Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Writers' Residency Program on Amtrak

by Andrea Dickinson

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=38997&picture=the-right-trackI just read about a fascinating new program being piloted by Amtrak...yes, the trains. They are starting a brand new program that gives writers a free long-distance ride on one of their rail lines, so the writer can work...presumably without interruptions.

The Amtrak program appears to be a new piece to the publicity/marketing plan of a company trying to stay relevant in today's world of instant communication. The writer in residence of the first test run was asked by Amtrak to tweet about her experience en route and to be interviewed for the company's blog when she returned.

The program currently doesn't have an official application process. As stated in an article by Ben Cosman at The Wire, "with the program in its infancy, writing residencies are set up by Amtrak primarily on social media."

So what do you think? Would riding a train for 48 hours give you the quiet time you need to complete some writing? Or do you agree with a fellow GRRWG member, "the thought of being on a train that long makes me want to claw my face off"?


Patricia Kiyono said...

I love riding on trains! Last summer I traveled to central Illinois for a college reunion. The six hour ride (two 3-hour rides with a three hour layover in Chicago) gave me time to catch up on some reading, which I wouldn't have done if I were at home. I did get some writing done, too - nobody to interrupt me, no errands to run, no chores to do - I think I'd like it.

WS Gager said...

My mom sent me this same link and Amtrak and I would love to be a part of it. I just took the train from Holland to Chicago and absolutely loved it. It is the second time I have done that in the last couple of years. I do get writing done on the train and they make it easy. Each seat pairing has outlets and they do even have internet although it can be spotty in places. Sign me up!
W.S. Gager