Write-o-Rama Summer 2022 (Virtual)
Write-O-Rama is your chance to try out several workshops offered by Hugo House teachers all in one writing-packed day! Sample Hugo House classes, meet our teachers, and try out genres and topics outside your purview without the pressure of registering for a full class.
This summer’s Write-O-Rama will be held virtually via Zoom. The first class begins at 12 pm. There are four class choices per 50-minute session. Choose your favorite, head to the virtual room in which it’s held, and the instructor will give a brief talk on the topic followed by a writing prompt or exercise. At the 50-minute mark, you can stay in the room or sign out and sign in to your next class of choice. You can view the full schedule below to choose one workshop per timeslot.
- $60 gives you entry to Write-O-Rama and four workshops of your choice.
- $100 gives you entry plus a discounted Hugo House membership, which is good for one year of early registration, class and event discounts, discounts at local bookstores, and other great benefits.
Classes 12-1 pm PT
Worldbuilding Workroom with Carolyn Abram
We’ll learn some basics about worldbuilding–what it means, why it matters for stories of all genres–and then practice writing scenes that communicate the richness of your vision to your readers.
When Memory Is Not Enough with Ann Hedreen
A memoir writer’s greatest gift is memory. But memory is messy and often murky. We help it along with research, interviewing, fact-checking. But sometimes, when those tools are not enough, we need to deploy our imaginations, and cue our readers that we’re doing so. In-class prompts will help you prime the pump.
Free Your Creativity by Writing with Constraints with Kimberly Lee
For a creative twist, some prose writers impose unique, interesting conditions on their work as they craft a piece. Challenging ourselves in this way can have an oddly liberating effect on what ends up on the page. In this generative workshop, we’ll explore several types of constraints writers use to free their imaginations. We’ll be surprised by the ideas that spring forth—and thrilled with the original results!
Poetry Under Pressure: Finding the Freedom in Constraints with Jennifer Perrine
Constraints can help us shake off our usual writing habits, nudge our poetry in a new direction, or find language for what seems unspeakable. We’ll write using several different poetic constraints—such as lipograms, acrostics, and bout rimés—to discover what happens when we write our way through tricky restrictions.
Classes 1-2 pm PT
From Object to Scene with Katrina Carrasco
Explore finding your way into a scene or story by starting with a physical object. In this session we’ll write about a series of objects, building a scene around each one that allows us to investigate who or what might be interacting with it, and how and why.
Relaxing into Tense Tenses with Monika Sengul-Jones
Raise tension, and the narrative stakes, through choices about tense. Present perfect, present time, imperative. Attention to tenses gives you control–over stories, essays, and memoirs. Bring words in progress or a blank page. We’ll speak in the present about times past and to come, typing out memories of tomorrow.
Writing for Kids 101 with Tina Tocco
Have you always wanted to write stories for kids, but never knew where to start? Here’s a great way to get your feet wet in this fun genre. We’ll do a beginner-level prompt geared towards writing for kids ages 8–12, followed by optional sharing.
Poem Plus Prompt (PPP) with Dilruba Ahmed
Poem Plus Prompt (PPP) is a bite-sized session designed to feed your writing practice! The class includes a poem paired with discussion questions to help us unpack significant craft elements. After our discussion, we’ll commit to a round of shared quiet writing time inspired by a related prompt. In this session, we’ll take inspiration from the odes of Ellen Bass.
Classes 2-3 pm PT
Scene to Summary to Scene with Peter Mountford
In this craft class, you’ll experiment with the main tools of pacing in narrative writing. You’ll be converting scenes into exposition (summary) and chunks of exposition into scenes. Along the way, we’ll look at techniques for writing summary that sings, and scenes that drive character and story. Brace yourself for an hour full of stretching and shrinking!
Question and Answer with Sierra Nelson
Does it all begin with a question? Finding inspiration in lyrical and everyday question sources (including from Pablo Neruda, Bhanu Kapil, Audre Lorde, Marcel Proust, kids’ science projects, and more), we’ll generate our own questions, collaboratively and solo, then use them to springboard into a series of short writing bursts. Open to all genres.
Decolonize Your Children’s & YA Bookshelf with Rachel Werner
This informative session is for educators and parents who are interested in having more “own voices” fiction and nonfiction books available to spark honest, meaningful discussions with kids and teens, plus writers working on diverse children’s and young adult literature manuscripts in need of more mentor texts. We’ll talk about how to find “own voices” stories and brainstorm how such books can be incorporated into lesson plans, used as writing prompts, or used as comparison books for those with WIPs (works in progress).
Unlock Your Stories with Margot Leitman
You have great stories to tell, you’ve just become numb to them. In this session, we will use best-selling author Margot Leitman’s tried and true prompts to unlock the true stories from your life that you’ve forgotten all about.
Classes 3-4 pm PT
Journaling for Creative Expansion with Melissa Freeman
Reignite your creative life in this fun and inspiring journaling session. You’ll be guided through fast-paced, thought-provoking journaling prompts designed to help you overcome resistance and tap back into creative possibility. By reflecting both on paper and aloud, you’ll feel energized, expansive, and ready to dive into your next creative project.
