Young Writers Cohort

Photo by Kino McFarland

Are you a high school student who is devoted to improving your craft and want to find others like you?

If so, the Young Writers Cohort at Hugo House was established with you in mind! 

The Young Writers Cohort asks members to make a commitment throughout the school year, which allows more serious writers to think deeply and focus on improving their writing. Cohort members meet every other week with each other and their instructor to learn, practice, and grow as writers, while developing as a supportive and educational cohort. This program offers an MFA-like experience, in which members devote 80+ hours over the course of 8 months to workshopping, studying contemporary literature, submitting work to literary presses and journals, and attending readings and events. The Cohorts are responsible for promoting and emceeing Stage Fright, our open mic event for youth, and supporting other youth initiatives at Hugo House and in the Seattle arts community. 

Cohort members are selected based on a written application and a writing sample. There is no application fee or tuition involved. We are looking for youth who have a strong commitment to writing and who have a desire to work in a collaborative team environment. No prior experience in a similar program is needed. The application is open to writers of all interests, levels of experience, and backgrounds. In addition, the Young Writer’s Cohort actively seeks out youth who represent diverse and/or unique voices, and we highly encourage youth to apply whose voices are often underrepresented in mainstream media. 

Commitment Requirements: 

  • Be a writer! Spend 8 months writing and revising new work, attending readings and events, researching literary journals and presses, and more. 
  • Be present! Attend biweekly Cohort meetings after school on Wednesdays (currently on Zoom). 
  • Be a community leader! Attend and emcee Stage Fright open mic nights. 
  • Be committed to your Cohort throughout the school year. 

2020-2021 Prose Cohort Meeting Dates: 

  • October 7th & 21st  
  • November 4th & 18th  
  • December 9th  
  • January 6th & 20th  
  • February 3rd & 24th  
  • March 10th & 24th  
  • April 7th & 21st  
  • May 5th & 19th  

2020-2021 Poetry Cohort Meeting Dates:

  • October 14th & 28th  
  • November 11th  
  • December 2nd & 16th  
  • January 13th & 27th  
  • February 10th 
  • March 3rd, 17th, & 31st  
  • April 14th & 28th  
  • May 12th & 26th

Applications for the 2020-2021 Young Writer’s Cohort can be accessed on Submittable and are due no later September 21, 2020. What is Submittable and why do we use it? Submittable is a platform for submitting application and writing materials! Many writing-focused organizations (nonprofits, magazines, journals, etc.) use Submittable, and as you move forward in your writing career, you will likely use your Submittable account often to submit your writing! 

The Young Writers Cohort is an unpaid, humanities-focused volunteer opportunity. Participation can be used as a personal or academic project. For any questions, please email