West-NW Collective Memoir Project

Calling all neighborhood scribes, wordsmiths, poets and bloggers. Come storytellers and local historians alike. We are also recruiting long-term community advocates, neighbors and business owners or people that are willing to be interviewed or have access to primary sources like personal journals, pictures, old memorabilia, etc. Neighbors West-Northwest is hosting a neighborhood storytelling project to capture personal stories and voices of the past from local neighbors in written form.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone who lives, works or visits places within the Neighbors West-Northwest boundaries can participate. We will accept work from amateur or professional writers, photographers and artists who want to share local memories. Not a writer? We also have several interns helping with interviews, research and writing — so there are many ways to help out.

Nominate Community Members with Stories to Tell

So, maybe writing is not your thing, but you can still help us capture personal stories of our history  – our legacy. Volunteer to tell us your story or nominate family members, friends or neighbors to share their unique perspective. When submitting nominations, include the nominee’s name & contact information and why you are nominating them. Interns and volunteers will be interviewing people to include their stories with our publication. We are currently recruiting interns and volunteers. If you know of someone interested in assisting, please send us their name or send them a link to this page.

How will the content be used?

These materials will be used to inform the local community about the past through an anthology and during walking tours were neighbors can gather to discuss community history. Additional uses are being considered.

“The Greatest Store West of Chicago” by Ron Savitt

“I recall visiting Meier & Frank department store as a child during spring trips in the 1960s when my family stopped in Portland on our way to Victoria, British Columbia. When I moved here in 2002, the startling white building in downtown was more than I remembered and more than I expected…”  Get inspired and share your memories with us!

Submission Guidelines, Instructions, Writing Prompts & More!

Click here for more information about this project, including submission guidelines, writing prompts, a map of the NWNW coalition area & more. Note that NWNW reserves the right to update our guidelines to address program needs as they arise — so be sure to check back here as the timeline moves forwards.


We are looking for a variety of stories from the local community. Stories must relate to at least one of the 12 neighborhoods within the Neighbors West-Northwest boundaries. Consider submitting a story about your own experiences or interviewing your friends, family and neighbors, or chatting with our interns to help us capture local history from:

  • Long-time neighborhood activists and community elders to share local memories and experiences with the next generations.
  • Communities who can help illuminate the value of diversity and how the demographics of Northwest and inner Southwest Portland have changed over time.
  • Individuals with interesting experiences related to the following general topics: community building, grassroots democracy and activism, livability, sustainability, and/or equity. This includes issues currently addressed by neighborhood associations.

For more information, contact NWNW, 503 823-4288.