Thursday, March 13, 2014

Writing residency on a train, anyone?

Writer Abroad (usually) loves writing on trains. That is, if she has the right seat (not next to a cell phone talker or a toddler—especially her own) and has remembered her noise-cancelling headphones and laptop.

Photo by Brian Opyd
Now, there’s a perfect writing residency for writers who like to travel, which probably includes all writers living abroad.

Also, these residencies are open to anyone.

Here’s the deal. Applications will soon be opening for Amtrak’s Free Writer Residencies. Writers can receive a two to five day round-trip journey that includes a private sleeper car and a desk on most routes across the United States. Up to 24 writers will be selected.

If you’re concerned about the commercial nature of this residency, The New Yorker has a nice piece debating whether there is a conflict of interest between a commercial entity like Amtrak who may require its writers to write, tweet, or blog about their residency.

But really, if you look at the history of the arts, we wouldn’t have Mozart or Handel or most of Western Civilization’s greatest music if not for patrons. So from that standpoint, Writer Abroad says, apply to Amtrak!


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  4. Thanks for passing on the news, Chantal. My wife would be thrilled to get one of these residencies. She loves trains like no one else I know. Btw, you had some very odd comments in response to this post! :)

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