Writers in Residence

Since 1999, our Writers-in-Residence program has supported writers two-fold. The Writers-in-Residence themselves receive a monthly stipend and paid teaching opportunities, along with the time and space to complete a manuscript. The program also gives writers in Seattle an opportunity to receive writing guidance and advice by a published writer, free of charge.

2021-22 Writers-in-Residence


Ruth Joffre is the author of the story collection Night Beast, which was longlisted for The Story Prize. Her fiction and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Kenyon ReviewGulf CoastPleiadesPrairie SchoonerThe Masters ReviewLightspeed, Nashville Review, and elsewhere. Her months-long interview series with the authors, editors, and curators of craft books, essays, and resources is freely available on the Kenyon Review blog. A graduate of Cornell University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Ruth lives in Seattle, where she teaches at Hugo House and co-organizes the Fight for Our Lives performance series.


Schedule an Appointment

Ruth’s term begins September 15. To schedule an appointment, email ruthjoffre@hugohouse.org.

Jessica (Tyner) Mehta is an Aniyunwiya (citizen of the Cherokee Nation) interdisciplinary author and artist. Awards include a US Fulbright Scholar Award, UCross Native American artist-in-residence position, 2021 GLEAN: Portland Award, Native Arts and Culture LIFT Award, and Regional Arts and Culture Council Make/Learn/Build Award. She has published fifteen books, two of which will be released this year: When We Talk of Stolen Sisters (Not a Pipe Publishing) and Antipodes (New Rivers Press). Mehta is completing her PhD in literature at the University of Exeter (England) and serves as a post-graduate researcher at the largest Victorian Centre in England, the first Native American to hold this position.

Schedule an Appointment

Jessica’s term begins September 15. To schedule an appointment, email jessicamehta@hugohouse.org.

Past Writers-in-Residence

2020-2021: Laura Da’ & Ruth Joffre
2019-2020: Kristen Millares Young & Laura Da’
2018-2019: Amber Flame & Kristen Millares Young
2017-2018: Sonora Jha & Amber Flame
2016-2017: Anastacia-Renee & Sonora Jha
2015-2016: Joan Leegant & Anastacia-Renee
2014-2015: Kary Wayson & Joan Leegant
2013-2014: Peter Mountford & Kary Wayson
2012-2013: Tara Hardy & Peter Mountford
2009-2010: Ryan Boudinot & Karen Finneyfrock
2008-2009: Angela Jane Fountas & Ed Skoog
2006-2008: Wendy Call & David Wagoner
2004-2005: Matt Briggs & Anna Maria Hong
2001-2003: Kathleen Alcala & Emily White
1999-2001: Joan Fiset & Charles Mudede
1999-2000: Rebecca Brown

Past Hugo Huts Writers-in-Residence
(This program was discontinued in 2010.)

2008-2010: Cienna Madrid & Storme Webber
2006-2008: Todd Faulkner & Cody Walker
2005-2006: Bryan Miller & Bob Redmond
2004-2005: James Arthur & Grant Cogswell
2003-2004: Brenda Bell & Brian Goedde

Apply to Become a Writer-in-Residence


Selection Criteria

In 2022, Hugo House will be recruiting two Writers-in-Residence: one in poetry and one in prose! Applicants for the position should be practicing, published poets and prose writers as well as accomplished and dedicated writing teachers who are experienced working with writers of all levels in a traditional workshop setting, as well as on a one-on-one basis as a mentor offering criticism and professional-development advice.

Applicants should have a specific artistic project they are working on during their residency (e.g., developing a manuscript for publication) and should have a special interest in helping writers become better writers and fostering an appreciation of the craft.

Previous writers-in-residence include Laura Da’, Anastacia-Reneé, Rebecca Brown, Charles Mudede, Wendy Call, Karen Finneyfrock, David Wagoner, Kathleen Alcalá, and others.

The application period opens January 1 and closes March 31. Responses will be sent by June 1. When the application period is open, you can apply via Submittable. Full details regarding the application process are below.


Duration: One calendar year beginning Sept. 15, 2022. The term is renewable at the discretion of Hugo House with a two-term limit.

Mentorship: Writers-in-Residence hold weekly office hours (60 hours over twelve months per term) where they mentor Hugo House community members by offering criticism on their writing projects as well as professional-development advice about the writing process, finding an agent, publishing, and other writerly concerns in a one-on-one setting. Writers-in-Residence are responsible for coordinating their own appointments and must maintain a log of appointments for tracking and grant purposes. While some of these meetings may be virtual, Writers-in-Residence must be a resident of the Seattle area at the time of application and through completion of the fellowship period. An office is provided for meetings and for writers-in-residence to have space to work on their artistic projects.

Writers-in-Residence will mentor Hugo House Fellows, meeting with them 6-7 times per year, during a mutually agreed-upon time on weekday evenings or weekends.

Community Outreach: Writers-in-Residence act as ambassadors of Hugo House and advocates for writing in the community. Hugo House staff will oversee efforts of community outreach. We require Writers-in-Residence to offer three separate workshops/lectures/presentations outside of Hugo House’s location to communities with little access to the arts; and participate in two readings at Hugo House (organized by Hugo House); and curate, host, or participate in other Hugo House events and/or development activities as needed or available.

Teaching: Writers-in-Residence teach a minimum of two six-week classes per calendar year (subject to approval) as part of the Hugo Classes program and will receive separate compensation for teaching.


$500 per month stipend for twelve months, plus additional compensation for Hugo Classes; access to a vibrant and growing community of, by, and for writers; an opportunity to work with a committed staff in a creative work environment; and support and encouragement for artistic projects. Each writer-in-residence has access to a shared writing office at Hugo House to work on their writing project, or hold meetings.

To Apply

Write a cover letter of no more than 500 words that includes a description of your potential residency; your artistic project; your plans/ideas for community outreach; and your teaching/mentoring philosophy. Please include a writing sample (maximum of 10 pages) and curriculum vitae.

Applications are due by March 31, 2022, and will be judged by a panel of Hugo House staff and community members.

Questions may be addressed to daniel@hugohouse.org.

Hugo House is committed to equity and employs teachers of all backgrounds. Professional and academic opportunity is a privilege. If you do not meet some of the eligibility requirements, but have demonstrated success in other categories, our panel will weigh the components of your application accordingly.