Characters in a Flash with Robin McLean
Need more characters? Want your characters to lead to more action and interest in your stories? Through a series of thought experiments, we will mine your mind for new characters, for fresh folk sitting right there, waiting inside you, for your discovery.
Comma On Over Here with Ever Jones
This workshop will behold the comma with reverence: expanding, stretching, pulling, adding, connecting. Using Jorie Graham as our poet muse, we will stretch toward radical interdependence in our writing.
Writing with Vishnu with Shankar Narayan
Arguably the most popular god in the Hindu pantheon, Vishnu, the preserver, maintains the cosmic balance no matter what it takes. He offers endless inspiration and fascination for writers through his many avatars, each adapted to creating spiritual justice in the context of the particular demands of an era’s history and geography. Whether he acts in animal form (as fish, turtle, boar, or man-lion) or human (priest, warrior, king, hermit, cowherd, or destroyer), or as his godly self, Vishnu wrestles with thorny ethical and human questions as he tempers jungle law with his own balance. In this multi-genre, part-generative, part-analytical class, we’ll get a taste of key texts and episodes from the mythology of this fascinating god, and use them to fuel our own diverse, electric pieces. No prior knowledge required—but come ready to write!
Margot Leitman is an award-winning storyteller, best-selling author, speaker and teacher. A former story scout for "This American Life," she is considered a leading expert in the growing field of storytelling. Leitman has written two books on the subject: the best-selling, Long Story Short: The Only Storytelling Guide You'll Ever Need and her latest What’s Your Story? A Workbook For the Storyteller in All of Us both from Sasquatch Books. Her comedic memoir, Gawky: Tales of an Extra Long Awkward Phase is available from Seal Press/Perseus Books
Peter Mountford is the author of the novels A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism (2012 Washington State Book Award in fiction), and The Dismal Science (a NYT editor's choice). His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Southern Review, The Atlantic, The Sun, Granta, and The Missouri Review. He is currently on faculty at Sierra Nevada University's MFA program, teaches at Creative Nonfiction, Hugo House, and is a writing coach and developmental editor. Peter's former students and clients have gone on to publish numerous books and stories and articles, and include two NYT best-selling novelists (Tara Conklin and Rachel Griffin).
Teaching Style and Philosophy: I believe the best I can do for students is help free them from the tyranny of talent and the whims of inspiration, which are fair-weather friends. Instead, I want you to hone your personal aesthetic, and to develop an authorial voice, and most importantly develop fluency with the elements of craft. One you can control what's happening on the page with ease, producing publishable work is no longer a mysterious fluke, but a familiar and non-scary process.
Melissa Freeman is a writer, lawyer, mindfulness teacher, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of The Container Community, a guided journaling community based in Seattle, Washington. She is known for her ability to facilitate grounding spaces for reflection and connection, her unique approach to mindful growth, and her warm, belly laugh.
Melissa founded The Container Community in 2020 as an antidote to the isolation of lockdown and to respond to the eternal need to find authentic and meaningful connection, both with ourselves and others. She had previously left her career in law after her own self-discovery journey left her wanting something more.
Over the past two years, Melissa has guided dozens of groups and teams through her unique self-reflection process. She’s a big believer in the wisdom and insight contained within each individual, and the power of growing together in community.
Melissa graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Davis with a B.A. in English, and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Jennifer (JP) Perrine is the author of four award-winning books of poetry: Again, The Body Is No Machine, In the Human Zoo, and No Confession, No Mass. Perrine’s recent poems, stories, and essays appear in The Missouri Review, New Letters, The Seventh Wave Magazine, Buckman Journal, and The Gay & Lesbian Review. A resident of Portland, Oregon, Perrine co-hosts the Incite: Queer Writers Read series, teaches creative writing to youth and adults, and serves as a wilderness guide.
Katrina Carrasco writes novels, short stories, and essays. Her debut novel, THE BEST BAD THINGS (MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018), was a finalist in the Lambda Literary Awards and Washington State Book Awards, and won the Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel. Her essays and short stories have appeared in publications and websites including Witness Magazine, Post Road Magazine, and Literary Hub. She has received support from the Corporation of Yaddo, Blue Mountain Center, Jentel, Artist Trust, and other residencies and arts organizations. Katrina is a mentor with Latinx in Publishing, and she also mentors writers through the UCLA Alumni Mentor Program. She is working on a new novel.
Carolyn Abram is a Seattle-based writer. Her work tends to focus on the intersection of technology and everyday life. Her short fiction has appeared in various publications, including the New California Writing Anthology and The Offbeat. Her work has also appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Lilith. She is the author of eight editions of Facebook for Dummies. She holds degrees from Stanford and California College of the Arts.
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.
