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Class Catalog

Browse Spring & Summer 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 Summer quarter 2021.

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


Summer Registration Dates

All registrations open at 10:30 am

Scholarship Donation Day (by phone only): May 17
Member Registration: May 18
General Registration: May 25

What’s Scholarship Donation Day?

The first day of registration (the Monday before member registration opens) will now be open to anyone who donates $250 to our scholarship fund*. Donations must be made over the phone.

Call us at 206.322.7030 on May 17 to make your donation and sign up for the classes of your choosing.

*Applicable to specific scholarship fund donations made between member registration of the previous quarter and Scholarship Donation Day each quarter. Donors who gave $250 or more during GiveBIG 2021 can register on this day.


Early Bird Pricing May 17 through May 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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Character as Action

All Levels | “Character,” according to Aristotle, “gives us qualities, but it is in action—what we do—that we are happy or the reverse.” In this one-day session, writers of fiction will explore building more engaging characters through action, as opposed…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Robin Mclean

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Start Date: 06/06/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT
This class is full

Robin Mclean

Robin McLean was a lawyer and then a potter for 15 years in the woods of Alaska before receiving her MFA at UMass Amherst in Massachusetts. Her first short story collection Reptile House won the 2013 BOA Editions Fiction Prize and was published in May 2015. The collection was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Short Story Prize in 2011 and 2012. McLean’s stories have appeared widely in such places as The Cincinnati Review, Carve, The Common, Copper Nickel, and many others.

Her debut novel and second story collection are forthcoming from And Other Stories.

A figure skater first—having learned to skate and walk at the same time—McLean believes that crashing on ice prepared her for writing fiction. Besides writing, her careers and interests have been diverse: pushcart hotdog sales, lawyer and mediator, potter and tile maker, political activist, union organizer, sculptor, haunted corn maze manager as well as zombie trainer.

She taught writing for 7 years at Clark University. She now lives and teaches in the high plains desert of central Nevada at Ike's Canyon Ranch Writer's Retreat, which she co-founded.

She also teaches on Zoom at The Loft in Minneapolis, Love Street Writers of Melbourne, Australia.

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Narrative Reclamation for People of Color: Power on the Page

Registration for this class is by teacher approval. Apply here. Intermediate | This class confronts sociopolitical power dynamics that have historically interrupted voices of color from being heard. We will discuss these power dynamics, and what it means to make…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Zain Shamoon

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

Zain Shamoon

Dr. Zain Shamoon completed his PhD in Human Development and Family Studies in Fall 2017 at Michigan State University. He also completed a Master's degree in Couple and Family therapy in 2011. He is dedicated to the creation of spaces where people can tell their personal stories on route to their own wellness. In his clinical work, he has served a range of clients, including those wrestling with high anxiety, relational conflict, and severe depression.

In March 2015, he helped launch the Narratives of Pain project, which is a group emotional outlet of personal narrative and catharsis based in Metro Detroit, and now Seattle. Currently, Zain is a professor of Couple and Family Therapy at Antioch University Seattle.

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You’ve Got to Get Your Writing Life Organized Section III

All Levels | Is your writing life a junkyard of started projects, scattered notes, and misplaced ideas? Get it together with an afternoon organizing extravaganza. You’ll get a free copy of The Writer’s Mission Control Center, a place to track…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Paulette Perhach

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Start Date: 06/09/2021 - 6:00 pm PDT
5 seats available

Paulette Perhach

Paulette Perhach’s writing has been published in the New York Times, Elle, Vice, Slate, Inc., McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Hobart, Vice, Yoga Journal, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Glamour, and The Stranger. She’s worked for Health and Coastal Living magazines, as well as various newspapers. In 2013, Hugo House selected her as a Made at Hugo House Fellow.

She received the 2016 BlogHer Voices of the Year award for her essay, “A Story of a Fuck Off Fund,” which is anthologized in The Future is Feminist from Chronicle Books, along with work by Roxane Gay, Mindy Kaling, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Caitlin Moran, and Audre Lorde.

A returned Peace Corps Volunteer, she’s also won multiple Solas Awards for her travel writing.

In 2015 she created the Writer’s Welcome Kit, the online course sold through Hugo House, which includes a 55,000-word workbook, writer’s templates, and writer interviews. To date, more than 600 students have taken the course.

Her book, Welcome to the Writer's Life, was published by Sasquatch Books, part of the Penguin Random House publishing family, and was selected as one of Poets & Writers' Best Books for Writers.

She blogs about everything a writer needs to thrive – craft, personal finance, business skills, and joy – at WelcomeToTheWritersLife.com. The site also offers a newsletter with a year of daily writing prompts.

She keeps a casual podcast about creativity and money called Can We Talk About Money?

Learn more and read her work at PaulettePerhach.com.

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Writing the Duplex

DATE UPDATE: The date for this class has changed to Saturday, June 12. In this 90-minute class, Jericho Brown will lead students through an exercise for writing a duplex poem — a form he invented that blends the ghazal, the sonnet,…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Jericho Brown

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Start Date: 06/12/2021 - 1:00 pm PDT
This class is full

Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown is the recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. His first book, Please (New Issues, 2008), won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon, 2014), was named one of the best poetry books of the year by Library Journal. His poems have appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Best American Poetry.

