Universities have writers-in-residence. As do libraries. As does Amtrak. So why not a shopping mall?
In honor of its 25th anniversary, the Mall of America is looking for a writer to be in residence for five days, to write about a week in the life of the nation's largest mall.
Before you scoff, think of the possibilities: the workers, the shoppers, the diners, the strollers, the teenagers, the visitors from abroad. The possibilities are rich indeed.
The chosen writer will be flown in (if not local) and housed for four nights at a nearby hotel and given a $400 gift card for food and drink. He or she will also receive a $2,500 honorarium.
"Our goal is to come away from this project with an evocative story about Mall of America that represents the contemporary guest experience after 25 years of evolution as a leading retail and entertainment establishment," the MOA said in a news release.
But really, you can write about anything. Because at the mall, anything can happen.
Applications are due by midnight March 10. Anyone may apply. For the first round, send a pitch of 150 or fewer words; 25 semifinalists will be selected and the second round will be asked to write fuller essays of 500 to 800 words.
Details are on the mall's website, at http://bit.ly/2kDPtcj. Put on your irony hat. Take off your irony hat. A week at the mall, and nothing to do but write.