Instagram: dilruba_ahmed20, https://www.instagram.com/dilruba_ahmed20/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dilruba.ahmed Web: https://www.dilrubaahmed.com/writing-lab
Kimberly Lee left the practice of law some years ago to focus on motherhood, community work, and creative pursuits. A graduate of Stanford University and UC Davis School of Law, she is certified as a workshop facilitator by the Center for Journal Therapy, the Center for Intentional Creativity, SoulCollage®, and Amherst Writers & Artists, and serves on the board of directors of the latter. A former editor and regular contributor at Literary Mama, she has also served on the staff of Carve and F(r)iction magazines. Kimberly’s stories and essays have appeared in publications and anthologies including Minerva Rising, LA Parent, Fresh Ink, Words and Whispers, Toyon, The Ekphrastic Review, Wow! Women on Writing, Read650, Mom Egg Review, and elsewhere. Her manuscript, Have You Seen Me, was a semi-finalist in Simon and Schuster’s Books Like Us First Novel Contest. Kimberly trusts in the magic and mystery of miracles and synchronicity, and believes that everyone is creative and has unique gifts to share. She lives in Southern California with her husband and three children.
Rachel Werner is a teaching artist for Hugo House, The Loft Literary Center, and Lighthouse Writers Workshop in addition to being the founder of The Little Book Project WI. Her literary writing and craft essays have been featured by Off Menu Press, Digging Through The Fat, and Voyage YA Literary Journal. A selection of Rachel's recipes is included in Wisconsin Cocktails (UW-Press, 2020), and her poetry in the anthology Hope Is The Thing: Wisconsinites on Perseverance in a Pandemic (The Wisconsin Historical Society, 2021). She also regularly contributes content to TheKitchn, The Spruce Eats, and Fabulous Wisconsin. Her latest book, Glow and Grow: A Brown Girl's Positive Body Guide (Free Spirit Publishing), is forthcoming in fall 2024.
Tina Tocco is a Pushcart Prize nominee. As a writer for both children and adults, her work has appeared in kiddie magazines, such as Highlights, Cricket, Humpty Dumpty, AppleSeeds, and Odyssey, and in literary journals, including New Ohio Review, River Styx, Sou’wester, Roanoke Review, Potomac Review, Portland Review, and Italian Americana. Her children’s poetry collection, The Hungry Snowman and Other Poems, was released by Kelsay Books in 2019; her grown-up work was selected for The Best Small Fictions 2019 (Sonder Press, 2019), Best Nonfiction Food (Woodhall Press, 2020), and other anthologies. A recipient of multiple awards, Tina was a runner-up for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s Work-in-Progress Grant and a finalist in CALYX’s Flash Fiction Contest. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Manhattanville College, where she was editor-in-chief of Inkwell. Tina has taught for GrubStreet, Hudson Valley Writers Center, Arts Escape, Kids Short Story Connection, and other organizations.
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 five-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the winner of prizes and fellowships from Kundiman, Hugo House, Jack Straw, Flyway, and River Heron. He is a 4Culture grant recipient for Claiming Space, a project to lift the voices of writers of color, and his chapbook, Postcards From the New World, won the Paper Nautilus Debut Series chapbook prize. Shankar draws strength from his global upbringing and from his work at the intersection of civil rights and technology. In Seattle, he awakens to the wonders of Cascadia every day, but his heart yearns east to his other hometown, Delhi. Connect with him at shankarnarayan.net.
Sierra Nelson is a poet, president of Seattle’s Cephalopod Appreciation Society, and co-founder of literary performance art groups The Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society. Her poetry books include The Lachrymose Report (PoetryNW Editions, 2018), lyrical adventure I Take Back the Sponge Cake made with visual artist Loren Erdrich (Rose Metal Press), and forthcoming Vis-à-Vis Society collaboration 100 Rooms: A Bridge Motel Project (Entre Rios Books). Recently Nelson’s poems accompanying ichthyologist Adam Summer’s fish skeleton photographs were exhibited at the Ljubljana Natural History Museum and Piran Aquarium in Slovenia.
Robin McLean was a lawyer and then a potter in the woods of Alaska before turning to writing. Her first short fiction collection Reptile House won the BOA Fiction Prize, was twice a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Prize, and was named a best book of 2015 in Paris Review. Her debut novel Pity the Beast, published in November of 2022, was noted as "a work of crazy brilliance" and a best book of fiction in 2021 in The Guardian, "stunning debut novel" in New York Review of Books, as well as a best book of the year in the Wall Street Journal. Her second collection of short fiction Get' em Young, Treat' em Tough, Tell 'em Nothing is forthcoming from And Other Stories on October 18, 2022. She lives in the high plains desert of central Nevada.
Ann Hedreen is an author (Her Beautiful Brain), teacher, and documentary filmmaker. Ann has written for 3rd Act Magazine, About Place Journal, The Seattle Times, and other publications, including her award-winning blog, The Restless Nest. She is working on a collection of essays.
Ever Jones is a queer/trans writer, artist & instructor. Their poetry collection, nightsong, published in 2020 (Sundress Publicatiins), is a transliberatory lyric, earthing & unearthing the body from gender, politics & identity. Ever’s work collapses binaries & resists social constructions, embracing intersections & celebrating and / & / or / both / also / multiple / question / etc. They won the Grand Prize for the Eco Arts Awards in 2014 & was a finalist for terrain.org’s 2013 poetry contest. Ever is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Washington in Tacoma & teaches at Richard Hugo House. You can find their work at POETRY, Tupelo Press, About Place and others. Visit everjones.com to view some art and writing.