#AmtrakResidency Program: Ride Amtrak and Write by Joey Pinkney

Joey Pinkney
By Joey Pinkney March 23, 2014 19:02

#AmtrakResidency Program: Ride Amtrak and Write by Joey Pinkney

How cool would it be if you could ride an Amtrak train cross-country and write until your heart’s content? Keep reading…

The #AmtrakResidency program will be perfect for you.

Applications are currently being accepted online from 17 March 2014  through 31 March 2015 for Amtrak’s residency program, which will be awarded to up to 24 different authors on a rolling basis. Each author’s trip will be about two to five days long and could be longer if you’re working on a special project.

Whether you are an established writer or just starting out, Amtrak’s criteria are simple:

  1. you must be passionate about writing
  2. you must be passionate about traveling with Amtrak.

How did this super-cool residency come about?

For many writers, the best story ideas come while being in motion. There are countless writers who carry a notepad and pen with them or use an electronic device to capture great ideas, poems, scenes, etc. when they are out and about doing non-writing activities like driving in the car or commuting by train.

In a PEN America interview with author Alexander Chee, the question was asked: “Where is your favorite place to write?”

Chee answered, “I wish Amtrak had residencies for writers.” That response in that interview sparked a flurry of activity on Twitter by people who also shared the sentiment.

Amtrak’s social media team caught wind of a tweet by Jessica Gross, a writer based in New York, who quoted the previously mentioned answer. Not only did they see it, they offered Jessica a test run via twitter. You can read what came of her Amtrak adventure here.

If gazing out of a window while the countryside whisks by inspires your personal literature, give the #AmtrakResidency Program a shot.

Click here for more information about the #AmtrakResidency program. Be sure to read all the terms and conditions before you apply.

Joey Pinkney
By Joey Pinkney March 23, 2014 19:02
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5 Comments

  1. Penny Dickerson March 26, 11:52

    Thanks for keeping us abreast of the foremost writing trends Joey. You rock!

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  2. Deborah Chaddock Brown April 30, 13:54

    Joey – I have been following the # but haven’t seen any updates. Have you heard whether or not they have selected any winners?

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    • Drop Me Anywhere May 2, 18:33

      Deborah, I received a response via a Twitter post a couple of weeks ago. They said they plan to announce in the spring. A bit general, but I was happy to get a response. I’m putting my money on May 10, National Train Day (a complete guess).

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  3. A. Stanford July 21, 13:40

    This is so interesting. I was just recently going to travel to the east coast to visit my friend. As I was wondering what mode of travel I’d be looking into, one of the main reasons I really wanted to travel coast to coast on the Amtrak was to to get some writing done. Of course Amtrak’s costs for such a trip from the west to the east were quite ridiculous (almost double a plane ride), but it was a nice thought. I honestly never knew that there were folks around the country who shared this same sentiment. I don’t consider myself a ‘writer,’ but I do write and think residency program is pretty awesome!

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  4. jazzykim August 27, 15:18

    Wow. That’s a great way to travel and write. I just checked this – they are full and not accepting anymore applications. 🙁

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