New Year, New Writing Resolutions

Posted Fri, 12/29/2017 - 11:52am by  |  Category:

A new year means new writing resolutions—and the start of a new quarter of classes here at Hugo House in which to start checking them off. Whether you’re hoping to sharpen your poetry or storytelling skills, try a new genre, or get that manuscript in ship-shape for 2018, Hugo House instructors can help. Here are some upcoming classes to help you tackle those resolutions.

Write More Inclusively

Effective Allyship in Writing with Anastacia-Renee

You’re ready to rage against the racism machine. You want to help individuals who are systemically targeted or consistently being treated unfairly. But how can you do this as a writer? Bring your guilt and your open mind and navigate the path to proper allyship through in-class writing exercises and examples.

Imagining the Other: Writing and Reading Inclusively with Nalini Iyer

How do we read and write about those peoples and cultures different from our own? What does it take to read and write intersectionally? How do we reach a diverse audience? Learn to recognize the pitfalls of cultural appropriation, exoticism, and tokenism that unwittingly lead even the most well-intentioned writer into difficulties.

(Un)Writing Gender with Wryly McCutchen

Enrich your own writing practice by working across genre and grappling with transgender literature’s place in literary culture. Explore works by transgender authors like Ryka Aoki, Eli Clare, kari edwards, and others.


Revise Your Work

Line Editing for Prose Writers with Beth Slattery

Often writers get so caught up in telling stories that they forget to look at the structural soundness of individual sentences. Investigate how to make a sentence hum, the tautness of a line, and the shape of a paragraph in weekly workshops focused on micro-level editing and critique.

What to Leave In, What to Leave Out: The Art of Editing Your Work with BJ Neblett

Sometimes what’s left out of a piece of writing says as much, if not more, as what’s left in. This intensive workshop will examine the power of inclusion/exclusion in storytelling through discussions, hands-on practice, and revisions of your work.

Writing Stories through Revision with Mary Potter

Write a short story, get hands-on practice with essential tools of fiction writing, and learn the art of revising. Each week you’ll be covering a different tool (POV, time management, objects/setting, age of protagonist, conflict, and structure) and add that layer to your previous week’s revision.


Write (Better) Poetry

Ain’t Them Bodies Poems with Jamaica Baldwin

What memories, emotions and intelligences does the body hold on to, with or without our permission? Examine works from poets who explore the body as a means of writing through erasure and silence, poets for whom the body is both landscape and canvas, memorial and monument.

Poem Generator with Anastacia-Renee

You have decided you are indeed a poet! Learn how to generate new poems using a series of writing prompts and both dead and contemporary poets as a guide, and further develop your sense of writing discipline. By the last class, you’ll have edited, revised, and polished at least one of your pieces.

Writing to the Moon and Back with Sierra Nelson

Use writing experiments inspired by scientific and mythological ideas about the moon to jump-start your creativity, playfully upend clichés, and create a small folio of lunar-infused work.


Sharpen Your Storytelling Skills

The Shorter Story with BJ Neblett

Learn the art of “less is more” in this workshop focused on short stories and flash fiction. Read classic examples, examine the elements of the genre, and use exercises to craft a compelling (and compressed) story.

Sustaining Wonder: The Art of Narrative with Carolyne Wright

Robert Hass writes that human beings “can’t sustain wonder.” In this workshop, you’ll explore strategies to generate narrative and a sense of wonder in prose and poetry and how to keep it going.

Writing Dialogue with Alex Madison

The best dialogue is the nastiest: the sharpest, the most conflict-driving, the most layered and fraught, the truest to our contemporary experience of inattention and misunderstanding. Look at how good dialogue cuts and practice sharpening dialogue in your own writing.


Experiment with Form and Genre

The Mechanics of Comics and Graphic Novels with David Lasky & Greg Stump

Learn the tools of graphic novel and comic book writing by examining works from the masters of comics and cartoons. Each week, you’ll be discussing examples and using exercises to generate your own short pieces. No prior drawing experience necessary!

Short Stories and Short Films with Mortada Gzar

Strengthen the visual impact and imagery of your short stories by creating a film adaptation for your work. You’ll write a new short story and then follow the technical and creative aspects of adapting your story into film.

Write Like a Nerd: Footnotes & Lists with Cody Pherigo

Once considered a boring pilgrimage to the bottom of the page, the footnote can be a hilarious and playful tool for poetry. Study the footnote and all its possible uses while also looking at how lists can offer a rigorous foundation with which to go wild upon and blend writing spectrums.