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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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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
4 seats available

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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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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Writing Poems Inspired By Art: What Happens Beyond the Image

In this class, we will take (virtual) museum tours to find creative flow in the interplay between visual art and poem-making. We’ll look, wander, and wonder at enchanting works of art, finding language to name our experience, for as the…

Grade: 5-7  |   Instructor: Samar Abulhassan

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Start Date: 01/12/2021
Location: Online
Duration: 4 sessions
Registration for this class has not started.

Samar Abulhassan

Samar Abulhassan holds an MFA. from Colorado State University and has worked as a teaching artist for a decade, for Seattle Arts and Lectures' WITS Program, Hugo House, Jack Straw, and the Skagit River Poetry Foundation. Born to Lebanese immigrants and raised with multiple languages, she is a 2006 Hedgebrook alum and the author of multiple chapbooks, including Farah and Nocturnal Temple. She received a 2016 CityArtist grant to complete a novel-in-poems, reflecting on memory, longing and the Arabic alphabet ignited while exploring Pike Place Market and Seattle’s waterfront.

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Poetics of the Breathing Past

History is a breathing thing, often breathing fire. We’ll look at poems as windows into the histories that textbooks leave out, reading works by modern writers like Layli Long Soldier and also looking at ballads from the labor movement. Then…

Grade: 7-9  |   Instructor: Arianne True

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Start Date: 01/23/2021
Location: Online
Duration: 3 sessions
Registration for this class has not started.

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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Going Feral: Nature Writing with a Twist

Lots of writers explore nature in their work, and you might think you know what that looks like: nature is beautiful, inspiring, magical, etc. But is that really all? In this class we’ll explore how weird, creepy, and shocking the…

Grade: 7-10  |   Instructor: Liza Birnbaum

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Start Date: 02/07/2021
Location: Online
Duration: 1 session
Registration for this class has not started.

Liza Birnbaum

Liza Birnbaum's fiction and essays have appeared in Web Conjunctions, jubilat, Open Letters Monthly, and other publications. She is a founding editor of Big Big Wednesday, an annual print journal of literature and visual art, and has taught creative writing in a number of settings, most recently at an alternative school for young women who are pregnant or parenting. In 2019, she will be a funded resident at the Lillian E. Smith Center at Piedmont College. She holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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The Weirder, the Better: Poetic Forms

Lists, spells, conversation, instructions for performance: all of these can be poetic forms. How is what we say shaped by how we say it? We’ll read a variety of short poems that use specific structures for inspiration; you’ll pick one…

Grade: 6-8  |   Instructor: Molly Schaeffer

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Start Date: 02/09/2021
Location: Online
Duration: 1 session
Registration for this class has not started.

Molly Schaeffer

Molly Schaeffer works in writing and visual art and is a founding editor of the journal Big Big Wednesday. A 2020 graduate of the Brown University MFA in poetry, she currently lives in Tacoma, WA.

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Graphic Memoir

We’ll explore telling stories from our own lives in this class as we make a wide range of autobiographical comics. A typical class will include a mix of drawing instruction, writing prompts, and close reads of works by graphic novelists…

Grade: 5-8  |   Instructor: Greg Stump

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Start Date: 02/21/2021
Location: Online
Duration: 4 sessions
Registration for this class has not started.

Greg Stump

Greg Stump was a regular contributor for more than a decade to The Comics Journal (as a journalist and critic) and The Stranger (as a cartoonist and illustrator). His work in comics includes the weekly strip Dwarf Attack and the comic book series Urban Hipster, a co-creation with David Lasky that was nominated for a Harvey and Ignatz award. Most recently, Fantagraphics released his graphic novel debut Disillusioned Illusions in 2015 through the publisher's FU Press imprint. An adjunct lecturer at Seattle University and a writer-in-residence for Seattle Arts & Lectures, he has been teaching comics to students of all ages for close to two decades.

