I promised I would scream it from the hilltops when Amtrak made their writers’ residency program official. Well, this is me screaming it from the hilltops. On Saturday, the railway announced its official #AmtrakResidency, which will allow for up to 24 writers to take long-distance trains to work on their projects. Residences will last 2-5 days, and all applications are due by March 31st.
“Each writer’s round-trip journey will include accommodations on board a sleeper car equipped with a bed, a desk and outlets. We hope this experience will inspire creativity and most importantly fuel your sense of adventure!” says Amtrak’s blog. Keep reading »
No more trying to find a coffee shop with reliable WiFi and clean bathrooms. No more praying your roommate can refrain from talking for half a day while you peck away on the keyboard. It’s still in the “test-run” phase, but it’s OK to get your hopes up because Amtrak has confirmed that it will be implementing a writing residency program. It’s just what it sounds like: writers will be able to take long (hopefully free), roundtrip train rides with the sole purpose of writing. It’s genius because between the people watching, the change of scenery and the quiet, it’s hard to come up with excuses not to be productive (a writers’ favorite game). If you don’t suffer from motion sickness, it’s essentially the perfect environment to write your essay, novel or screenplay. Keep reading »
In part one of her adventure, Winona and her travel companions discover that they’re in for more than they bargained for on a mysterious trip from Portland, Oregon, to White Fish, Montana. Today, read the conclusion of her trip.
We were silent for a moment, examining the dimly lit Spokane skyline in the distance. “I didn’t even know Spokane had a skyline,” I said, and the boys nodded in agreement.
An hour passed. And then another. The train remained stopped at the abandoned station. Our cellphones, laid out on the table, let out their last beeps and chimes before succumbing to dead batteries. “Why aren’t we moving?” Nick muttered. “Why won’t this damn train move?” Devin left to brave the restroom. Corwin’s leg fell asleep and he started pacing the cabin. Cuyler and I entered the stage of fatigue that induces fits of giggling and rocking back and forth in the fetal position.
A few minutes later we heard the door open and saw a figure stumbling toward us… Keep reading »
Not so long ago, my mom, my brothers, my boyfriend and I decided to go to Montana. We yearned to see the endless skies and the imposing beauty of Glacier National Park; the only question was how to get there–flights were expensive and my family has a long and horrifying history of road trips gone awry. We considered canceling the trip altogether, but then my mom called me and said, “Listen, there’s a train that goes from Portland, Oregon, to White Fish, Montana. It’s about half the price of a flight but it takes 14 hours to get there. Is that crazy?”
“No,” I said. “It’s perfect.” Keep reading »
What were you doing yesterday afternoon? Oh, watching the World Cup? You and everyone else on the globe, with the exception of the residents of Laguna Niguel, California. See, because they were out at the railroad tracks mooning the passing Amtrak trains. Thirty years ago, someone at the Mugs Away Saloon, which is directly across from the tracks, offered to buy a drink for every person who would run outside and moon a train. The tradition has been continued every year, now with up to 10,000 people showing up to reveal their posteriors. Looks like fun? [Newser
] Keep reading »