My debut novel, Something to Hold (Clarion Books), was honored with the 2012 Washington State Book Award for middle grade/young adult fiction. When I walked into Hugo House on the evening of October 3 of that year for the awards party, I thought how perfect to have the event held there. Hugo House had been my steady partner throughout the book’s long journey from vision to publication.
As soon as I put the first stumbling words on paper, I knew I needed help to keep going. I joined Hugo House and took my first class, Writing Triggers for Teachers with Frances McCue and Chick Chickadel, almost exactly ten years ago. Frances and Chick pushed me forward. When I hit major roadblocks, I came back for more: in 2008, to work with Susan Zwinger on revision and Joni Sensel on beginnings and endings; and in 2009, for Joni’s class on writing a strong query.
For me, Hugo House has truly lived out its mission: Creating an environment that has been supportive and collaborative, a place where writers of all kinds discover their authentic voices, take artistic risks without fear of judgment, build audiences for their work and launch their writing careers.
Katherine Schlick Noe taught high school English and reading in Zillah, Washington and now teaches graduate literacy courses at Seattle University for beginning and experienced teachers. She grew up on Indian reservations in Washington and Oregon where her father was a forester with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Her debut novel, Something to Hold, (Clarion, 2011) is inspired by her childhood experiences on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in central Oregon in the 1960s. Katherine is the co-author of four professional books on literature circles and is webmaster of the Literature Circles Resource Center.