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Class Catalog

Browse Summer & Fall 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.


Fall Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

$500+ donor Registration: August 12
Member Registration: August 13
General Registration: August 20


Early Bird Pricing Aug. 12 through Aug. 26:

  • $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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Fiction II

This class will build upon craft learned in Fiction I. Students can expect advanced readings, regular workshops, and feedback from their classmates and instructor. We’ll look at each other’s drafts with an eye to properly balance the elements of story,…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Richard Chiem

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Start Date: 09/29/2019 – 10:00 am

Richard Chiem

Richard Chiem is the author of You Private Person (Sorry House Classics, 2017), and the novel, King of Joy (Soft Skull, 2019). You Private Person, was named one of Publishers Weekly’s 10 Essential Books of the American West. His work has been published by NY TyrantFanzine, and The Nervous Breakdown, among many other places. He was named a 2019 Writer to Watch by the Los Angeles Times. He has taught at Hugo House, Catapult, and at the University of Washington Bothell. He lives in Seattle.

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Write Your Memoir

All Levels | Is it time to tell your story, but you’re not sure how to begin? Are you deep in a draft but hitting a wall? Feeling unsure about structure? This class combines nuts-and-bolts instruction about the elements of…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Lisa Wells

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Start Date: 09/30/2019 – 5:00 pm
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Lisa Wells

Lisa Wells is the author of The Fix (2018), winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, and a book of nonfiction, forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Her work appears in Harper’s Magazine, Granta, The Believer, N+1, The Iowa Review, Best New Poets, at The Poetry Foundation and elsewhere. She’s taught poetry and nonfiction writing at the University of Iowa, the University of Arizona, and at Yale-NUS College in Singapore where she was a Writing Fellow in Residence. She lives in Seattle.

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The Art of the Question

Introductory | A seminar on the art of researching, writing, and refining questions to pose to subjects you plan to interview for upcoming work. We will examine how to write concise, enlightening, and specific questions; when to ask each question;…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Jake Uitti

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Start Date: 09/30/2019 – 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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Writing and Publishing the Middle Grade Novel

Intermediate / Advanced | What makes a novel uniquely middle-grade? This craft-intensive class will focus on developing voice, plotting, character development, scene construction, and dialogue pitched for the middle-grade reader, as well as revision and the submission process. We will…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Kevin Emerson

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Start Date: 09/30/2019 – 7:10 pm

Kevin Emerson

Kevin Emerson is the author of twenty middle grade and YA novels, published by HarperCollins, Random House, Scholastic and Little Brown. His most recent releases are Last Day on Mars and Any Second.

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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: Claire Dederer

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Start Date: 10/01/2019 – 5:00 pm
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Claire Dederer

Claire Dederer is the author of two critically acclaimed memoirs: Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning and Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, which was a New York Times bestseller. Poser has been translated into 11 languages, optioned for television by Warner Bros., and adapted for the stage.

Dederer is at work on Monsters, a nonfiction book investigating good art made by bad people, forthcoming from Knopf. The book is based on her 2017 essay for the Paris Review, “What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men?” The essay went globally viral, was a Longform best essay of the year, and has repeatedly been cited as one of the most influential and insightful pieces of writing on the Me Too movement to date.

Dederer is a long-time contributor to The New York Times. Her essays, criticism, and reviews have also appeared in The Paris Review, The Atlantic, The Nation, Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle, Real Simple, Entertainment Weekly, New York magazine, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, Slate, Salon, High Country News, and many other publications. Her essays have appeared in numerous anthologies, most recently Labor Day. Dederer began her career as the chief film critic for Seattle Weekly. She has taught at Hugo House and the University of Washington, as well as residencies, workshops, conferences, MFA programs, and universities across the country. She currently teaches at the Pacific University low residency MFA Program.

She is the recipient of a Hedgebrook residency and a Lannan Foundation residency.

Dederer is a fourth-generation Seattle native. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her husband, the writer Bruce Barcott, and their children.

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Yearlong in Science-Fiction

In weekly meetings over the course of the 2019-2020 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: Yearlong  |   Instructor: Nisi Shawl

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Start Date: 10/01/2019 – 7:10 pm
This class is full

Nisi Shawl

Nisi Shawl wrote the Nebula finalist Everfair, and co-wrote Writing the Other: A Practical Approach, a standard text on inclusive representation. She co-edited the anthologies Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany; and Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler.

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Cultivate Your Inner Editor

All Levels | Great, you’ve got a draft—but now what? Don’t just tinker, take a methodical approach to deep editing—from the conceptual analysis to line edits. Learn how to assess the shape and structure of your draft s to sharpen…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Leah Baltus

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Start Date: 10/01/2019 – 5:00 pm

Leah Baltus

Leah Baltus’ writing and editing career spans nearly two decades, during which time she has worked with poetry, fiction, essay, creative nonfiction, screenplays and many forms of journalism. She was editor-in-chief of City Arts from 2011 to 2018, where she had the pleasure to edit many of Seattle’s most exciting writers.

Previously Leah served as editorial director at Pyramid Communications, producing messaging and materials for leading nonprofits and philanthropies in the region. She founded and ran the nationally distributed zine RIVET for seven years and is a co-founder of the artist support nonprofit Shunpike. Prior to moving to Seattle in 2001, she worked for a Hollywood literary manager, helping to facilitate adaptations of books and magazine stories for the screen.

Leah grew up in the Detroit suburbs and studied journalism and creative writing at Northwestern University. She lives in the Hillman City neighborhood with her husband, a wacky French bulldog and an ancient fluffy gray cat.

