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Yearlong in Fiction

with Peter Mountford

Genres: Fiction, Novel, Short Story

In Person

Open to all levels

30 Sessions

Start Date: October 3, 2023
End Date: June 4, 2024
No Class: (skip days) 10/31/23, 11/21/23, 12/19/23, 12/26/23, 1/2/24, 2/20/24
Day of Week: Tuesday
Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PT
Capacity: 18 seats
Member Price: $1314.00
General Price: $1460.00

You must register to use the waitlist feature. Please login or create an account

This yearlong class is open to fiction writers, regardless of genre, and is designed to help writers meet creative goals/deadlines, and provide feedback on their work (whether you're working on short stories, a novel, starting a book, or in your third revision). The aim is for students to be producing work that is ready for publication—many former students have published. The class uses an array of workshop and peer-review techniques to build fluency with craft—controlling narrative time, narrative structure, characterization, tone, voice, and point of view—which empowers writers to make intentional creative decisions (instead of feeling like you're being held hostage by the whims of inspiration). Students will gain control over the craft elements in their work so that they can more easily write and revise with intention.

Payment plans are available for this class. Please email education@hugohouse.org to get a payment plan started.

Guest speaker: Karen Russell, novelist and short story writer, MacArthur "genius" fellow, and Pulitzer finalist

Syllabus: View sample syllabus here

No class dates: 10/31/23, 11/21/23, 12/19/23, 12/26/23, 1/2/24, 2/20/24

Registration dates: 

August 7: Scholarship Donation Day

August 8: Member registration opens at 10:30 am

August 15: General registration opens at 10:30 am

August 21: Last day of Early Bird pricing

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CLASS FAQS WITH INSTRUCTOR PETER MOUNTFORD

Who is this class best suited for? How much writing experience do I need to take this class?

This class is really open to anyone who is eager to commit to their fiction writing. It specializes in building accountability through regular deadlines, community (often small groups keep meeting after the class ends), and a strong foundation in literary craft.

What will I learn over the course of this yearlong?

A lot of craft tricks for making your work do what you're wanting it to do. Why does the end of this short story not work? Why does the dialogue in this novel feel a bit boring? There are answers to these questions and tricks for resolving them. You'll know the answers and the tricks when you're done.

What's the balance of in-class generative writing, lecture, and workshop?

75% workshop or peer review (though often these conversations are used to spotlight a craft question that is relevant to everyone). 5% generative writing, and 20% craft classes based around assigned reading.

How much time outside of class will I need for this class each week?

About two hours.

How much feedback will I receive on my work, peer, or instructor?

A lot. Because there are small groups and big groups, people who have a lot of finished work can end up having a hundred or more pages of work reviewed. Because of the way the small group rotation works, you end up getting most feedback from your group, a bit less from the instructor, and still less from the other 2/3 of the students.

Who will we be reading?

ZZ Packer, Lorrie Moore, Hana Choi, Karen Russell, Danielle Evans, David Means, Kazuo Ishiguro, etc.

Peter Mountford

Peter Mountford

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.

Website: petermountford.com

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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