VANCOUVER, Wash. — Award-winning fantasy and science fiction novelist Ursula Le Guin is the next featured speaker in Washington State University Vancouver’s annual Professional Writing Series. She speaks Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in the WSU Vancouver lecture hall on “Fantasy, Science Fiction, and the Mainstream.”

Le Guin has written 17 science fiction and fantasy novels including the Earthsea series “A Wizard of Earthsea,” “The Tombs of Atuan,” “The Farthest Shore,” “Tehanu,” and “The Other Wind.” A resident of Portland, Ore., Le Guin writes poetry, prose, fiction, science fiction, fantasy, children’s books, young adult books, screenplays, essays, verbal texts for musicians and voicetexts for performance or recording.

“Ms. Le Guin’s Earthsea series has been compared to J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and C.S. Lewis’ ‘Narnia’ stories,” said Pamela Smith Hill, director of WSU Vancouver’s professional writing program. “Her science fiction and fantasy titles explore an impressive range of themes including gender, Utopian societies, grief, loss, freedom and the nature of good and evil. Her books also have a deeply mythic quality that speaks to readers at many different levels.”

Le Guin has won a number of awards including multiple Hugos and Nebulas and received nominations for American Book Awards and the Pulitzer Prize. Her children’s book “The Farthest Shore” won a National Book Award and “The Tombs of Atuan” received a Newbery Silver Medal Award.

On Thursday, March 7, a panel of communications professionals will discuss “Copywriting — From TV Commercials to Press Releases” in Engineering Life Sciences Building, Room 12 at 7 p.m. The panel features Ryan Flaherty, advertising copywriter and producer for the Portland Trailblazers; Susan K. Thomas, Verve Communications strategic marketing and writing freelancer; and David Maddocks, vice president of marketing and product development for Converse, Inc.

Both the lecture and panel are free and open to the public. For more information on this series or the professional writing program, contact Smith Hill, at (360) 546-9677 or hillpam@vancouver.wsu.edu. WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave., east of the 134th Street exit from either I-5 or I-205.