Eat Read Hugo

Our annual benefit dinner and auction helps to bring nationally recognized authors to our stage, award scholarships and fellowships to emerging writers, and provide a welcoming and open space for everyone who loves books or has a drive to write.

Each year, Eat Read Hugo raises up to $225,000 to support our programs. Past special guests have included Daniel James Brown, Maria Semple, Garth Stein, Jess Walter, and Nancy Pearl.

Eat Read Hugo 2020

This glamorous evening of live and silent auctions, renowned authors, gourmet food, and exquisite wine will bring together more than 250 of Hugo House’s most loyal donors, patrons, and community members.

Featuring special guest speaker Dr. Charles Johnson, author of the National Book Award-winning novel Middle Passage; emcee Karen Finneyfrock; auctioneer Fred Northup, Jr.; delicious food from Herban Feast; and an auction of unique items and whimsical experiences—literary, gastronomic, and everything in between.

Event Details

May 7, 2020 at Sodo Park
(3200 1st Avenue South, Seattle)
5:30 pm | Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres
7 pm | Dinner and live auction

Early Bird Ticket Price: $200 (through April 1, 2020)
Price: $225 guest, $350 patron
Early Bird Tables of 10: $2,250
Tables of 10:

Purchase tickets here.

Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Menu Details


About the Speaker

Charles Johnson has published widely and is the author of four novels, three story collections, a young adult book, numerous collections of nonfiction, and over 20 screenplays. His novel Middle Passage won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1990, making him the first African-American male to win the prize since Ralph Ellison in 1953. His novel Oxherding Tale was awarded the 1983 Washington State Governor’s Award for Literature; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a story collection, was one of five finalists for the 1987 PEN/Faulkner Award; and Being and Race won a 1989 Governor’s Award for Literature.

His short fiction is included in the O’Henry Prize Stories (1993), Best American Short Stories (1992), Best American Short Stories of the Eighties, and he was named in a survey conducted by the University of Southern California to be one of the ten best short story writers in America; his short fiction and essays are much anthologized.

In 2001, Johnson received the Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s Achievement Award “for distinguished professional achievement and for enhancing the stature of Northwest literature.”

About the Emcee

Karen FinneyfrockKaren Finneyfrock is the author of the young adult novel The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door (Viking Children’s Books, 2013) and a book of poems, Ceremony for the Choking Ghost (Write Bloody, 2010). She is a former writer-in-residence at Hugo House and teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools program. A member of four National Poetry Slam Teams, Finneyfrock traveled to Nepal as a Cultural Envoy through the US Department of State to perform and teach poetry and in 2011, she did a reading tour in Germany sponsored by the US Embassy.

About the Auctioneer

Fred Northup, Jr. is one of the Pacific Northwest’s busiest entertainers: as a fundraising auctioneer, host and emcee, author, and comedy improviser. For 10 years, Fred was a company member of Seattle’s famed “TheatreSports” comedy improv group, and he travels the country emceeing and designing entertainment for major corporate events. In addition to his work on stage and on camera, Fred Northup runs a video and event production company, Southdown Creative. He’s also the co-founder of RainGlobes, the globe that rains! When not entertaining the masses, Fred can be found in Seattle entertaining his wife, Ashley, and their two children.

Interested in sponsoring this event or donating an item or experience for our live auction? Contact Louise Kincaid at louise@hugohouse.org or call 206-456-4006.