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Youth Classes & Scribes Summer Camps

Whether you are just starting to explore your written voice or are looking to learn new skills and forms of writing, Youth Classes and Scribes Summer Camps will inspire creativity and nurture your writing life! 


During Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters, Hugo House offers new classes for youth grades 5–12 to grow and develop as writers in a safe and nurturing environment. Our instructors—all accomplished writers, out-of-the-box thinkers, and experienced educators—create fun, engaging sessions to keep you writing and connecting with othersClasses are offered in a variety of writing genres, so that writers can explore new forms of writing and/or practice their favorites!

Check out the current offerings in the menu below.  

To make our classes more accessible for all youth, tuition is scaled at 30%–60%–90%–100% so that families can pay what they can. If you have any questions, or would like to make a donation for another student to attend, please call 206-322-7030 or email youth@hugohouse.org. 

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Envisioning the Future

In celebration of the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, Isaac Asimov wrote an essay about what he imagined the world 0f 2014 would look like – flying cars and kitchens that cook your meals for you, etc. Some predictions were…

Grade: 5-8  |   Instructor: JP Kemmick

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Start Date: 10/22/2020
Location: Online
Duration: 2 sessions

JP Kemmick

JP Kemmick was recently digging through old boxes in his mom's basement and found a laminated bookmark he made in 3rd grade which was all about his favorite things. On it, he had also written what he hoped to be when he grew up: an author. (He also misspelled his own name.) All these years later, JP still wants to be an author, and has even published some stories. On the way, he's also discovered the joy of teaching. He's been a Hugo House Scribes instructor for three years and has taught writing and English classes across the northwest. He loves old sci-fi and comic books. His happy places are at a rock n roll show or out in nature.

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Fantasy Flash Fiction

Do you invent new ways of crafting magic? Imagine other worlds? Create creatures with mythological backstories? Do you want to? In this workshop we will write very short stories (flash fiction) in which the fantastical happens. Lighting our mysterious path…

Grade: 9-12  |   Instructor: Karen Finneyfrock

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Start Date: 10/26/2020
Location: Online
Duration: 4 sessions

Karen Finneyfrock

Karen Finneyfrock is a poet and novelist in Seattle, WA. She is the author of two young adult novels: The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door and Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, both published by Viking Children’s Books. She is one of the editors of the anthology Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls and the author of Ceremony for the Choking Ghost, both released on Write Bloody press. A former Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House, Karen teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools, Seattle Writes and Young Women Empowered.

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Steal Like a Writer

Writers often read the work of other writers in order to develop their own ideas. In this class, we’ll learn how to see new ideas in others’ writing and borrow them for our own work. We’ll rewrite the dictionary on…

Grade: 7-10  |   Instructor: Arianne True

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Start Date: 11/01/2020
Location: Online
Duration: 4 sessions

Arianne True

Arianne True (Choctaw, Chickasaw) is a queer poet and folk artist from Seattle. Besides the Hugo House, Arianne has taught and mentored with Writers in the Schools (WITS) and YouthSpeaks Seattle, and is a proud alum of Hedgebrook and of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

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Parallel Bars

Are you a poet/rapper/songwriter who loves the sound of rhyme and the feeling of reciting lyrical flow? Me too! Come learn how to further exercise the music of language and build on the foundation of your rhyme skills. From subtle…

Grade: 9-12  |   Instructor: Matt Gano

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Start Date: 11/10/2020
Location: Online
Duration: 2 sessions

Matt Gano

Matt Gano is a Seattle based poet, MC, and Teaching Artist currently writing, recording, and performing
as, “ENTENDRES.” He is author of “Suits for the Swarm,” a poetry collection from MoonPath Press, co-founder of the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Program, and was the principle bricklayer/Program Director of Abbey Arts' NEXT STAGE program - a career training program
for emerging artists. He works as a writer-in-residence for Seattle Arts and Lectures: Writers in the Schools program, and as a guest teaching artist for the Skagit River Poetry Foundation.

Gano made waves nationally as a spoken
word poet and Slam champion in the early 2000’s while representing Seattle multiple years at the National Poetry Slam. With a voice rooted in and born of 90’s hiphop, Gano studied and built his craft in a rising era of the Seattle poetry and hiphop scene. Performing
and writing alongside poets, Anis Mojgani, Buddy Wakefield, Tara Hardy, Iyeoka Okoawo, and many others, he completed multiple tours across the United States as a featured artist performing poetry on some of the world’s most legendary stages.

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Unbuilding Place

Did you know that Belltown was once tall grasslands? Or that North Seattle Community College was a cranberry bog? Or that a village, dzee-dzee-LAH-letch, where Chief Seattle once lived, was located on what is now the King Street Station? Students…

Grade: 9-12  |   Instructor: JP Kemmick

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Start Date: 11/14/2020
Location: Online
Duration: 2 sessions

JP Kemmick

JP Kemmick was recently digging through old boxes in his mom's basement and found a laminated bookmark he made in 3rd grade which was all about his favorite things. On it, he had also written what he hoped to be when he grew up: an author. (He also misspelled his own name.) All these years later, JP still wants to be an author, and has even published some stories. On the way, he's also discovered the joy of teaching. He's been a Hugo House Scribes instructor for three years and has taught writing and English classes across the northwest. He loves old sci-fi and comic books. His happy places are at a rock n roll show or out in nature.

