Why Hugo? — Paulette Perhach

Posted Wed, 12/18/2013 - 9:41pm by  |  Category:

Last year, we asked those who are deeply involved here: Why Hugo? The fun continues this year with more anecdotes from instructors, students, members, and more. We hope they’ll show you why should support Hugo House this holiday season. Here’s what Made at Hugo House fellow Paulette Perhach has to say.

When I moved to Seattle, I waitressed for five months while looking for another job. The only way I made it through the summer was getting $750 someone paid me as reparation for when their pit bull attacked me five years earlier. It was tough times, to say the least.

When I heard about Hugo House, I was so excited that there was this amazing resource just blocks from where I lived. But I could barely afford to shop at the thrift store, let alone pay for an education in the arts. I called and asked if they had any scholarships, and the person on the phone said, “We just want to make sure that everyone who wants to take a class has the opportunity to do so.”

That feeling of support warmed my broke little soul. I’ve never lived in a city or been part of an organization that supports writers’ goals the way Hugo House does.

I went from someone who was so scared that I wanted to be a writer — I used to make the password on my stories “Iwanttowrite” — to someone who was winning the Made at Hugo House Fellowship and getting published on Salon.com. Through subsequent classes (thanks to a great new job) and the Works in Progress open mic night, I’ve never been more hopeful that I’ll create work that is beautiful and valuable to someone out there. I’m working on writing that I hope will add something to the world — something that is worth the donation a stranger gave so that I could get that much closer to my fulfilling my calling to be a writer.



Paulette Perhach earned her degree in magazine journalism from the University of Florida, and later interned at Health and Coastal Living magazines, where she realized she wasn’t really that much of a magazine person. She found out she wasn’t really supposed to be a journalist by working as an education and features reporter in St. Augustine. She found out she wasn’t meant to be that good of a person by joining the Peace Corps. But she has discovered that one can sculpt confusion and error into art that is at least in itself beautiful, so that’s what she’s into now. She has a tech writing job that funds her traveling habit, is applying to MFA programs this year, and is committed to spending the next decade or two practicing until her writing does for others what great writing has done for her.