LIVE! Spring 2024 class catalog now online! 🌷

Yearlong in Storytelling

with Sonora Jha

Genres: Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir, Short Story, Essay


Open to all levels

30 Sessions

Start Date: October 16, 2023
End Date: June 24, 2024
No Class: (skip days) 12/18/23, 12/25/23, 1/1/24, 1/8/24, 1/15/24, 2/19/24, 5/27/24
Day of Week: Monday
Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm PT
Capacity: 18 seats
-1 seat left!
Member Price: $1377.00
General Price: $1530.00

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Please note the following schedule changes not shown in the printed catalog:

New start date: 10/16

New end date: 6/24

Sometimes you have a story to tell, and you don't know yet the genre in which it wants to be told. In this craft-focused class, we will read fiction, essays, autofiction, and memoir from around the globe. We will generate fresh writing, discuss roadblocks, find pathways, and workshop your pages as you work with the support of a cohort. You will find your voice, your story, your form. Sonora Jha draws on her experience as a novelist, an essayist, a memoirist, and a journalist to design exercises and writing prompts that work for your chosen genre. Get ready to spark both memory and imagination as you craft a compelling voice, unforgettable characters, vivid story arcs, distinct points of view, and complex narrative tension to write the story that is uniquely yours to tell. Expect to leave with a draft of a book or a strong revision.

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

Guest speakers: Six guest speakers will be featured, including authors of fiction and memoir/essays and industry professionals, such as agents and editors/publishers

Syllabus: Available by request. Please email

No class dates: 12/18/23, 12/25/23, 1/1/24, 1/8/24, 1/15/24, 2/19/24, 5/27/24

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 is best suited for those who have started work on a book/writing project and are interested in generating more writing, learning more craft, workshopping their pages, receiving feedback from the instructor and cohort, learning from published authors and industry professionals, and learning where to submit their work for publication.

What will I learn over the course of this yearlong?

You will immerse yourself in the craft of storytelling, with lessons in plot, character, narrative tension, settings, description, dialogue, and other elements of storytelling for fiction and non-fiction. You will read excellent literature and learn from guest sessions by authors of those books. You will also learn how to pitch your work to agents and editors.

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

Typically, we have 45-60 minutes of lecture and discussion, 20 minutes of generative writing to prompts, and 30-40 minutes of workshopping.

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

This depends on how much time you devote to writing from prompts handed out in class, reading the books prescribed, and workshopping. Typically, 2-6 hours will keep you on track with your project; more will help you make greater strides.

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

You will receive considerable feedback, with individual Zoom sessions each quarter with the instructor and in-class workshopping as well as peer groups set up for writing outside of class time (optional)

Who will we be reading?

In the past, students have read and had guest lectures from Megha Majumdar (A Burning), E J Koh (The Magical Language of Others), Aimee Nezhukumathatil (World of Wonders), Jocelyn Nicole Johnson (My Monticello), Putsata Reang (Ma and Me), and New York agents and editors.

Sonora Jha

Sonora Jha


Sonora Jha is the author of the novels The Laughter (2023) and Foreign (2013) and the memoir How To Raise A Feminist Son: A Memoir and Manifesto (2021). After a career as a journalist covering crime, politics, and culture in India and Singapore, she moved to the United States to earn a Ph.D. in media and public affairs. Sonora’s OpEds, essays, and public appearances have featured in The New York Times, on BBC, and elsewhere. She is a professor of journalism and lives in Seattle. She teaches fiction and essay writing for Hugo House, Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat, and Seattle Public Library. 

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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