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All About Agents

Intermediate | If you’re seeking traditional publication, you’ll need a literary agent. In this course, geared toward writers with complete, revised manuscripts, we’ll discuss qualities of good agents, how to build an agent list, and how to craft a query…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Rachel Lynn Solomon

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Start Date: 10/02/2019 – 5:00 pm

Rachel Lynn Solomon

Rachel Lynn Solomon lives and writes in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of the YA novels You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone, Our Year of Maybe, and the forthcoming Today Tonight Tomorrow, all from Simon & Schuster.

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Creative Nonfiction I

This class will help you decide the best way to tell the nonfiction story you want to tell. Together we will write and share from generative prompts, read a diversity of essays, and investigate our own personal stories. We will…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Anne Liu Kellor

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Start Date: 10/03/2019 – 7:10 pm
This class is full

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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The Free Verse Line

Introductory | For centuries the poetic line was defined by meter, but early in the 20th century poets began to look for rhythms that would better convey American speech. Free verse is any poem not written in meter. If you’re…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sharon Bryan

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Start Date: 10/03/2019 – 7:10 pm

Sharon Bryan

Sharon Bryan received her BA in Philosophy and an MA in Anthropology before she began to write poetry, and then received her MFA from the University of Iowa.

She has published four books of poems: Sharp Stars, Flying Blind, Objects of Affection, and Salt Air, which won The Governor’s Award from the State of Washington. She received the Isabella Gardner Award for Sharp Stars. Her other awards include two NEA Fellowships in Poetry, an Academy of American Poet’s Prize, the Discovery Award from The Nation, an Artist Trust Grant from the Washington State Arts Council, a Senior Fellowship to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, a grant from the Utah Arts Council for the film collaboration Eureka, and a Fellowship in Poetry from the Tennessee Arts Commission, among others. She was Poet-in-Residence at The Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire.

She is also the editor of two collections: Where We Stand: Women Poets on Literary Tradition, and, with William Olsen, Planet on the Table: Poets on the Reading Life.

She taught at the University of Washington for seven years and at Memphis State University for six. Since then she has taught as a visiting poet in almost twenty writing programs around the country, including Dartmouth, the University of Houston, Western Michigan, Kalamazoo College, Ohio University, Wichita State, the University of Missouri at St. Louis, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, San Diego State, and Fresno State. She has also been on the faculty of low-residency MFA Programs at Pacific Lutheran Universitiy, Warren Wilson, Pacific University, and Fairfield University.

She is currently on the faculty of the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Online Class | Marketing for Writers

All Levels | Need to increase your visibility as a writer? If you’re not an influencer, it’s time to become one! Learn how to connect with different media outlets (print and digital); the pros and cons of trending online channels;…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Rachel Werner

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Start Date: 10/03/2019

Rachel Werner

Rachel Werner is the Content Marketing Specialist for Taliesin Preservation—a National Historic Landmark and the home, studio, school and 800-acre estate of Frank Lloyd Wright. She is also guest faculty at The Highlights Foundation; a 2018 We Need Diverse Books mentorship finalist; and a 2017 World Food Championship judge. Formerly the digital editor at BRAVA (a Wisconsin-based publication created by women for women), she enjoyed overseeing culinary, arts, style and live event coverage while working in the media in addition to contributing print, photography and video content to BLK+GRN, Madison Magazine, Entrepreneurial Chef, Hobby Farms Magazine and Urban Farm. She is equally grateful to have presented this year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Writer's Institute and Write to Publish at Portland State University on digital marketing and social media strategy for writers.

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Writing Powerful Reviews of Movies, Music, TV, Art, or Books

All Levels | How do you turn someone else’s art into a piece of criticism of your own, using your perspective and writerly skills to create an experience for a reader? And how can you get reviews like that published?…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Christopher Frizzelle

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Start Date: 10/03/2019 – 5:00 pm

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Christopher Frizzelle

Christopher Frizzelle is the editor of the print edition of The Stranger, where he’s worked since 2003. He edited a feature story that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012. He is the co-author of How to Be a Person, with Dan Savage and Lindy West. He is also the inventor and host of the silent-reading party, which happens monthly at the Sorrento Hotel and has been replicated in cities around the world. Find him on Twitter @thefrizzelle.

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Creative Nonfiction II

In creative nonfiction, writers find what’s extraordinary in the everyday and beyond. We’ll use literary techniques such as dialogue, characterization, and setting to explore true events. This versatile writing style is both expressive and informative, and has application in academic,…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Gail Folkins

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Start Date: 10/03/2019 – 7:10 pm

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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Creating Urgent Scenes in Memoir

Intermediate / Advanced | Mastering scene is as crucial for the memoirist as it is to the novelist. First, we will define what a scene is and how it differs from summary and reflection. Looking at current memoirs, we’ll see…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Christine Hemp

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Start Date: 10/05/2019 – 10:00 am

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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Asking the Right Questions

All great memoirs ask difficult questions. In this class, we’ll generate new material based on a process of inquiry that lets your subconscious do the heavy lifting. We’ll learn how to keep your questions alive as you write – as…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Suzanne Morrison

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Start Date: 10/05/2019 – 1:00 pm

Suzanne Morrison

Suzanne Morrison is the author of Yoga Bitch, which was an Indiebound bestseller and has been translated into 7 languages. Her fiction and essays have appeared in American Short Fiction, Litro UK, Popshot (UK), Salt Hill, Washington Square, The Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post and elsewhere.

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