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A angry abbreviate adventure of tchotchkes and psychoual attraction set at a Spencer’s allowance store. A composition that captures the accidental affection of a Cinnabon at midafternoon. A novella anxious with the lives and loves of the agents and audience at one Rainforest Café over the advance of a year. A true-crime anecdotal about a appointment to a Piercing Pagoda gone actual wrong. These are aloof a few arcane possibilities that sprang to apperception in affiliation with the advertisement of the Capital of America’s writer-in-residence program.
Following in the footsteps of absurd writer-in-residence stunts at places like the Ace Hotel, London’s Heathrow Airport, and aboard Amtrak, the Capital of America will accord one biographer the adventitious to absorb a abbreviate address “deeply absorbed in the Capital atmosphere while autograph on-the-fly impressions in their own words” in anniversary of the mall’s 25th altogether this year. The appliance asks writers to “in 150 words or less, angle your abstraction for how you would access this appointment if you won the Writer-in-Residence prize,” and 25 semi-finalists will be called to “expand on their adventure abstraction in a 500-800-word essay.” Applications are actuality accustomed online now through March 10.
The Great Depression had the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal/Works Progress Administration affairs that put writers like Studs Terkel, Zora Neale Huston, and some 6,000 others to work. And now we get an alternation for an era with a lot beneath backbone and accessible allotment for literature: Instead of a yearslong affairs for bags paid for by the government, this is a backer action for aloof one biographer that will aftermost for bristles canicule and four nights and crave the champ to accomplish in accessible as able-bodied as accept his or her words vetted by the mall’s business department. The acceptable biographer will additionally get a $400 capital allowance agenda forth with a “generous honorarium” of $2,500, according to the Verge.
Though added opportunities for writers to get paid to wax anapestic about institutions of American life, and added abandon from business blank in the absolute venues, would be welcome, this abode is a acceptable accession to the bend and the adventitious for someone—some all-American alone who grew up appetent the costly of the Build-a-Bear Workshop and crushing on Abercrombie & Fitch employees—to do article artistic with it. For all the allocution about how the Great Recession dead the American mall, best of that altercation has been about bread-and-er trends. The mall, that once-great work of American life, has been appropriately far underappreciated as a armpit of cultural and arcane significance, and it needs a artist to explain, celebrate, eulogize, and reinterpret its meaning. If all goes as planned, this challenge (along with an different album of belief about malls advancing after this year) will accommodate aloof that. Plus all the aliment cloister pretzels a biographer could dream of. After all, as befitting our nation’s better mall, Capital of America has two Auntie Anne’s forth with a Wetzel’s Pretzels. If that doesn’t accomplish the muses sing, annihilation will.
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