The Mall Of America Is Seeking A Writer In Residence

By Jen Carlson in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 20, 2017 8:39PM

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Feeling inspired yet? (Getty)

A giant fluorescent lit mall is not exactly the ideal writing sanctuary, but as we know from Kevin Smith's 1995 cult classic Mallrats, a massive temple of commerce can provide plenty of inspiration. On the other hand, a generic 1990s suburban mall is going to inspire a completely different story than the nation's largest mall, the Mall of America, where they just announced a writer's residency contest.

This wonderfully weird and potentially awful idea will let us know what kind of muse is hiding out in the Bloomington, Minnesota complex, and here's why, which is probably a question you are asking yourself right about now.

"In 2017, Mall of America celebrates its 25th birthday. As part of this special celebration, we think it's crucial to capture how much we've evolved over the course of the last 25 years. Rather than do it ourselves, we’re giving that job to a gifted writer.

The Writer-in-Residence Contest will give a special scribe the chance to spend five days deeply immersed in the Mall atmosphere while writing on-the-fly impressions in their own words. The contest winner will stay in an attached hotel for four nights, receive a $400 gift card to buy food and drinks and collect a generous honorarium for the sweat and tears they’ll put into their prose."

Hopefully they go more Hunter S. Thompson than Hallmark writer for this, but chances are very slim that we'll get anything more than a glorified mall pamphlet from this experiment. There are some rules, and a workspace you'll be required to be at for four hours every day. The fine print also reads that the "winner’s written work must not be inaccurate, derogatory, incompatible with, inconsistent with, or otherwise contradictory to the Mall of America’s desired presentation of the Mall or the patrons, tenants, licensees, invitees, or employees of the Mall." There will be some sort of approval process before the content is shared, which will sometimes be via digital screens in the mall. But they can't control the inspiration you get while there, so maybe save that for when you're not being censored.

To apply, fill out this application before March 10.