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All Aboard the Trainwreck Residency!!

By Harriet Staff


At first we were intrigued—then we were elated—and then let down. The story of the Amtrak writers residency has certainly been a wild ride. Well, for you writers who are into wild rides, do we ever have the residency for you! Check out Trainwreck: A Red76 Residency & Book. They have their Kickstarter off the ground and positioning their project as a sort of DIY counterpoint to the Amtrak residency. Here’s what it’s all about:

We love trains. Writing too. Trainwreck is a mobile residency for writers by writers, no strings attached.

Not too long ago word got out that Amtrak was developing a writers residency. We, like many many others, found this idea very exciting. We love trains, and writing, and books. Here’s the thing though – always read the fine print! Just as quickly as word was getting around about this new residency so were the terms that were attached to the project (thank god some people actually read that stuff because we sure didn’t). The terms were a little restrictive in the end.

Admittedly, it occurred to us that we could just buy our own tickets and hop on board ready to get some writing done. But people like being part of a group – ourselves included – and having someone else plan the whole thing makes things a lot easier. So with this in mind we thought, “Well, let’s just start our own residency?” And so we did!

Welcome to Trainwreck: A Red76 Residency & Book.

We want to send eight writers on a train trip and then make a printed publication of what they write while on the rails.

Once funded we’ll set up an open call for anyone in the world to apply to travel roundtrip between St. Paul, MN and Chicago, IL. (Our pockets are light, so no matter where you live, you have to depart from and return to Minnesota.) We will purchase and book the train tickets, book one hotel night in Chicago and create a schedule for writers to submit their work for our printed publication.

Most importantly, this is a no strings attached writing residency.

The writing – or lack thereof – created during the residency belongs entirely to the writer, not us. People can write about anything they damn well please and we’ll print it.

Trips will begin in early summer and will end in early fall, 2014. Towards the end of the year we will produce a book through Publication Studio of the writing of Trainwreck residents and have a release party in Minneapolis in association with Red76’s new neighborhood library project, The “_________” Public Library.

So hop on board. We figured that if you really like the idea of something, but it’s not exactly what you had in mind, you might as well work together to make it your own. With your help we believe that can be easily done.

Sincerly, Sam Gould and Sarah Peters (the folks organizing this Trainwreck for Red76)

Hop on the Wreck Res and ride to the end of the line (or at least to Chicago) by going here.

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Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 by Harriet Staff.