Teachers

Meet Our Teachers

Hugo House teachers are at the core of our goal to help writers become better writers. Our teachers are writers; they are selected on the basis of their active engagement in the literary world as well as their love of teaching.

  • Headshot of Holly Day

    Holly Day

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    Jennifer De Leon

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    Stephanie Barbé Hammer & Deborah Nedelman

  • Headshot of Kendra DeColo

    Kendra DeColo

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    Claire Dederer

  • Headshot of Risa Denenberg

    Risa Denenberg

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    Natashia Deón

  • Headshot of Nicola DeRobertis-Theye

    Nicola DeRobertis-Theye

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    Janet Detwiler

  • Headshot of Nicole Dieker

    Nicole Dieker

  • Headshot of Scott Driscoll

    Scott Driscoll

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    Zoser Dunbar

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    Camille Dungy

  • Headshot of Andrea Dunlop

    Andrea Dunlop

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    Elisabeth Eaves

  • Headshot of Rajnii Eddins

    Rajnii Eddins

  • Headshot of Suzanne Edison

    Suzanne Edison

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    Robin Edwards

  • Headshot of Allison Ellis

    Allison Ellis

  • Headshot of Katie Lee Ellison

    Katie Lee Ellison

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    John Englehardt

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    Carolyne Wright & Eugenia Toledo-Keyser

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    John Farnswoth

  • Headshot of Melissa Febos

    Melissa Febos

Headshot of Holly Day

Holly Day

Pronouns: she/her

Holly Day has worked as a freelance writer for over 30 years, with over 7,000 articles, poems, and short stories published internationally, including in Analog SF, Harvard Review, and Maintenant. She has had several dozen books and chapbooks published by both major and independent publishers, most recently, the nonfiction books, Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Tattoo FAQ, and History Lover’s Guide to Minneapolis; and the poetry books, A Book of Beasts, The Tooth is the Largest Organ in the Human Body, Bound in Ice, and Cross-Referencing a Book of Summer. Her writing has been nominated for a National Magazine Award, a 49th Parallel Prize, an Isaac Asimov Award, multiple Pushcart awards, and a Rhysling Award, and she has received two Midwest Writer’s Grants, a Plainsongs Award, the Sam Ragan Prize for Poetry, and the Dwarf Star Award from the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

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Jennifer De Leon

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Stephanie Barbé Hammer & Deborah Nedelman

Headshot of Kendra DeColo

Kendra DeColo

Kendra DeColo is the author of I am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers from the World (BOA Editions, 2021), My Dinner with Ron Jeremy (Third Man Books, 2016) and Thieves in the Afterlife (Saturnalia Books, 2014), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 2013 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She is a recipient of a 2019 Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and has received awards and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Millay Colony, Split this Rock, and the Tennessee Arts Commission. Her poems and essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, Tin House Magazine, Waxwing, Los Angeles Review, Bitch Magazine, VIDA, and elsewhere. She is co-host of the podcast RE/VERB: A Third Man Books Production and she lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Claire Dederer

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Risa Denenberg

Pronouns: she/her

Risa Denenberglives on the Olympic peninsula in Washington state where she works as a nurse practitioner and volunteers with End of Life Washington. She is a co-founder and editor at Headmistress Press, publisher of lesbian/bi/trans poetry and curator of The Poetry Café, an online meeting place where poetry chapbooks are celebrated and reviewed. Her poetry and poetry book reviews have been published widely.

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Natashia Deón

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Nicola DeRobertis-Theye

Nicola DeRobertis-Theye’s debut novel The Vietri Project will be published in March 2021 by Harper. She was an Emerging Writing Fellow at the New York Center for Fiction, and her work has been published in Agni, Electric Literature, and LitHub. A graduate of UC Berkeley, she received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she was the fiction editor of its literary magazine Ecotone. She has taught creative writing at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington and the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts. A native of Oakland, CA, she now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Janet Detwiler

Headshot of Nicole Dieker

Nicole Dieker

Nicole Dieker teaches writing, freelancing, and publishing classes (including Hugo House online classes) and works one-on-one with authors as a developmental editor and copyeditor. She’s been a full-time freelance writer since 2012, and spent five years as a writer and editor for The Billfold, a personal finance blog where people had honest conversations about money.

Nicole’s debut novel, The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 1: 1989–2000, published in May 2017; The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 2: 2004–2016 followed in May 2018. The two books are a Millennial-era Little Women that follow three sisters from childhood to adulthood.

Visit NicoleDieker.com to learn more — including Nicole’s thoughts on writing, money, teaching and the process of taking your work from good to excellent.

