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Class Catalog

Browse Spring 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, 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.

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 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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Online Class | Power and Presence: A Revision Intensive

VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom). Introductory / Intermediate | Have you been working on a short piece and having trouble finding ‘the center’? Have a stash of fragments that need to hang together? Spend some time…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jordan Alam

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Start Date: 04/17/2020 – 10:00 am

Jordan Alam

Jordan Alam is a queer Bangladeshi-American writer, performer, and social change educator based out of Seattle. Their work engages with moments of rupture and transformation in the lives of people on the margins. Jordan has performed on stage and facilitated workshops nationwide, most recently at Town Hall Seattle. Their short stories and articles have been published in The Atlantic, CultureStrike Magazine, The Rumpus, and AAWW’s The Margins among others. They are currently writing a debut novel which explores intergenerational trauma, Bengali folklore, and borders – both literal and metaphorical. Learn more about their work at their website: www.jordanalam.com.

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Online Class | Brevity SECTION II

VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom). A Second section of Brevity will take place on April 18, 2020 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. All Levels | A sustained argument for the excitement and urgency of literary…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: David Shields

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Start Date: 04/18/2020 – 2:00 pm

David Shields

David Shields is the New York Times bestselling author of sixteen books, including How Literature Saved My Life; Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of the year by more than thirty publications); The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead; Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award); Remote (winner of the PEN/Revson Award); and Salinger (co-written by Shane Salerno).

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Online Class | Brevity SECTION I

VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom). A Second section of Brevity will take place on April 18, 2020 from 2 – 5 p.m. All Levels | A sustained argument for the excitement and urgency of literary brevity…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: David Shields

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Start Date: 04/18/2020 – 10:00 am
2 seats available

David Shields

David Shields is the New York Times bestselling author of sixteen books, including How Literature Saved My Life; Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of the year by more than thirty publications); The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead; Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award); Remote (winner of the PEN/Revson Award); and Salinger (co-written by Shane Salerno).

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Online Class | Embodied Ecopoetics

VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom). All Levels | Why do we care about the natural world? What moves us to react to environmental crises, such as climate change and species extinction? How can scientific and spiritual…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Jessica Gigot

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Start Date: 04/18/2020 – 1:10 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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Online | Writing for Television: Crafting a Stellar TV Pilot

VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom). All Levels | Do you have a great idea for a TV show? Do you want to learn the basics of story structure, character development, and dialogue? This is the course…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Heather Pilder Olson

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Start Date: 04/19/2020 – 1:10 pm

Heather Pilder Olson

Heather Pilder Olson has written,
produced, and directed several awardwinning
films. She is currently producing The
River, a documentary about homelessness
in Aberdeen, WA. Her film Gold Balls
premiered at the Seattle International
Film Festival in 2016 and is slated for PBS
television in 2020.

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Online Class | 13 Ways to Make a Poem from Your Life

VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom). A poem begins with the writer and ends with the reader, but it must travel beyond the life of the poet to give the reader a meaningful experience. Using exemplary poems,…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Ellen Bass

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Start Date: 04/19/2020 – 12:00 pm

Ellen Bass

Ellen Bass‘s poetry includes Like a Beggar (Copper Canyon Press, 2014), The Human Line (Copper Canyon Press, 2007), and Mules of Love (BOA, 2002). She co-edited (with Florence Howe) the groundbreaking No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (Doubleday, 1973). Her nonfiction books include The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (HarperCollins, 1988, 2008) and Free Your Mind: The Book for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth (HarperCollins, 1996). Her work has frequently been published in the New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, and the New York Times Magazine, as well as many other journals. Among her awards are a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship from the California Arts Council, two Pushcart Prizes, the Lambda Literary Award, Elliston Book Award, Pablo Neruda Prize from Nimrod/Hardman, Larry Levis Prize from Missouri Review, and the New Letters Prize. She lives in Santa Cruz, California, and teaches in the MFA writing program at Pacific University. www.ellenbass.com

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Online Class | Bringing People to Life on the Page

VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom). All Levels | Cleopatra. Captain Ahab. Holden Caulfield. Jay Gatsby. Fanny Price. Louie Zamperini. Strong characters drive a story, whether in fiction or nonfiction. How do writers conjure such vivid portraits…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Nicholas O'Connell

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Start Date: 04/19/2020 – 1:10 pm

Nicholas O'Connell

Nicholas O’Connell, M.F.A, Ph.D., is the author of The Storms of Denali (University of Alaska Press, 2012), On Sacred Ground: The Spirit of Place in Pacific Northwest Literature (University of Washington Press, 2003), At the Field’s End: Interviews with 22 Pacific Northwest Writers (University of Washington Press Press, 1998), Contemporary Ecofiction (Charles Scribner’s, 1996) and Beyond Risk: Conversations with Climbers (Mountaineers, 1993). He has contributed to Newsweek, Gourmet, Saveur, Outside, GO, National Geographic Adventure, Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sierra, The Wine Spectator, Commonweal, Image and many other places. He is the publisher/editor of The Writer’s Workshop Review and the founder of the online and Seattle-based writing program, www.thewritersworkshop.net.