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The Elegance of Compression Section II

Intermediate/Advanced | Many of the best short stories convey the wholeness and richness of a character’s entire life in only a handful of pages. How? We’ll examine five example stories with narrative arcs that span their character’s life, specifically considering…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum

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Start Date: 06/12/2021 - 10:00 am PDT
4 seats available

Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum

Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum is the author of three collections of short fiction, most recently What We Do With the Wreckage, which won the 2017 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and was published by UGA Press in 2018. Her earlier collections are Swimming With Strangers (Chronicle, 2008) and This Life She's Chosen (Chronicle, 2005). Her short fiction has been published in Ploughshares, McSweeney's, One Story, and North American Review, among other journals, and she has been the recipient of a PEN/O. Henry Prize. Kirsten teaches fiction writing at Hugo House and 9th-12th grade English at a small independent school near Seattle.

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Time as a Tool for Tension

All Levels | There are always at least two ticking clocks in fiction. One is the timeline of the story. The other is the clock on the reader’s patience. To get the reader to the end of the tale, the…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Robin Mclean

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Start Date: 06/13/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT
This class is full

Robin Mclean

Robin McLean was a lawyer and then a potter for 15 years in the woods of Alaska before receiving her MFA at UMass Amherst in Massachusetts. Her first short story collection Reptile House won the 2013 BOA Editions Fiction Prize and was published in May 2015. The collection was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Short Story Prize in 2011 and 2012. McLean’s stories have appeared widely in such places as The Cincinnati Review, Carve, The Common, Copper Nickel, and many others.

Her debut novel and second story collection are forthcoming from And Other Stories.

A figure skater first—having learned to skate and walk at the same time—McLean believes that crashing on ice prepared her for writing fiction. Besides writing, her careers and interests have been diverse: pushcart hotdog sales, lawyer and mediator, potter and tile maker, political activist, union organizer, sculptor, haunted corn maze manager as well as zombie trainer.

She taught writing for 7 years at Clark University. She now lives and teaches in the high plains desert of central Nevada at Ike's Canyon Ranch Writer's Retreat, which she co-founded.

She also teaches on Zoom at The Loft in Minneapolis, Love Street Writers of Melbourne, Australia.

See current classes >

Our First Gods: Writing Our Parents

All Levels | Too often unapproachable, unassailable—our parents are our first gods. How have we known them? How might we know them now? And are we ready for our parents to fall from their thrones and become not gods (or…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Joe Wilkins

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Start Date: 06/13/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT
Registration for this class has not started.

Joe Wilkins

Joe Wilkins is the author of the novel,
Fall Back Down When I Die (Little Brown),
a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers
(Counterpoint), and three poetry collections,
most recently When We Were Birds, winner
of the 2017 Oregon Book Award in Poetry.
He directs the creative program at Linfield
College.

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Philosophy of Memory

All Levels | Memory makes what has happened in our lives present, and the future is something we imagine. But imagination both remembers the past and simulates the future. This means the act of recalling is as creative as that…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Charles Tonderai Mudede

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Start Date: 06/14/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT
Registration for this class has not started.

Charles Tonderai Mudede

Charles Tonderai Mudede is a Zimbabwean-born writer, filmmaker, and cultural critic. He writes about film, books, music, crime, art, economics, and urban theory for The Stranger. Mudede has made three films, two of which, Police Beat and Zoo, premiered at Sundance, and one, Zoo, was screened at Cannes. Mudede has written for the New York Times, Arcade Journal, Cinema Scope, Ars Electronica, The Village Voice, Radical Urban Theory, and C Theory. Mudede is also on the editorial board for the Black Scholar, which is based at the University of Washington, and between 1999 and 2005, lectured on post-colonial theory at Pacific Lutheran University, and in 2003 published a short book, Last Seen, with Diana George. Mudede has lived in Seattle since 1989.

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Transitions and Turning Points: Writing Adolescence for Adult Readers

All Levels | In this intensive reading and generative writing course, participants will study four novellas (by Sarah Moss, Julie Otsuka, Justin Torres, and Jacqueline Woodson) intended for an adult readership but focused on that most emotionally charged developmental period…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum

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Start Date: 06/14/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT
Registration for this class has not started.

Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum

Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum is the author of three collections of short fiction, most recently What We Do With the Wreckage, which won the 2017 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and was published by UGA Press in 2018. Her earlier collections are Swimming With Strangers (Chronicle, 2008) and This Life She's Chosen (Chronicle, 2005). Her short fiction has been published in Ploughshares, McSweeney's, One Story, and North American Review, among other journals, and she has been the recipient of a PEN/O. Henry Prize. Kirsten teaches fiction writing at Hugo House and 9th-12th grade English at a small independent school near Seattle.

