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Class Catalog

Browse 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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Opinion Writing 101: The Art of the Op-Ed

Introductory | In a time of division, how do you convince others of your point of view? Writers who shape the way we think have mastered the art and craft of the op-ed. We’ll dissect successful op-eds and talk surefire…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Elisabeth Eaves

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Start Date: 05/27/2021 - 5:00 pm PDT

Elisabeth Eaves

Elisabeth Eaves is the author of Wanderlust: A love affair with five continents and Bare: the naked truth about stripping. Her work has been anthologized in This is the Place (2017), The Best Women’s Travel Writing (2010), Lonely Planet’s A Moveable Feast (2010), and The Best American Travel Writing (2009). She has won three Lowell Thomas awards from the Society of American Travel Writers. A contributing editor at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, her feature writing has appeared in The New Yorker online, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, Forbes, Marie Claire, Slate, and many other publications.

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Doorways: Writing Poetic Turns & Hinges

All Levels | No poem is complete without a moment of surprise or transformation. But how do you write without knowing what you’re writing? In this class, you’ll practice building doorways, tunnels, and hinges. We’ll use meditative techniques and experiments…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Sara Brickman

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Start Date: 05/29/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT
This class is full

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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Lineation Elation

All Levels | This hands-on session will leave you singing the praises of lineation! Explore a “toolkit” of strategies that will help you lineate your poems with confidence and expression. We’ll discuss how lineation choices can have an impact on…

Course Type: 3 Sessions  |   Instructor: Dilruba Ahmed

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Start Date: 06/01/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT

Dilruba Ahmed

Dilruba Ahmed is the author of Bring Now the Angels (Pitt Poetry Series, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020). Her debut book of poetry, Dhaka Dust (Graywolf Press), won the Bakeless Prize. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Poetry. Her poems have also been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2019 (Scribner), Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books), Literature: The Human Experience (Bedford/St. Martin’s), Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry (University of Arkansas), and elsewhere. Ahmed is the recipient of The Florida Review’s Editors’ Award, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Prize, and the Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellowship in Poetry awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. She holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers.

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The Art of the Query Letter

Intermediate | Whether your goal is securing an agent for your book or querying small presses directly, a stand-out query letter is essential. You only have one shot so make it count with a concise, intriguing description of your book…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Jennifer Haupt

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Start Date: 06/01/2021 - 5:00 pm PDT
5 seats available

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

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: 06/02/2021 - 6:00 pm PDT
This class is full

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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Politics and Prose: Tackling Social Justice Issues Through Fiction

All Levels | In a time of political upheaval, amidst a saturated media landscape, deeply imagined narratives of individual lives are more important than ever. In this session, we will explore the craft considerations in creating prose that gives a…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Jennifer De Leon

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Start Date: 06/02/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT

Jennifer De Leon

Jennifer De Leon is the author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, 2020) and the editor of Wise Latinas (University of Nebraska Press). An Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Framingham State University and a faculty member in the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at Bay Path University, she has published prose in over a dozen literary journals and is a GrubStreet instructor and board member. Her essay collection, White Space: Essays on Culture, Race, & Writing, is the recipient of the Juniper Prize and will be published by UMass Press in Spring 2021.

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Freelance Going Pro (ASYNCHRONOUS)

All Levels | You know how to write. Now, how do you make a business out of your skills? How do you land your first clients? Set your rates? Create a steady stream of income? These are the questions Going…

Course Type: 12 Sessions  |   Instructor: Paulette Perhach

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Start Date: 06/04/2021

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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Hybrid Moments: Exploring the Lyric Essay

All Levels | We live in a time that challenges the binary and explores intersection and identity. How do our stories of self become more realized when we break the constructs of traditional personal essay? In this class we will…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Sasha LaPointe

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Start Date: 06/05/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT
This class is full

Sasha LaPointe

Sasha LaPointe is from the Upper Skagit and Nooksack Indian Tribes. Native to the Pacific Northwest she draws inspiration from her coastal heritage as well as her life in the city. She writes with a focus on trauma and resilience, ranging topics from PTSD, sexual violence, the work her great grandmother did for the Lushootseed language revitalization, to loud basement punk shows and what it means to grow up mixed heritage. With strange obsessions revolving around Twin Peaks, the Seattle music scene, and Coast Salish Salmon Ceremonies, Sasha explores her own truth of indigenous identity in the Coast Salish territory. Sasha holds a double MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in creative nonfiction and poetry.

Her memoir Red Paint is forthcoming from Counterpoint Press.

Her collection of poetry, Rose Quartz will be published by Milkweed.

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Living Nations, Living Words

Class Update: This class has been moved to 6/5. It will now take place only one day. This has been updated from the print catalog. All Levels | This class will travel the pathways of Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s project…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Laura Da'

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Start Date: 06/05/2021 - 10:00 am PDT

Laura Da'

Laura Da’ is a poet and teacher. A lifetime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Da’ studied creative writing at the University of Washington and The Institute of American Indian Arts. Da’ is Eastern Shawnee. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, Artist Trust, Hugo House, and the Jack Straw Writers Program. Her first book, Tributaries, won the 2016 American Book Award. Her newest book is Instruments of the True Measure (University of Arizona Press, 2018).

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The Art of Interviewing

Introductory | If you want to build your freelance career, you need to know how to interview. How do you find and interview a source when your editor wants your draft by Friday? What questions should you avoid? What do…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Nicole Dieker

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Start Date: 06/05/2021 - 10:00 am PDT

Nicole Dieker

Nicole Dieker teaches writing, freelancing, and publishing classes (including Hugo House online classes) and works one-on-one with authors as a developmental editor and copyeditor. She's been a full-time freelance writer since 2012, and spent five years as a writer and editor for The Billfold, a personal finance blog where people had honest conversations about money.

Nicole's debut novel, The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 1: 1989–2000, published in May 2017; The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 2: 2004–2016 followed in May 2018. The two books are a Millennial-era Little Women that follow three sisters from childhood to adulthood.

“I took Nicole’s freelancing class. By the end of the class, I had submitted my first pitch, had it accepted and the article published. She guided us through the process of building a freelance career, with concrete steps to get started, ongoing resources for growth and answers to wide-ranging questions. She taught one of the most informative classes I’ve taken and she did it while providing individualized information for each member of the class.” — Beth Swanson, freelance writer and journalist

Visit NicoleDieker.com to learn more, or to read Nicole's daily blog posts about the art and the finances of a creative career.

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Derived Poetry & Its (De)forms

All Levels | In this course we’ll dig up, corrupt, and de-arrange 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…

Course Type: 2 Sessions  |   Instructor: Wryly McCutchen

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Start Date: 06/05/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT

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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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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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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Worldbuilding

All Levels | Though we often associate worldbuilding with fantasy, every story is a series of nesting dolls with worlds inside of them: countries, cities, neighborhoods, friend groups, and internal frameworks. Students will learn how to create and populate worlds…

Course Type: 1 Session  |   Instructor: Evan Ramzipoor

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Start Date: 06/06/2021 - 1:10 pm PDT
5 seats available

Evan Ramzipoor

Evan Ramzipoor is a writer based in
California. Her writing has been featured in
McSweeney’s, and The Ventriloquists (Park
Row, 2019) is her first novel. She lives with
her partner and a terrier mix named Lada.

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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

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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