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Online Class | The Art of the Question

VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom). All Levels | To understand your characters or subjects, you must ask questions. This class will teach writers how to think about, compose, and refine questions, primarily for profiles and Q&A…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Jake Uitti

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Start Date: 04/20/2020 – 6:00 pm

Jake Uitti

Jake Uitti is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, Alaska Airlines Magazine, The Seattle Times, Salon, Atlas Obscura, The Stranger and many other publications. When not poring over a keyboard mid-interview, Jake can be found rolling around the Emerald City in a 2003 Chevy Impala looking for the city’s best ramen or cheese pizza slice. He is the author of two books from Reedy Press: 100 Things To Do In Seattle Before You Die and Unique Eats and Eateries: Seattle. The son of two Ivy League professors, Jake grew up amidst books of poetry and French literature, but soulful meals and compelling music are his true loves.

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Online Class | Creative Nonfiction I

VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom). What’s the best way to tell the nonfiction story you want to tell? Using generative writing, reading, and an introduction to the workshop model, we will investigate our own personal stories…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Beth Slattery

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Start Date: 04/21/2020 – 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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Online Class | The Hybrid Memoir: Why Not?

VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom). All Levels | This generative course investigates and practices a genre-busting form in creative nonfiction. Maybe you have thematic pieces you’re ready to string together, or maybe you enjoy a variety…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sarah Cannon

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Start Date: 04/22/2020 – 1:10 pm

Sarah Cannon

Sarah Cannon is the author of The Shame
of Losing (Red Hen Press, 2018), which was
a finalist for the Washington State Book
Awards in 2019. She lives in Edmonds, WA.

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Online Class | Writing About Friendship

VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom). All Levels | Friendships aren’t always taken as seriously in our culture as romantic or familial bonds, but they can be every bit as meaningful, dynamic, and complicated. In this class,…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Liza Birnbaum

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Start Date: 04/23/2020 – 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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Online Class | The Art of the Personal Essay

VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom). All Levels | In an effort to better understand the personal essay, we will study classic and contemporary pieces and investigate uses of voice, characterization, description, humor, and structure in our…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Beth Slattery

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Start Date: 04/23/2020 – 5:00 pm

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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Online Class | Breaking the Narrative Mold

VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom). NOTE from Mary: I’ve taught this course online before and been amazed at the level of participation and depth of communication from students… So please join us. All Levels | Learn…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Mary Potter

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Start Date: 04/23/2020 – 7:10 pm

Mary Potter

Mary Lane Potter is the author of A Woman of Salt: A Novel (2001 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection) and Strangers and Sojourners: Stories from the Lowcountry. She was awarded a Washington State Arts Commission/Artist Trust Fellowship and MacDowell and Hedgebrook residencies.

Potter’s nonfiction has appeared in River Teeth, Witness, Tiferet, Spiritus, SUFI Journal, Leaping Clear, Feminist Studies in Religion, SIGNS, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Minerva Rising, Hevria, and others. She’s currently completing a book of essays on the body/spirit tangle.

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Online Class | Writing, Fear, and Building a Personal Practice

Introductory / Intermediate | Writing, Fear, and Building a Personal Practice, will run via Zoom and email on Friday mornings, a rare daytime class! In this workshop we will examine our work patterns, challenges, goals, intentions, internalized beliefs, and fears through…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anne Liu Kellor

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Start Date: 04/24/2020 – 10:00 am

Anne Liu Kellor

Anne Liu Kellor is a multiracial Chinese American writer, teacher, editor, and coach. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in publications such as Longreads, The New England Review, The Normal School, Fourth Genre, Vela Magazine, and Literary Mama, and her manuscript, Heart Radical, was selected by Cheryl Strayed as 1st runner-up in Kore Press’s 2018 memoir contest. Anne has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, Hypatia-in-the-Woods, 4Culture, and Jack Straw.

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Online Class | Language as Sound, Narrative as Score

VIDEO: This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom). All Levels | This generative cross-genre workshop will consider the use of sound in narration. Participants will listen to the spoken word of Warsan Shire, perform close readings of Theresa Hak…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Sarah Townsend

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Start Date: 04/25/2020 – 1:10 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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