Summer Readings and Events: Write Our Democracy, Ben Lerner, and More

Posted Tue, 6/05/2018 - 7:59am by  |  Category:

Words are alive and malleable. At Hugo House, you can literally watch them being shaped by living, practicing writers. Our events, too, focus on the process of writing as much as the finished product, and that ethos is even more true of our upcoming summer events, which are all about craft.

And how fitting: Hugo House itself is in process. This summer quarter is the last full quarter of programs at our interim space before we move into our new home this fall. Come celebrate the joyful messiness of writing — and moving — at one of these upcoming events.


On Saturday, June 9, from 10 am–noon, Write Our Democracy returns with a Teach-In, a twist on the free quarterly Write-In series. During the first hour, local writer-activists will lead twenty-minute workshops on a range of topics exploring how to weave writing into activism, followed by a reading with the workshop instructors.

Participating teachers include Seattle Civic Poet Anastacia-Renee, Kristen Millares Young, Wendy Call, and instructors from Seattle Escribe.

Write-O-Rama, our biannual writing class sampler, returns on Saturday, June 16. This writing-packed day kicks off at noon with four workshops offered every hour until 5 pm. Curious about exploring a new genre? Try Magical Realism 101 or Speculative Nonfiction. Ready to push your writing into new places? Take Essay Experiments or The Self As Character. Feeling practical? How about How to Navigate the Writing Life or Your First Pages.

Learn more about Write-O-Rama and see the list of classes and participating teachers on the event page. We recommend getting your tickets soon as space is limited.

Ben Lerner

On August 9, Ben Lerner visits for the Word Works: Writers on Writing series. Lerner explores the relevance of art and the artist to modern culture with humor, compassion, and intelligence through his novels, criticism, and other work. In his Word Works talk, “The Novel as Curation,” he’ll discuss how prose can absorb other media — poetry, visual art, etc. — as a method of both critique and characterization.

This event takes place at The Frye Art Museum at 7 pm. You can purchase tickets in advance here.

For those wanting to explore the topic further, Lerner is teaching a two-day workshop, Writing As Curation, here at the House on August 10 and 11. Members can register now, and general registration opens June 12.

Paulette Perhach, former Made at Hugo House fellow and creator of the popular e-course The Writer’s Welcome Kit, launches her debut book, Welcome to the Writer’s Life (Sasquatch Books) on August 18 at 7 pm at Hotel Sorrento.

You’ll hear stories from fellow writers about how they got started, have a chance to take your author photo in a photo booth, and pick up the newest essential book on the writing practice. Charles Johnson, author of another essential book on craft, called Welcome to the Writer’s Life “funny and wise…” and “filled with examples of the joys and sweet agonies of the creative process.”

For a full list of upcoming readings and events, visit our events calendar.




Molly Woolbright is the Communications and Marketing Manager at Hugo House. For press inquiries or to get in touch, write to her at