Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Amtrak Writer Residency Program

I thought this was pretty cool: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/writers-find-their-train-of-thought-on-amtrak

That is pretty intriguing. Nice catch!

Oh wow!

Heathrow Airport had a writer-in-residence for a while. I’d love that gig.

Make sure to read the contract closely before applying. Unless they’ve changed it, there were some fairly troubling terms – something about claiming the rights to everything submitted in the application.

Oh wow. Thank you for the heads-up, Mary. That would be terrible. :frowning:

It’s an intriguing idea. I already knew Amtrack was very accommodating to technology (plenty of outlets in their viewing cars <3), so it would make sense they were just a step away from something akin to this. Still, taking Ryff’s warning into consideration, I’d probably have Spirit comb through the contract before ever applying for it.

I almost did it, until I read the terms where they basically said they could use anything you write for them and you had to acknowledge that the similarities were coincidental.

They’re looking for free ad copy, that’s all it is. I decided not to enter after giving it a read because I value my work more than that.

I believe the 24 writers, at least in the current batch, were already picked.


It’s worth nothing that Amtrak claimed rights to what applicants wrote in the application writing sample, not to what selected writers plan to write on the train. I saw the blog post saying “be careful of this” on Lit Reactor, and that’s never bad advice – but Bill Willingham does not need to give the rights to the final issues of “Fables” to Amtrak just because he wrote the scripts during his week riding the trains.

Of course, Bill Willingham was one of the selected writers, and the overall list is a pretty clear indication that Amtrak was selecting already established voices. Which to be fair is what most more conventional “writers in residence” programs do – but this whole thing really is about bringing more attention to Amtrak, and that means writers with established audiences.