Amtrak has announced an exciting new program for writers—a short-term residency that allows them to ride certain routes for free.
Up to 24 writers will be chosen for residencies, which are offered on undersold, long-distance routes. Each residency includes accommodations in a sleeper car that has a bed, a desk, and electrical outlets.
The program was tested and then launched after New York-based writer, Jessica Gross, tweeted Amtrak a quote from novelist Alexander Chee, who said he wished Amtrak had residencies for writers. Amtrak surprisingly responded by asking Gross if she would like to take a trial run. The program took off from there.
According to Amtrak’s website, “applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by a panel. Up to 24 writers will be selected for the program starting March 17, 2014 through March 31, 2015. A passion for writing and an aspiration to travel with Amtrak for inspiration are the sole criteria for selection. Both emerging and established writers will be considered.” Residencies will be anywhere from two to five days, with exceptions for special projects.
For more information and the official application form, check out Amtrak’s website.