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Collaborative Playwriting for the Digital Space

Playwriting can often be a solitary process, at least until rehearsals start. But what if it didn’t have to be? Each week, we’ll explore the fundamentals of playwriting and discuss how digital spaces like Zoom, TikTok, and more can become…

Grade: 7-12  |   Instructor: Danielle Mohlman

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Start Date: 02/23/2021
Location: Online
Duration: 5 sessions
Registration for this class has not started.

Danielle Mohlman

Danielle Mohlman is a nationally produced playwright based in Seattle, WA. Her plays have been developed at Arena Stage, the Kennedy Center, the Cherry Lane Theatre, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Cygnet Theatre, Rorschach Theatre, Field Trip Theatre, Umbrella Project, Youth Theatre Northwest, The Scratch & Really Really Theatre Group, and Seattle Public Theater, among others. Danielle is an alumna of Playwrights’ Arena at Arena Stage, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship, and the Umbrella Project Writers Group. She is a proud graduate of both Cal Poly Pomona and Emerson College. She is currently developing multiple projects for theatre, film, and audio.

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Playing with Poetic Forms

In this class we’ll get inspired by looking at a variety of traditional poetic forms, such as the ghazal, sonnet, tanka, villanelle, and pantoum, and then we’ll try our own writing experiments with them. You’ll walk away with several new…

Grade: 9-12  |   Instructor: Sierra Nelson

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Start Date: 02/27/2021
Location: Online
Duration: 1 session
Registration for this class has not started.

Sierra Nelson

Sierra Nelson is a poet, performer, and installation artist. Her books include forthcoming poetry collection The Lachrymose Report (Poetry Northwest Editions), lyrical choose-your-own-adventure I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal Press), and chapbook In Case of Loss (Toadlily). Earning her MFA in Poetry from University of Washington (2002), Nelson is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, Carolyn Kizer Prize winner, Pushcart Prize nominee, and winner of the Carolyn Kizer Prize and Seattle Office of Arts & Culture's CityArtist Grant. She is also co-founder of literary performance groups The Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society, and president of Seattle's Cephalopod Appreciation Society. For more info: songsforsquid.tumblr.com

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Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Fiction in Letter Form

In this workshop, we’ll take a familiar form—the letter—and use it as a foundation for storytelling of all sorts. We’ll consider how letters can be used to generate intrigue, build character, and draw readers into a piece of fiction, whether…

Grade: 9-12  |   Instructor: Liza Birnbaum

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Start Date: 03/01/2021
Location: Online
Duration: 2 sessions
Registration for this class has not started.

Liza Birnbaum

Liza Birnbaum's fiction and essays have appeared in Web Conjunctions, jubilat, Open Letters Monthly, and other publications. She is a founding editor of Big Big Wednesday, an annual print journal of literature and visual art, and has taught creative writing in a number of settings, most recently at an alternative school for young women who are pregnant or parenting. In 2019, she will be a funded resident at the Lillian E. Smith Center at Piedmont College. She holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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Zine-Making and Exploration

Sometimes pamphlet, sometimes memoir, always whatever you want it to be, Zines have been part of punk and DIY culture since DIY began! In this class, we’ll look at different forms zine have taken over time, emphasizing their open-ended nature;…

Grade: 5-8  |   Instructor: Molly Schaeffer

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Start Date: 03/06/2021
Location: Online
Duration: 2 sessions
Registration for this class has not started.

Molly Schaeffer

Molly Schaeffer works in writing and visual art and is a founding editor of the journal Big Big Wednesday. A 2020 graduate of the Brown University MFA in poetry, she currently lives in Tacoma, WA.

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RE: VISION

Do you ever find yourself wondering if and when your poem/s will actually be finished? You’ve done all the work to get the words down, but they are floating aimlessly in limbo with unsolved issues and no title. How do…

Grade: Grades 9-12  |   Instructor: Matt Gano

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Start Date: 03/13/2021
Location: Online
Duration: 2 sessions
Registration for this class has not started.

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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