Writing on a Train

Since purchasing a laptop, I’ve only had the opportunity to write while on a train a handful of times and I found the experience very rewarding, so I can’t help but feel excited about what Amtrak is doing. Amtrak has decided, after a social media push and trail run to host a writer’s residency.

What does that mean? Well, twenty-four people will be given a two to five day train ride on one of the Amtrak routes, allowing them the opportunity to be inspired by the trip and focus on writing.

Here are some more details from Amtrak:

Each resident will be given a private sleeper car, equipped with a desk, a bed and a window to watch the American countryside roll by for inspiration. Routes will be determined based on availability.

My first thought was “why didn’t VIA Rail in Canada do this first?” Imagine travelling from Ontario to Quebec and back? Or what about a week long trip on their sleeper cars that head to British Columbia from Ontario?

There are definite opportunities here for VIA Rail to inspire writers with both being on a train, and the beautiful country that we live in. I would definitely sign up for an offer like what Amtrak is offering.

I have no doubt that Amtrak is going to receive thousands of responses before submissions close, and I urge any Canadians reading this blog to contact VIA Rail and point out the program started by Amtrak. This could be the start of a great symbiosis between a company providing a service, and the artistic community.

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