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Writers will have the chance to work on the next great novel from the home of Ursula K. Le Guin

The esteemed author wrote titles like “A Wizard of Earthsea” and “The Left Hand of Darkness” from the second-floor writing studio in her house in Northwest Portland.

The house of author Ursula K. Le Guin rises three stories among trees. It's painted light blue and the round second floor balcony is a deep rust color.

Urusla K. Le Guin’s house is surrounded by a lush garden.

Photo via Literary Arts

“By using words well they strengthen their souls,” Ursula K. Le Guin once said about writers. “And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.”

The esteemed Portland author remains a literary light that shines bright despite her death in 2018. Over the course of a nearly 60-year career, she wrote many of her best-known titles, including “The Dispossessed” and “The Left Hand of Darkness” from the second-floor studio of her home in Northwest Portland.

Soon, it will become a place for others to follow in her footsteps — and forge their own paths.

Ursula K. Le Guin's writing studio is decorated with books, rocks, and little photos and artworks. There is a desktop Mac computer with to rolly charis.

Ursula’s writing room was once her children’s nursery; today, it’s still decorated with her personal collection of rocks, favorite art, and books.

Photo via Literary Arts

The Le Guin family has donated the house to Literary Arts, where the nonprofit will oversee the upcoming Ursula K. Le Guin Writers Residency.

“Although Ursula’s reputation is international, she focused much of her energy on the local community of writers, libraries, and literary organizations,” said Theo Downes-Le Guin, literary executor and Ursula’s son. “So it’s fitting that this residency, ambitious in the breadth of writers it will reach, will be rooted in the house and city she loved and lived in for more than a half century.”

The three-story house was built in 1899 from a Sears & Roebuck catalog plan and eventually purchased by Urusla and her husband Charles in the early 1960s, when increasing numbers of artists and academics moved to the city. Her corner room boasts views of Mount St. Helens and a towering redwood tree, “a reminder of Ursula’s Northern California roots.”

Author Ursula K. Le Guin stands in front of a microphone on a dark stage. She and the paper she holds are illuminated by a spotlight.

The residency marks Oregon’s first significant permanent recognition of Le Guin’s legacy since her death.

Photo via Literary Arts

Still in development, the residency will welcome writers from around the world (with an emphasis on those living in the western US). An advisory council will invite writers of different genders, races, ages, economic status, education and literary genres; those who are chosen will also engage with the community at events like readings and workshops. Renovations are planned to make the house more accessible.

This program is just one of several projects to be funded by the Campaign for Literary Arts.