You’ve heard the news, I imagine: Amtrak is offering writing residencies. The plan is the brainchild of novelist Alexander Chee, and it’s brilliant, but it’s been tweeted and posted so far and wide that you may wonder if the #AmtrakResidency waiting list is already longer than your own lifespan.
Never fear. Countless lesser-known writing residencies eagerly await your application. SciLancers Anne Sasso, Doug Fox, Jessica Marshall, Brian Vastag and I have rounded up a few, and the details are below.
(Cameron Walker will report in later this month with some more, er, realistic options. And if you’d like even more choices, Gawker has unearthed nine other irresistible residencies.)
#DowntonResidency Write to your heart’s content in the Abbey.
Upsides: Almost infinite choice of rooms. No cooking or cleaning required.
Downsides: Must dress for dinner. Risk of sudden, nonsensical personal tragedies.
#StarbucksResidency Free refills. Forever.
Upsides: Baristas promise not to make you order in faux Italian.
Downsides: You will be indistinguishable from other customers. And you will never sleep again.
#MontessoriResidency Like the idea of a bright, cheerful workplace with very small toilets? Try a residency at your nearest Montessori school.
Upsides: Pink-and-blue moveable alphabets allow one to work while prone. Golden beads allow easy tracking of word counts.
Downsides: Coworkers frequently disrespectful of “quiet time.”
#MOMAResidency As the star of our newest performance-art installation, you’ll create art while being art. Efficient, n’est-ce pas?
Upsides: Believe us, our staff can improve on your current office decor. Your lighting could use some work, too.
Downsides: Visitors may decide to “participate” in the installation in creative ways. MOMA accepts no responsibility.
#UnitedResidency Draft your magnum opus at one of our luxuriously appointed departure gates.
Upsides: We’ll reserve a wall outlet for you. Unless, of course, they are already oversold, in which case you will be charged a fee for use.
Downsides: No extra peanuts, sorry. Also, you’re at the airport.
#AirBnB Residency Trade your office space with any writer, anywhere.
Upsides: Travel to exotic locales. Stimulate senses with new surroundings. Distract yourself in novel ways.
Downsides: Usual sure-fire procrastination ploys—laundry, toilet cleaning, staring at fridge—may lead to suspicious questions from other writer’s cohabitants. Then again, they’ve probably seen it all before.
#TardisResidency Pen your pan-galactic tales as you whip through space and time.
Upsides: Bigger on the inside, of course. Comes with assistant.
Downsides: Non-stop planet-shattering crises make it hard to concentrate. And no matter how comely your assistant, flirting is strongly discouraged.
#AfternoonBarResidency Fill an empty stool while outlining your draft on napkins.
Upsides: Bartender has time to listen to your complaints. May provide free beer if you are sufficiently pathetic.
Downsides: Fact-cheking and copyediting abilities dekline afterafewrounds. Also, don’t you already have this residency?
Image credit: iStockphoto.