Headshot of Scott Driscoll

Scott Driscoll

Scott Driscoll is an award-winning instructor (UW, Educational Outreach award for Excellence in Teaching in the Arts and Humanities 2006), and his debut novel, Better You Go Home, was selected as the Foreword Reviews First Book Contest winner. He was the 1989 winner of the University of Washington’s Milliman Award for Fiction.

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Zoser Dunbar

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Camille Dungy

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Andrea Dunlop

Andrea Dunlop is an author and consultant based out of Seattle, WA with over a decade of experience in book publishing.

She began her career as an in-house publicist for Doubleday (Random House) where she worked with bestselling authors such as Tina Brown, Jonathan Lethem, Linda Fairstein, and many others.

After moving back to Seattle in 2009, she took over as publicity manager for Kim Ricketts Book Events promoting a wide range of cookbook and literary events with authors such as Laurie David, Rene Redzepi, and Steven Johnson. Next, she spent five years with an editorial and book production firm as their executive director of social media and marketing, working with both traditionally and self-published clients and spearheading the company’s marketing efforts.

Andrea is the author of three novels including Losing the Light (February 2016), She Regrets Nothing (February 2018), and the forthcoming We Came Here to Forget (July 2019) all from Atria/Simon&Schuster. Her books have been featured in Town & Country, Bustle, InStyle, US Weekly, Vanity Fair, and elsewhere. In addition to her writing and social media work, Andrea is an accomplished speaker and has presented at book and publishing conferences nationwide including The San Francisco Writers Conference, The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Conference, The Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference, and many others.

She lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and daughter.Andrea is the author of three novels including Losing the Light (February 2016), She Regrets Nothing (February 2018), and the forthcoming We Came Here to Forget (July 2019) all from Atria/Simon&Schuster. Her books have been featured in Town & Country, Bustle, InStyle, US Weekly, Vanity Fair, and elsewhere. In addition to her writing and social media work, Andrea is an accomplished speaker and has presented at book and publishing conferences nationwide including The San Francisco Writers Conference, The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Conference, The Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference, and many others.

She lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and daughter.

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Elisabeth Eaves

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Rajnii Eddins

Originally from Seattle, Washington, Spoken Word Poet/ Emcee and Teaching Artist Rajnii Eddins has been engaging diverse community audiences for over 27 years. He was the youngest member of the Afrikan American Writers Alliance at age 11 and has been actively sharing with youth and community in Vermont since 2010. His latest work Their Names Are Mine aims to confront white supremacy while emphasizing the need to affirm our mutual humanity.

Headshot of Suzanne Edison

Suzanne Edison

Suzanne Edison, MA, MFA is a poet, educator and former therapist. She has led workshops for parents and medical professionals on the effects of chronic illness on families at Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH), NIH, and at national conferences for the Cure JM Foundation. She created a writing group for parents of kids with chronic illness at SCH, and the workshop “Teens Writing from the Heart of Illness & Healing” at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Her recent chapbook, The Body Lives Its Undoing, was published in 2018 by The Benaroya Research Institute. It is an exploration in poetry and visual art about autoimmune diseases based on interviews with researchers, doctors, patients and caregivers.

Suzanne is the recipient of grants from Artist Trust, 4Culture of King County, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and will be a Hedgebrook fellow in Fall of 2019.

Some of Suzanne’s work can be found in her first chapbook, The Moth Eaten World, and in the following journals and anthologies: Michigan Quarterly Review; Naugatuck River Review; JAMA; CMAJ; The Healing Art of Writing, Vol. I; The Examined Life Journal; Face to Face: Women Writers on Faith, Mysticism and Awakening. Her work can be read online in various other journals and on her website. www.seedison.com

Writers I Return To: Louise Gluck, Wislawa Szymborska, Rachel Zucker, Seamus Heaney, Galway Kinnell

Favorite Writing Advice: Read, write, read, write

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Robin Edwards

Headshot of Allison Ellis

Allison Ellis

Pronouns: she/her

Allison Ellis’ writing has been published in The New York Times, The Ploughshares blog, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Amazon Original Stories, SELF, Marie Claire, Redbook, and The Washington Post.

In 2016, her essay, “Hold On” won the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Award in the short nonfiction category, and her forthcoming memoir, Ready About is the 2021 recipient of the First Pages Prize/Sandra Carpenter Prize for Creative Nonfiction.

She holds an MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars (2021) and a BA from Smith College in American Studies. Read more of her work at allisonellis.com

Headshot of Katie Lee Ellison

Katie Lee Ellison

Pronouns: she/her
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John Englehardt

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Carolyne Wright & Eugenia Toledo-Keyser

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John Farnswoth

Headshot of Melissa Febos

Melissa Febos