Well here's something awesome.
Apparently, Amtrak has offered round trip tickets to writers who want to climb aboard a moving train, listen to the hum of the engine as the scenery spins past, and write.
"After New York City-based writer Jessica Gross took the first "test-run" residency, traveling from NYC to Chicago and back, Amtrak confirmed that it is indeed planning to turn the writers' residencies into an established, long-term program, sending writers on trains throughout its network of routes."
And the coolest part of all? For this free "residency," all Gross had to do was to Tweet a few messages and conduct an interview for the company blog at the end of her trip. Gross wrote the details of her trip in an article for The Paris Review.
Amtrak is now considering a program for writing residencies but hasn't yet decided on the specifics regarding qualifications and costs. In the meantime, it has scheduled a handful of other writers on a case by case basis. Their "get" in this is the free advertising that a writer, waxing on about the productive pleasure that writing aboard a train can provide, offers for free. That means, if you have a large Twitter or blog following, you may want to consider making a pitch to Amtrak. They might just offer you a free ride.