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Poetic Forms and Freedoms

All Levels | Despite sonnets that terrified us in high school, forms have a delightful ability to draw poetry out of us. We will focus on poetic diction, techniques, and forms; stanza patterns and received verse forms (ghazals, pantoums, sestinas,…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Carolyne Wright

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Start Date: 06/15/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT
Registration for this class has not started.

Carolyne Wright

Carolyne Wright’s most recent books are This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse Press, 2017), whose title poem received a Pushcart Prize and appeared in The Best American Poetry 2009; and the bilingual volume by Chilean poet Eugenia Toledo, Trazas de mapa, trazas de sangre / Map Traces, Blood Traces (2017), a Finalist for the 2018 Washington State Book Award in Poetry, and also for the 2018 PEN Los Angeles Award in Translation. She is co-editor of the ground-breaking anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse, 2015), which received ten Pushcart Prize nominations. Author of nine previous books and chapbooks of poetry, four other volumes of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali, and a book of essays, Wright has served as Visiting Poet and professor of Creative Writing at colleges and universities throughout the U.S., including Harvard, Radcliffe, Emory University and the University of Miami. She returned in 2005 to her native Seattle, where she teaches for Hugo House, the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Program (from 2005 until the program’s closure in 2016), and for national and international literary conferences and festivals. She spent a year in Chile on a Fulbright Study Grant during the presidency of Salvador Allende, and also traveled throughout Brazil. Wright has received fellowships from the NEA, 4Culture, and Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture. She returned to Brazil for two months in 2018 with an Instituto Sacatar artists residency in Bahia, and she has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award for Brazil for 2020-2021, which she will take up once the global coronavirus travel advisory is lifted.

Photo by Brian Weiss

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Writing the Fictionalized Memoir

All Levels | Are you struggling to tell your personal story in a dramatic and entertaining way—or fully understand what the book-worthy story truly is? One way to explore all the storytelling possibilities around real-life events is to infuse them…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jennifer Haupt

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Start Date: 06/15/2021 - 5:00 pm PDT
Registration for this class has not started.

Jennifer Haupt

Jennifer Haupt's essays have been published in O, The Oprah Magazine, The Rumpus, Spirituality & Health, The Sun and elsewhere. Her debut novel, In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills, was published in April 2018, and she is currently working on an autobiographical novel that takes place in Haiti. She teaches at workshops around the country.

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Fiction I

Whether you’re looking to write a collection of stories or a novel, this course will introduce key elements of craft such as character, plot, and setting. Alongside published examples and writing prompts in and out of class, you will write…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Ramon Isao

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Start Date: 06/15/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT
Registration for this class has not started.

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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The Sweep of the Universe: Writing with Millennia of South Asian Poetry

All Levels | The breadth and reach of South Asian poetry is almost unimaginably vast, encompassing six major religions, hundreds of languages, diverse geographies, and millennia of time. But much of this rich tradition is inaccessible to western writers. This…

Course Type: 8 Sessions  |   Instructor: Shankar Narayan

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Start Date: 06/15/2021 - 7:10 pm PDT
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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Metaphor as Contagious Magic

All Levels | We will examine poems as instruments of magic and experiment with mixed-genre prompts that incorporate divination and intuition. Most writing will be done in-class with some optional daily rituals. Expect to leave with a folio of new…

Course Type: 4 Sessions  |   Instructor: Shelby Handler

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Start Date: 06/15/2021 - 5:00 pm PDT
Registration for this class has not started.

Shelby Handler

Shelby Handler is a writer, organizer and educator living on Duwamish territory/Seattle, WA. A 2019-20 Hugo House fellow, their work has been supported by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Gay City Arts, Asylum Arts and the Yiddish Book Center. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gigantic Sequins, Pacifica Literary Review, Homology Lit, 3Elements Review, glitterMOB and the Write Bloody anthology “We Will Be Shelter: Poems for Survival." Shelby is a teaching artist with SAL's Writers in the Schools, Arts Corps, Youth Speaks Seattle and Kadima Reconstructionist Synagogue. Follow them @shelbeleh.

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Playwriting: Diving into Dialogue

All Levels | Shape the dialogue of your play by building and creating compelling characters, exploring voice, and driving your plot forward through your characters’ behaviors and choices. Each week, we’ll read and discuss one scene by a contemporary playwright,…

Course Type: 6 Sessions  |   Instructor: Danielle Mohlman

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Start Date: 06/16/2021 - 5:00 pm PDT
Registration for this class has not started.

Danielle Mohlman

Danielle Mohlman is a nationally produced playwright based in Seattle, WA. Her plays have been developed at Arena Stage, the Kennedy Center, the Cherry Lane Theatre, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Cygnet Theatre, Rorschach Theatre, Field Trip Theatre, Umbrella Project, Youth Theatre Northwest, The Scratch & Really Really Theatre Group, and Seattle Public Theater, among others. Danielle is an alumna of Playwrights’ Arena at Arena Stage, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship, and the Umbrella Project Writers Group. She is a proud graduate of both Cal Poly Pomona and Emerson College. She is currently developing multiple projects for theatre, film, and audio.

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