Winter registration starts soon! Registration opens for members on Dec. 5 and for the general public on Dec. 12.

Humor & Persuasion: The Comic Personal Essay

Genres: Nonfiction, Essay



2 Sessions

Start Date: January 27, 2024
End Date: February 3, 2024
Day of Week: Saturday
Time: 1:10pm - 3:10pm PT
Capacity: 15 seats
Member Price: $118.80
General Price: $132.00

The best personal essays make us laugh, teach us something, or allow us to see the world in a new way. In this generative two-week course, we'll explore how you can win over your audience using humor, even when writing about deadly serious subjects—even death. The class will include close readings, subject matter guidance, humorous writing exercises, giving and receiving feedback on 1000 words, and, hopefully, a few laughs.


  • This class includes:  
    • Generative Writing: students create new work during class or from assignments.
    • Workshop: students submit work for critique from the teacher and class.
    • Craft Discussion: teachers and students explore essential elements of the craft.
    • Reading: class engages in close study of one or more works.
  • Feedback in class: Both peer and instructor feedback given.
  • Work outside of class: 2-3 hours of writing or reading outside of class.


  • December 4: Scholarship Donation Day 
  • December 5: Member registration opens at 10:30 am PT 
  • December 12: General registration opens at 10:30 am PT 
  • December 18: Last day of Early Bird pricing 
Courtenay Hameister

Courtenay Hameister


Courtenay Hameister is the former host of Live Wire and the author of Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went From Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things—Amazon Bestseller and Thurber Prize for American Humor finalist.

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.

Class sessions may be recorded if a session falls on a holiday, or if a student has access needs. Class recordings are not guaranteed.

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.

Classes may be cancelled if less than 5 students are enrolled within 10 days before the class start date. If for any reason Hugo House needs to cancel a class, students can choose between a full credit or full refund.

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