Reader Dilemma: Can I Take My Bonus and Quit the Next Day?

Friends, countryladies, commenters and lurkers on The Billfold, lend me your tab. I have an psuedo-ethical dilemma, and I need your advice.

Negotiating Contracts When You Can’t Afford a Lawyer

The latest post inScratch's Anatomy of a Decision series on their blog is by Alexis Clements, who writes about her decision let someone adapt her play internationally. She walks us through the initial offer, her second thoughts, the decision, and her feelings about it. It is AWESOME.

The Controversy Around the #AmtrakResidency

Amtrak’s new residency application, which will grant a lucky 24 writers a free train trip of 2-5 days duration in which to focus on their projects, has caused a stir in the literary world. One source tells me that nearly 7,000 proposals have swamped the train line; even if the number is half that, however, the chances of being given a ticket to ride (.6%) are slimmer than getting into Harvard (6.3%).

To laypeople, this perhaps sounds crazy. Who competes for the opportunity to take a long-distance train trip, without even a city like Rome or Prague to greet you on the other side? Remember that episode of “Sex and the City“? (Sidenote: God, Carrie is insufferable.) But writers, especially fledglings — and in this economy, we are almost all fledglings — have so little. No funds, no structure, no support. Everyone is always telling us to get a real job. Writers’ residencies, which offer crucial time, space, and community, can be a boon, but most of them have associated costs, making them prohibitive for someone just scraping by. Amtrak is filling a need by offering writers a temporary, mobile Cabin of One’s Own. So why are people so angry?