Hugo House is taking applications for a couple pretty excellent creative development programs, and the deadlines are coming up soon. Specifically, they're looking for a new Prose Writer-in-Residence and also a new batch of Made at Hugo House fellows. In addition to those offerings, their spring course catalogue is in full effect, and classes are just starting up.
If you're serious (or just curious) about the craft of writing, these classes are incredibly useful to take. Most of them focus on YOU generating new work, and they're taught by approachable and knowledgeable working writers. In any case, here's more info on the two open creative programs, plus six classes I'd recommend you'd take.
• Prose Writer-in-Residence: The residency is for writers/writing teachers who want to engage with the local writing community and also complete a manuscript—be it a novel, a collection of short stories, a book of essays, or anything prose-y like that. Previous writers-in-residence include Rebecca Brown, our very own Charles Mudede, Wendy Call, Karen Finneyfrock, the great poet David Wagoner, Kathleen Alcala, and many others. As the prose writer-in-residence, you get to hold weekly office hours with the public, lead a couple workshops in the community, and teach a few classes. For your efforts you're given $500 a month for nine months, plus any money you pick up teaching the classes. Deadline: April 30.
Novelist Joan Leegant, author of An Hour In Paradise, is the outgoing writer-in-residence for prose. She said the best part of the job for her wasn't necessarily the writing space at Hugo House (though she said it's a nice spot) or the time for writing (she would have done that anyway), but the amount of inspiration she took from meeting with people in the community. "It's a win-win for everybody," she said. "All of the community work is compatible with a writing life...and seeing hundreds of people who are producing writing—of all different ages, lifestyles, educational backgrounds—kept me going."
• Made at Hugo House: If you're an essayist, a novelist, a poet, or you're working on any kind of scribblin' project at all, you should consider signing up for this program. It's sort of like a mini-MFA. You enter and share an office with a cohort of 4-6 other writers working on a bunch of cool shit. You get to take free classes and to receive consultation from working writers and agents. You get to read a couple times per year. And by the end of the process you could walk out of HH with a finished chapbook, play, draft of a novel, memoir, or whatever you're working on. Deadline: April 30
Unsure of what kind of writing project you want to undertake? Then sign up for a class or two. Classes range from one day to several weeks, and they're a great way to enhance your craft or figure out how to write in a different genre. Be sure to sign up well before the deadline!
• Before I get into a few classes for adults, check out this sweet one-day class for teens called Red Lineage Hackathon. Next Saturday, interdisciplinary writer/artist person Natasha Marin will lead a team of "local literati" who will show teens how to use whatever tech they have lying around to create and archive poems on the web as part of an international project called Red Lineage, which is basically a communal poem. Deadline: April 20.
• I am teaching a class on reading and writing contemporary American poetry. Tired of being suspicious of an entire art form because it doesn't seem to make any fucking sense? Want to learn which journals publish which kind of poems and thus be able to sort out where you should send those poems? Then take my class. Deadline: May 20.
• If you're into science, consider Bill Carty's class, To the Sciences!, in which you'll use scientific genres as ways to shape your poems. Deadline: April 18.
• Current writer-in-residence Anastacia Tolbert is offering an interesting-looking class called Writing Within the Body. Four weeks on prose, especially "for those feeling stuck, or having a hard time moving forward in their writing." In the class, Tolbert will "look at the body as a conduit for fiction and nonfiction by weaving a web of fictional memoirs from and through the body." Deadline: April 28.
• Working on a comic? Take David Lasky and Greg Stump's Graphic Novel Memoir class. Lasky had a strip at The Stranger for a while, and also wrote. His book The Carter Family: Don't Forget this Song is a personal favorite of mine, mostly because I love all that country western shit. Deadline: May 18.