What is Hugo House, anyway?

We describe ourselves most often as a writers’ center: a place where writers can come to meet others interested in the craft, take classes, consult with other writers, and attend readings and events. We also offer fellowships and opportunities for writers to work within their craft, such as the Hugo fellowship, our two writers-in-residence, and instructorship.

But don’t listen to us: one student said, “Rare places can offer an uncomplicated and human experience like this!” We hope you agree.

Where can I find you?

We are at 1634 Eleventh Avenue on Capitol Hill, on the corner of Eleventh and East Olive.

How can I get there?

Public transportation: The new Hugo House is a short walk from the Capitol Hill light rail station and the First Hill streetcar (Broadway & Pike-Pine stop), and within a half-mile of many buses, including routes 8, 10, 11, 43, 49, and 60.

Parking: A pay parking lot is available nearby at the Greek Orthodox Church at 13th and Howell, or at Seattle Central College’s Harvard Garage at 1609 Harvard Avenue. Street parking is also available but not guaranteed. The garage beneath Hugo House is for tenants only.

Is Hugo House accessible?

The new Hugo House is an accessible space and fully ADA-compliant. If you have access needs we can assist with, please contact welcome@hugohouse.org before the class or event and we will be happy to help. Captions are available upon request for all our classes. Our aim is for Hugo House to be a barrier-free learning environment. If you have suggestions about how we can improve, we welcome your input.

Can you help me find a writing group?

Writing groups are composed of fellow writers in a fairly serious relationship together—a relationship that is rarely formed via a blind date, and one that may be much more complex than any romantic relationship. We haven’t found a good way to facilitate these matches. You’re looking for a small group of people who read your work in a critical, respectful way with exciting insight. You’ll typically find these people in a classroom. When someone understands or challenges your work in a constructive way, you won’t want to let go of them. And hopefully they’ll feel the same way about you. Keep in touch with these special writer friends, have coffee, take it slow.

Can you help me get published?

We can’t, but our writers-in-residence are very helpful in advising writers on how to find an agent or send out manuscripts to various publishers. We also offer classes on publishing, book proposals, and finding an agent.

Can I donate books to your library?

We’re currently seeking books for incarcerated writers for our program, the Golf Pencil Project, which leads a weekly class at King County Jail. Students at the jail have very limited access to books, and they’re hungry for inspiring and exciting writing. Our program distributes a limited number of donated books, and we’d love your help in building a big lending library! More information on what kinds of books we’re looking for can be found here.

I just had a major writing success! Wanna hear about it?

Definitely! We might even feature it. Let us know via this form.


I have no idea which class to take, can you advise?

Sure. We’re always willing to answer questions about classes via email or over the phone. Just tell us a bit about your writing background (or tell us if you’re just getting started!) and about what kind of class experience you’d like, and we can assist you from there.

Can children or teens take classes from the Course Catalog?

Classes in our course catalog are meant for adults unless otherwise marked or included on our Youth page. If you are a minor who would like to attend an adult class, please contact welcome@hugohouse.org to receive a waiver to be signed by your parent or guardian certifying that you understand adult content could be discussed in this class.

What is a “generative” class? How is it different from a workshop class or a reading class?

Generative means you’ll be generating new writing, either in class or at home between classes. Workshop, on the other hand, means you’ll be bringing in work to be read and critiqued by the instructor and your writing peers. Don’t worry — this isn’t as scary as it sounds, and trust us when we say it’s an integral part of the writing process that will end up giving everyone ideas for revision that might not have come up in typical writerly solitude. Plus, critiquing others’ work is often even more valuable to your progress as a writer than having your own critiqued.

A reading class is also just that: reading. However, our reading classes often stray toward looking at the craft of the works being read, rather than the typical lit-class analysis of, say, the American Dream in Fitzgerald’s Gatsby. Instead, you’ll probably be breaking down the sentence structure of “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Are there specific skill levels associated with different classes?

Most of our other classes are intended for a range of levels, from very beginning to very advanced. If a class is designed for a specific level of experience, it will be noted in the course description. For more information on class levels, see About Our Classes.

But I’ve never written before! Aren’t there any classes for beginners?

As long as you have the desire and drive to be a writer, we want you here and in class! Our best advice to beginning writers is to take a class in an area of writing that interests you most, such as a class on characters for fiction or a class on line breaks for poetry. Despite focusing on a smaller area, you’ll learn a lot about the overall genre by doing so.

I don’t see the class I was interested in on your website. Can I still register?

There are two reasons a class may be missing. First, we close online registrations on the day the class starts. Please call us at 206.322.7030 if you’re still interested in registering, and we can let you know if there is space available. Second, it could mean the class was cancelled due to low registration. We recommend registering for your class three days before it starts to help prevent these cancellations.

I can’t afford classes at Hugo House. Are there any other options?

We offer scholarships every quarter. Scholarship dates and information on applying can be found here.

How do the asynchronous classes work?

Asynchronous classes are offered through Wet Ink. Students will receive an invitation to the class and to set up a Wet Ink account on the start date of the class. A new lesson is released each week of the class, and students can complete the lesson at their own pace throughout the week. There are no required live meetings. Classes close two weeks after the end date, and students will receive an email containing their content from the class when it closes.

Should I bring anything to class with me?

Besides a pen and paper, Hugo House itself doesn’t require anything. However, your teachers will email you ahead of time if they’d personally like you to bring in a work sample, laptop, or class pet. But probably not the last part.

What if I need to cancel my registration for a class?

If you need to cancel your registration, the following refund schedule applies:

  • 3 business days or more before a class, class credit or transfers will be issued less a $15 fee. Refunds will be issued less a $35 fee.
  • Less than 3 business days before class start, no refund, credits, or transfers are available.
  • No refunds, class credits, or transfers will be available after classes begin.

To cancel your registration, email registrar@hugohouse.org.

Hugo House cannot provide refunds, transfers, or offer makeup sessions for classes a student might miss. If Hugo House has to cancel a class, you will receive a full refund. Tuition credit expires in one year.


I’d like to have my event hosted at Hugo House. How do I do that?

It depends — if you’d like us to host the event for you, please fill out an event form with all the relevant information, and we’ll get back to you within one to two months. Please note that we almost never accept events that you’d like to occur within the two months after your request.

If you’d simply like to hold your event here, we rent out our spaces for a fee. See our Rentals page for more info.

How much do events usually cost?

Actually, 80 percent of our events are free! We only charge for the Literary Series, Word Works, and a few other choice events throughout the year. Visit the individual events pages for Lit Series and Word Works for more info on pricing.

Can I get a refund on my event ticket? I can’t make it.

Hugo House does not offer refunds on ticketed events. If your ticket(s) are for an event in our Literary Series or our Word Works series, you may exchange your ticket(s) for another event in the same series and season. However, refunds will be given in the case of tickets to events that are cancelled or postponed by Hugo House.

Membership and Support

Why should I become a member?

Plenty of reasons: receive discounts on events and classes, get a slew of membership benefits, and know that your membership dues help us help writers. You can read more about membership here.

Can I contribute directly to the scholarship fund?

Yes, you can! The day before member registration is Scholarship Donation Day. If you donate $250 to the scholarship fund (providing roughly one scholarship), you can register for your classes that day. We are working to get this set up on our website, but for now, you can call us at 206.322.7030 to make it happen.

Who can I speak with about sponsoring an event or program?

That would be Nicole McCarthy: nicole@hugohouse.org.