book World of Wonders: In Praise…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Gabriela Denise Frank

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Start Date: 04/06/2021 – 5:00 pm
Registration for this class has not started.

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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