Inside Amtrak’s (Absolutely Awesome) Plan to Give Free Rides to Writers

Image Associated Press

The Wire featured a story on their site today on Amtrak offering writers long round trip rides on their trains solely for the purpose of writing. Just think; seeing different parts of the country while producing your next great novel by riding the rails.

I always loved riding Amtrak; one of my first trips to Florida was in 1994. I took a round trip from Pittsburgh to Miami, complete with sleeper car accommodations. The trip was 26 hours each way but worth every moment, particularly if you’re squeamish about flying as I am (I don’t fly unless absolutely necessary). But I digress.

As for the Amtrak writer’s residency program, here is what constitutes a writer in accordance to The Wire article:

How will Amtrak decide who to send on its residencies? In the short term, as the program gets off the ground, candidates will be selected on a case-by-case basis. Quinn said that residents won’t “necessarily just [be] published authors, or people with multiple books under their belt, or [people that had] a publication tap them.” Amtrak, Quinn said, is open to people with a variety of writing backgrounds, because “the differences between a journalist, a published author, a blogger – those lines are continually blurred by the internet.”

Sounds fair enough.

Anyone willing to give it a try once Amtrak gets this incredible idea off the ground?

Meanwhile, you may read The Wire’s feature on the new concept at this link.


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