A few more details have come out about the Amtrak Writer Residency program, thanks to a Reddit Ask Me Anything with Julia Quinn, Director of Social Media for Amtrak. For those who lack the time to go through the entire thread, The Wire has a pretty good summary of the important points.
Amtrak is planning to open an online application process within the next few days, with the program to begin this spring. Applications will be considered by a panel of representatives from Amtrak and the literary community, with a fairly loose definition of “writer” for the purposes of the program. Residencies will be from two to five days, and Amtrak wants to put residents on each of its 15 long-distance routes. Sleeping accommodations will be included.
One question that wasn’t asked is whether residencies have to be immediate-turnaround round trips or whether the return can be delayed a few days to allow spending time at the destination. I posed the question to @amtrak via Twitter, and will update if I get an answer.
An official announcement of some kind should be coming soon. I plan to fill out that application as soon as it’s available!