Something Literary This Way Comes

Feeling the winter blues and need something to spice up your romance with writing this winter? The Henry and Hugo House are excited to help Seattlites find their writing inspiration this winter.

Hugo House instructor and UW MFA alum Anca Szilágyi will work with students mine the Henry collections for images to inspire their prose.

Students will be able to search our collections online and request to see a piece from our permanent collection not currently on view for the writing workshop. For example if you typed “winter” into the collection search it would return items like:


Wesley Conrad Wehr
Winter Sea (Neah Bay), 2002
Oil on mat board or card stock

Or this…

Helmi Dagmar Juvonen Winter Dance Time, 1946 Lithograph on paper
Helmi Dagmar Juvonen
Winter Dance Time, 1946
Lithograph on paper

Whether you are writing about a bridge, a flower, or a woman, you can find an object related to your theme. There is also our advanced search function which you can use to narrow down objects by subject, theme, materials, medium, and more. If you select the “choose a value” hyperlink next to the advanced search boxes and be given an auto-populated list to peruse. Another option is to select portrait and then create a story for Anca’s class about that person’s life.

If this sounds like just the thing to get you writing, please register before January 30th as the class size is limited and fills quickly.

If you need more encouragement, we asked Anca for some writing advice:

photo by Sayed Alamy
photo by Sayed Alamy

Henry:  What is your favorite food/drink for writing fuel?

Anca: I don’t usually eat and write (too distracting) but almonds and chocolate-covered espresso beans have been helpful.  I am mostly dependent on coffee.

Henry: Do you have any creative habits you cultivate?

Anca: Read every day. Write (nearly) every day.

Henry: What gets you to the page and start writing?

Anca: Habit, guilt, and whimsy. Also, great art. Also, coffee.

Henry: The AWP Writer Conference is coming to Seattle soon. Who would you love to meet if you could meet anyone attending?

Anca: Oh, gosh. 12,000 writers are expected to come to Seattle. I don’t know if she’ll be there, but I’d love to meet Anne Carson. Autobiography of Red is one of my favorite books.

Henry: What is your favorite spot to write on campus? In Seattle?

Anca: Aside from the Henry*, the Suzzallo Reading Room is always a pleasure. I have a few secret writing perches around town, but one not-so-secret favorite is the 40th floor of the Columbia Center, for its panoramic view.

Henry: What drew you to the Henry for this class collaboration?

Anca: Back when I was teaching Beginning Short Story Writing at the UW, Rachael Faust asked if I’d like to bring my class to the Henry. I said, heck yeah! The students loved the experience, as did I, and they wrote some incredible fiction as a result. When I started teaching at Richard Hugo House, we decided a six-week class would be really fun. The response so far has been great. I’m looking forward to teaching the class again.

Henry: Thanks, Anca, We can’t wait for class to start!

*No bribe was needed for this endorsement.

4 thoughts on “Something Literary This Way Comes

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