About Our Classes

At Hugo House, we offer courses in a wide range of writing styles and experiences. Whether you’re struggling to write your first poem or have a few novels behind you, Hugo House offers a class to help you become a better writer. Our classes are taught by published writers who are also stellar teachers. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. What they all have in common is a love of words.

a_nimmageGenerally Hugo House classes include one or more of the following formats:

  • generative, in which new work is created in class or based on assignments
  • workshops, in which every student submits work to receive helpful critique from both teacher and class
  • discussion-based, covering essential elements of craft
  • reading courses, in which work is studied closely for its literary craft

Hugo House classes meet for varying lengths of time, from half a day to ten sessions to yearlong manuscript classes. We offer classes at our Capitol Hill location and, occasionally, other partner venues around the city. A new set of course offerings becomes available once a quarter. Sign up for a newsletter at the bottom of this page to keep up on new course offerings.

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Early Bird Pricing


Register early and save on classes. Members can bundle the membership discount with early bird pricing as well.

Spring 2020: Early bird pricing will be in effect from March 2 through March 16.

  • $10 off one-session classes
  • $20 off classes that are two to seven sessions
  • $35 off classes that are eight sessions or more

Early bird pricing will automatically apply at checkout.

Class Scholarships


We offer need-based scholarships every quarter. Students are eligible for one scholarship per year. Applications are reviewed by a committee of staff.

If you have any questions about the scholarship process or eligibility, please email registrar@hugohouse.org.

Scholarships for Spring Quarter 2020 are now open. Applications can be filled out here and will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Class Levels


Most classes at Hugo House are intended for writers with all levels of experience, from beginning to advanced. If a class is intended for a specific level, it will be noted in the class description.


Introductory | Writers with little or no experience in a writing class or workshop setting but want to expand their knowledge of craft should consider beginning classes. These classes are also suitable for writers of all levels exploring a new genre.

Intermediate | Writers with some experience in genre-specific instruction who want to deepen their understanding and further hone their craft should consider intermediate classes. These classes often feature a workshop component where students share and critique their work, and students should feel comfortable with this model.

Advanced | Writers with significant experience in a writing class or workshop setting who seek assistance and feedback with revision should consider advanced classes.

All Levels | Classes open to all levels are useful to a writer at any level regardless of prior writing class experience.

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 registrar@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.

Academic Calendar

Winter 2020 Jan. 6 – March 28

Nov. 11 | Catalog Posted Online/Scholarship Applications Open
Dec. 2 | $500 + Donor Registration (by phone only)
Dec. 3 | Member Registration
Dec. 10 | General Registration
Dec. 2 | Scholarship Applications Due
Dec. 9 | Scholarship Applicants Notified

Spring 2020 March 29 – June 13

Feb. 18 | Catalog Posted Online/Scholarship Applications Open
March 2 | $500 + Donor Registration (by phone only)
March 3 | Member Registration
March 10 | General Registration
March 20 | Scholarship Applicants Begin to Be Notified

Online Classes


Online 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.

Cancellations and Transfers


During COVID-19 closures, students may cancel a class registration for full class credit.

If you need to cancel your registration for a class, 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.

There are no cancellations, or transfers available for the Writer’s Welcome Kit.