I love Amtrak. They are far from perfect and rarely get me where I want to go when I want to get there but I still love Amtrak. I’ve been put on buses several stops before my station and I’ve arrived at Portland, OR at 2 a.m. instead of 6 p.m. the previous evening, but I still love Amtrak. There is just something otherworldly about traveling by train. And now I love Amtrak even more because I may be able to ride and write for free.
The Amtrak Residency for Writers is an innovative program. Imagine taking a free multi-day, round-trip ride on Amtrak for the sole purpose of writing. What started as one person’s experience that became a viral idea among the writing community has become an organized plan by Amtrak. And it is available to anyone who wants to write, not just published authors.
I think Amtrak is being amazingly generous. They are providing a room on a sleeper car for free and they are not expecting anything in return. You do not have to write about Amtrak and you do not have to show your work when your ride is over. I don’t believe in a free lunch but this is as close as one may get.
For this first go around they are giving away 24 writing residencies. Giving away, as in, no cost to ride. If that sounds amazing to you then click here to sign up. Whether I win or not I will be riding Amtrak more often now and perhaps I’ll even get some writing done. I hope Amtrak’s innovation spreads to other unusual areas of the world. Happy travels.
“I sat and thought for four (delayed train) hours, and all the details bubbled up in my brain, and this scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who didn’t know he was a wizard became more and more real to me.” – J.K. Rowling (maybe I should hope that the Amtrak is delayed.)