Are You Applying for the #AmtrakResidency?


View through the Amtrak window. NY state?

View through the Amtrak window. NY state? – July 2013

I took my first train ride over July 4th weekend 2013. Cleveland >> Buffalo >> Toronto >> Return.

This trip was amazing for a ton of reasons: couchsurfing, TORONTO, the travel itself. A good portion of my quick turnaround four-day weekend was spent on a train. [Details here: http://wp.me/p2k31x-oA]

Only selfie I took on my Amtrak nomad trip

Only selfie I took on my Amtrak nomad trip – July 2013

At that point, I was revising my novel Phreak Show and plotting Epistle Of Doff. I’m not sure if wi-fi is a thing on some trains, but there was no internet access on my trip. Translation: productivity.

A lot of you are already aware of the #AmtrakResidency Program for writers. If not, check out the origin story here: http://blog.amtrak.com/2014/01/tweet-lands-writer-best-workspace/

Toronto-Best (42)

Random ?orchard? scenery I whizzed past – July 2013

And if you dig the idea of a long distance train ride in a sleeper car [complete with desk], you can complete your own application here:  http://blog.amtrak.com/amtrakresidency/

[I totally jumped on that thing the second I realized the application was live.]

View of the Niagara River from the train

View of the Niagara River from the train – July 2013

During the application process you’ll have to confirm that you read the Official Terms. I’m [obviously] not a lawyer, but we writers are always concerned about works-related rights. Right? Right.

So, with that in mind, consider the clause in Item 6 of the Official Terms before selecting what writing sample to include with your submission:

6.   Grant of RightsIn submitting an Application, Applicant hereby grants Sponsor the absolute, worldwide, and irrevocable right to use, modify, publish, publicly display, distribute, and copy Applicant’s Application, in whole or in part, for any purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising and marketing, and to sublicense such rights to any third parties…

Bear in mind that as part of the application, your submitted sample (up to 10 pages) falls under the above Grant of Rights. You know, not that that should hinder you in any way. Just something to weigh and perhaps aid in the sample selection process.

Buffalo-Best (2)

Early morning chillin in the Cleveland station

So my application’s in. With up to 24 possible slots with 1000’s [10,ooo’s ?] of applicants, it’s a long shot for any of us. But that’s okay, because an investment of 15 minutes time could end up in a 2-5 day train excursion. Pretty rockin’ tradeoff if you ask me.

Outside one of the Buffalo stations - July 2013

Outside one of the Buffalo stations – July 2013

Q: Who else is applying for the #AmtrakResidency?
Q: If you don’t score one, now that the concept is under your skin, would you self-fund your own train trip as a writing retreat?

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