See current classes >

Writing Our Politics

You have something to say! You’ve said it in an argument essay in school or you’ve said it to your parents, aunts, uncles, siblings in heated discussions, but maybe it hasn’t found its way home yet; your heart hasn’t found…

Grade: 10-12  |   Instructor: Meredith Arena

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Start Date: 11/23/2020
Location: Online
Duration: 2 sessions

Meredith Arena

Meredith Arena is a queer writer and interdisciplinary teaching artist from New York City with 18 years of teaching experience with youth ages 5-15, both in afterschool and school-day arts integration. She likes to challenge authority, play theater games, garden, draw and wander. Her work can be found in various journals including Longleaf Review, Entropy, Lunch Ticket and Peatsmoke. She holds an MFA in creative writing and a Certificate in the Teaching of Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles.

She hopes her students tune into their inherent creativity so they can access it when they most need it.

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What’s Spoken

Your voice is a powerful tool and poetry is the amplifier. The art of Spoken Word activates a platform for protest, for empowerment, to inspire courage and dispel fear, and to shine a light on shared trials and experiences both…

Grade: 9-12  |   Instructor: Matt Gano

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Start Date: 12/01/2020
Location: Online
Duration: 2 sessions

Matt Gano

Matt Gano is a Seattle based poet, MC, and Teaching Artist currently writing, recording, and performing
as, “ENTENDRES.” He is author of “Suits for the Swarm,” a poetry collection from MoonPath Press, co-founder of the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Program, and was the principle bricklayer/Program Director of Abbey Arts' NEXT STAGE program - a career training program
for emerging artists. He works as a writer-in-residence for Seattle Arts and Lectures: Writers in the Schools program, and as a guest teaching artist for the Skagit River Poetry Foundation.

Gano made waves nationally as a spoken
word poet and Slam champion in the early 2000’s while representing Seattle multiple years at the National Poetry Slam. With a voice rooted in and born of 90’s hiphop, Gano studied and built his craft in a rising era of the Seattle poetry and hiphop scene. Performing
and writing alongside poets, Anis Mojgani, Buddy Wakefield, Tara Hardy, Iyeoka Okoawo, and many others, he completed multiple tours across the United States as a featured artist performing poetry on some of the world’s most legendary stages.

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Twisted Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales often reflect the cultural norms of the time period they are written in, and students in this class will read two different versions of Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm, one from their first edition and one from their…

Grade: 5-8  |   Instructor: JP Kemmick

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Start Date: 12/03/2020
Location: Online
Duration: 2 sessions

JP Kemmick

JP Kemmick was recently digging through old boxes in his mom's basement and found a laminated bookmark he made in 3rd grade which was all about his favorite things. On it, he had also written what he hoped to be when he grew up: an author. (He also misspelled his own name.) All these years later, JP still wants to be an author, and has even published some stories. On the way, he's also discovered the joy of teaching. He's been a Hugo House Scribes instructor for three years and has taught writing and English classes across the northwest. He loves old sci-fi and comic books. His happy places are at a rock n roll show or out in nature.

See current classes >

The Art of Allusion

In this workshop we will look into the idea that poetry doesn’t always require logical connections in order to “make sense.” By using concrete language and side-stepping the abstract we will explore how to use surrealism and “magic” to create…

Grade: 8-10  |   Instructor: Matt Gano

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Start Date: 12/05/2020
Location: Online
Duration: 2 session

Matt Gano

Matt Gano is a Seattle based poet, MC, and Teaching Artist currently writing, recording, and performing
as, “ENTENDRES.” He is author of “Suits for the Swarm,” a poetry collection from MoonPath Press, co-founder of the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Program, and was the principle bricklayer/Program Director of Abbey Arts' NEXT STAGE program - a career training program
for emerging artists. He works as a writer-in-residence for Seattle Arts and Lectures: Writers in the Schools program, and as a guest teaching artist for the Skagit River Poetry Foundation.

Gano made waves nationally as a spoken
word poet and Slam champion in the early 2000’s while representing Seattle multiple years at the National Poetry Slam. With a voice rooted in and born of 90’s hiphop, Gano studied and built his craft in a rising era of the Seattle poetry and hiphop scene. Performing
and writing alongside poets, Anis Mojgani, Buddy Wakefield, Tara Hardy, Iyeoka Okoawo, and many others, he completed multiple tours across the United States as a featured artist performing poetry on some of the world’s most legendary stages.

See current classes >

Bits and Pieces: Building a Story From Scraps

A squid falls in love with the sun. A frog falls in love with a princess. A man falls in love with a ring. In each story, the protagonist goes to increasingly extreme lengths to attain the unattainable. In this…

Grade: 7-8  |   Instructor: Courtney Bird

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Start Date: 12/07/2020
Location: Online
Duration: 1 session

Courtney Bird

Born in New Jersey, Courtney holds an MFA in Fiction from the University of Montana and a BA in Art History from Princeton. Her work has appeared in The Fairy Tale Review, The Masters Review, The Indiana Review, Barrelhouse, and The Los Angeles Review, among others. When Courtney's not writing, she can be found coaching lacrosse, hiking with her baby on her back, or looking for weird little pockets of wonder in the world. Courtney lives in Seattle, where she was a Hugo House Fellow in 2018-2019.

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