Writing – Do It By Train

April 28th, 2014 by The JetSetter Team | 1 Comment »

JS0403For any writer, the ultimate goal is uninterrupted time in which to write. Time where no one is bothering you, costs are minimal, and scenery is inspiring. While it sounds too good to be true, Amtrak is enacting a program that offers all of those things.
After a writer tweeted about it (behold the power of social media!) Amtrak experimented with the program. They must have liked what they saw, because the train has opened the program to other writers hoping to get a few days to write by train—for free.
The idea of writing on trains is so romantic, bringing to mind simpler days of uninterrupted and inspired writing, endless creativity. While the Amtrak writers residency is a little more technologically advanced than the writers on trains we tend to picture, it seeks to inspire writers to complete large projects by providing the time, space, and changing scenery that is helpful to many writers.

If you’ve heard of the residency, it is probably thanks to the social media team at Amtrak who have been busy answering tweets and formalizing the program. According to the team, Amtrak is excited about the program because it offers a new and different way to expose their product to new audiences. And they’re right—the residence is getting plenty of positive reception and is really promoting itself.

For this first run, 24 writers will be selected by outside writers and Amtrak executives to complete a residency, set to take place on long-distance, undersold routes. The residency will include a sleeper car with the basics—a desk and a few outlets. And what is expected of the writers? Very little—they aren’t required to mention Amtrak in their pieces and they don’t have to turn in any writing. Instead, they’ll complete a short interview.

And, while it might not seem like luxury, it is the ultimate experience for most writers. The first round of applications was accepted March 17- March 31, but Amtrak says that there is more to come. Keep an eye out (Twitter is probably the best or at least fastest way) for additional information. In the meantime, visit the Amtrak site and get a head start on the (incredibly simple) application process!

How much work could you get done on a train? We’re betting Jason Hartman would be unstoppable on an Amtrak! (photo credit: Eddie~S via photopin cc)

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