Amtrak has taken a new interest in the literary artists that so frequently ride its rails. Our nation’s railroad service is now testing a new kind of artist-in-residency program—long roundtrip rides will provide a writing residency on select trains.
The idea was dreamt on Twitter by Amtrak fans and customers:
(Image courtesy of The Wire.)
Amtrak has since taken its residency program for a test run, offering select writers from the Twittersphere a free trip from New York to Chicago, with other trips in the works. The idea is that the train ride will provide a unique environment for creative thought. The goal will be to engage with writers several times per month, though specifics aren’t fully worked out.
The company has confirmed plans to keep the writer-in-residency program if not free, then low-cost. The program is still in its infancy, so the application process is yet to be defined. So far, residencies have been set up by Amtrak primarily through social media.
Amtrak is proud to pursue this endeavor, which supports writers of all backgrounds. As the company states, it’s about building a mutually beneficial relationship with these artists.
Writers are already chomping at the bit for their chance to board Amtrak and get to work the great American novel. Until a formal application process is released, we suggest following and communicating directly with Amtrak on Facebook and Twitter: @Amtrak.
UPDATE: Writers can now reigster for the Amtrak residency program at blog.Amtrak.com.