LIVE! Spring 2024 class catalog now online! 🌷

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
Day of Week: Tuesday
Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PT
Capacity: 18 seats
Member Price: $1314.00
General Price: $1460.00

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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 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



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.


Most classes are offered at a general and member tuition rates based on instruction hours, with Hugo House members receiving a 10% discount on classes fewer than six sessions.

Early bird discounts are available during the first two weeks of registration and apply to both general and member tuition rates.

To help provide financial accessibility to our class offerings, some classes each quarter are offered with a sliding-scale tuition model, allowing students to pay what they can for the class. For these classes, tuition increments starting at $5 and going up to 125% of the standard pricing will be listed on the page.

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 the minimum number of students are enrolled within ten days before the class start date. If Hugo House needs to cancel a class for any reason, students can choose between receiving a full credit toward future classes or full refund.

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