Amtrak To Launch Free Writer's Residencies — Sign Us Up!

amtrak_embedPhoto: Courtesy of Amtrak.
All aboard, writers — Amtrak has plans to send you on a journey. The company recently announced its "writer's residency" program, which would allow authors the space and time to travel throughout Amtrak's rail networks. Oh, and did we mention that it won't cost a penny to said writers? Yeah, it sounds like a literary dream come true.
The Wire reports that Amtrak execs read Alexander Chee's PEN Ten article, where he proposed a writer's residency program aboard the trains, and the consequent tweets by various writers that had echoed Chee's enthusiasm. Amtrak, well, hopped on board, sending one very lucky Jessica Gross on a trip from New York City to Chicago. She recounted her experience in The Paris Review (proceed with caution — wanderlust like this is infectious). And now, Chee himself has set up his own test run, and you could be next!
Though the program is still in its infantile stages, The Wire was able to get a sense of its potential. Speaking with Amtrak's social media director, Julia Quinn, the reporter found out that the program will, in fact, cost the writers nothing. How Amtrak defines who is and isn't a writer is a murkier topic. Thanks to the Internet, what separates an author from a journalist from a blogger is trickier than ever. Which is why Amtrak is taking early applicants on a case-by-case basis, and social media is really the only way of applying right now. So, it all comes down to how bold one is. Bite the bullet, shoot Amtrak a tweet, prove yourself as a writer, and you could find yourself traversing the nation in a completely unique creative environment. This is no sabatical, however: It sounds like an immersive experience meant to get the writer more in tune with themselves, their voice, and their medium. It's more than unplugging, it's plugging back into what makes the writer tick. But, when it's free, there's no excuse not to try it out. (The Wire)
Advertisement

More from Pop Culture

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.