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Brilliant Openings: How to Grab Agents & Editors on Page One: A Workshop for Democracy

with Steve Almond

Genres: Fiction, Nonfiction

Online

Open to all levels

1 Session

Start Date: October 10, 2022
End Date: October 10, 2022
Day of Week: Monday
Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm PT
Capacity: 500 seats
Member Price: $22.50
General Price: $25.00

Writing’s all fun and games until the rejections start piling up. In this intensive (though informal) workshop, we’ll aim to make sure your stories or essays draw the reader in, rather than leaving them in the dark. We’ll take a second look at your opening pages, as well as the opening pages of works by Lorrie Moore, Saul Bellow, and others, in an effort to understand how they hook readers from word one

This is a Workshop for Democracy. For each Workshop for Democracy, instructor Steve Almond will contribute 100% of his teaching pay to the organization Black Voters Matter (www.blackvotersmatterfund.org/donate/). The instructor asks that students pay Hugo House a discounted fee for the class and then consider contributing to a local cause of their choosing. The suggested donation is $100, though students are free to contribute what feels right to them. Before class, we will briefly discuss what being active participants in democracy and citizens of good faith means to us in this vital moment.

Registration dates:

August 22: Scholarship Donation Day (Learn more.)

August 23: Member registration opens

August 30: General registration opens

Steve Almond

Steve Almond

Steve Almond [www.stevealmondjoy.org] is the author of a dozen books, including the NYT Bestsellers “Candyfreak” and “Against Football.” He’s the recipient of an NEA grant for 2022 and teaches at Harvard and Wesleyan. His work has been published in the Best American Short Stories, the Best American Mysteries, Best American Erotica, and the New York Times Magazine. His first novel, “Which Brings Me to You” was made into a major motion picture starring Lucy Hale. His second novel, “All the Secrets of the World,” is under development by 20th Century Fox. His new book, “Truth Is the Arrow, Mercy Is the Bow” is about craft, where stories come from, and the struggle to write.

Each class description includes a breakdown of what you can expect in terms of in-class activity, feedback, and homework (if any). 

Generative means you’ll be generating new writing, either in class or at home between classes.

Workshop means you’ll be sharing work to be read and critiqued by your instructor and classmates and that you will also be critiquing the work of your peers. 

Reading means you’ll be doing close reading of a work with an eye toward craft. 

Craft discussion means you’ll be looking at the tools writers use to do that thing they do so well and then trying it out yourself.

Class levels are designed for various stages of the writing journey. Simply self-select the level that sounds best for where you’re at. 

Introductory: This is your first creative writing workshop, first writing class since high school, or first foray into a new genre or form. You’re looking to try something new, kickstart your writing, and/or establish yourself in the fundamentals.

Intermediate: You have a strong understanding of writing fundamentals and are eager to deep dive into craft. You’re honing your writerly identity and voice through independent projects. In workshop, you look for constructive feedback and are ready to do writing and reading outside of class.

Advanced: You’ve written a significant body of work and have taken it through several stages of revision. You’re getting ready to publish or are in the early stage of publishing, and you’re interested in refining the skills that will take you to the next level in the literary industry.

All Levels: You are any of the above and are looking to play with new possibilities.

You’ll get your class information, including Zoom link if applicable, three days before the first day of class.

Write With Hugo House is our free monthly write-in program, operated in partnership with the Seattle Public Library. Two take place onsite at SPL locations, one takes place online. 

Sliding-scale classes are offered every quarter. Find them in our Class Catalog.

We announce flash sales, early bird periods, and special deals through our e-newsletter; sign up at the bottom of this page.

At this time, we offer payment plans on classes 8 sessions and up. Email education@hugohouse.org with the name of the class you’re interested in to set up a payment plan.

Asynchronous classes are perfect for students that need flexibility!

During an asynchronous class, instructors release new lessons once per week. Students then have one week to complete that lesson and any accompanying coursework. You’ll learn as much as you would in a traditional class but with the flexibility to work at the best times for your schedule!

While there are no live sessions, asynchronous classes are still a lively and rigorous experience. Async classes are not static lessons but an adaptable and energetic community space. Be ready to work in a collaborative environment, giving and receiving feedback on your writing, participating in discussions, and growing your writing practice in a way that works best for you.

Asynchronous classes take place through the website Wet Ink. Students receive an invitation to the class and to set up a Wet Ink account on the start date of the class. Each week of the class, a new lesson will be available through the Wet Ink portal. Classes close two weeks after the end date, and students receive an email containing their content from the class when it closes.

Hugo House will only process refund requests that are submitted 5 business days or more before the class start date. To request a refund, log in to your account, go to “My Account,” select the “Orders” tab on the left-hand side, click the appropriate order, and request a refund for your specific class. Administrative fees apply. Please see our full refund policy here.

In general, we do not record classes. However, an exception if a student has specific access needs.

We encourage students to only sign up for classes that fit with their schedule.   

We do not tolerate racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, transphobic or any other oppressive behaviors, regardless of who commits them. Please check out our full community guidelines by clicking here. If an instance of community guidelines are violated and not resolved within the classroom, students may let us know by filling out the student incident report.

If Hugo House needs to cancel a class for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.

Hugo House members get to register early for classes – a full week before they open to the general public!, receive a 10% discount on events and classes, and more. See the full list of membership benefits here!

Donations of all sizes allow us to provide access to quality writing classes, events, and experiences for all. Please consider making a donation to Hugo House today.

If you’re interested in contributing your skills, Hugo House accepts volunteer applications for a variety of roles, including event support, administrative tasks, and more. Learn more on our Volunteer page.

Learn about all the ways to support Hugo House here.

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