The 24 Writers Who Are Getting On Track


Would you ride a train for a year for the sole purpose of writing? If yes, you’re not alone–there were 16,000 applicants for Amtrack’s first writer residency program.

Out of the 16,000 applicants, 24 were named finalists and are going to embark on a yearlong journey across the United States to pursue their writing projects, with the unique ambiance of a long distance train.

In an article from the Seattle Times, the paper highlights two winners (both from Seattle). The two winners, Ksenia Anske and Scott Berkun, are very different in their writing styles and yet were both drawn to the nomadic program. It will definitely be interesting to see how different styles of writing are affected by the same environment! 

The CAL Creative Exploratory


The CAL Creative Exploratory is an innovative workspace open for all CAL students to explore their creative interests outside of the classroom.

The CE offers a unique learning environment designed to promote hands-on, informal learning experiences. It is a place where students and faculty alike can collaborate on projects of their own choosing and design that integrate skills from various majors.

The Creative Exploratory provides the opportunity to reach beyond just going to class. It is a space intended to empower students to collaborate with others outside their major and build on their core CAL skills such as writing, research, visual and textual literacy, and information organization to surpass conventional disciplinary boundaries and spark creative innovation.

Follow the Creativity Exploratory on Twitter and Facebook.

Love Letters to Strangers


When’s the last time you hand wrote a letter to someone? It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Not for Hannah Brencher. Her mother used to write her letters in college and after graduation, Hannah slipped into the depths of depression.  To help ease her pain, Hannah then started writing love notes and leaving them around New York for strangers to find.

Her words of kindness quickly caught fire in the hearts of others and the act has now become a worldwide program, The World Needs More Love Letters, which will rush handwritten letters to those in need of a pick me up.

And why not just email? In this digital age, everything we write is transcribed electronically. Wouldn’t it just be more efficient to do it through the web? Maybe, but it doesn’t posses the same magic, personality, and love as the handwritten word.

In this quick and uplifting TED talk, Hannah tells us her story. As writers, this project is a strong testimony to the power of words-kind words, to be exact-and how as writers we can help change the course of someone’s day in a positive way.

If you haven’t handwritten a letter in a while (I know it’s been a minute for me), maybe take the time to sit down and join Hannah on this mission. I know I’m on board. It may feel a little strange at first, but as soon as you sign your name at the bottom of the letter, you may feel a little better, too; after all, we could all use a boost every now and then sometimes kindness towards others is the most rewarding, satisfying way to get it.

Place Pins


Good news for all those Pinners out there, Pinterest has recently come out with a nifty new application that will make planning your bucket list and next vacation much easier. According to The Pinterest Blog, every day people Pin about 1.5 million places, and now there are more than 750 million Pins of these destinations on Pinterest. With this in mind, the creators of Pinterest came up with Place Pins to inspire Pinners to turn those travel dreams into reality.

Place Pins is an application designed to combine the mind-blowing images of a travel magazine with the utility of an online map. Place Pins is also accessible on iPhones and Androids, which means you can find new places on the go and even get directions straight to your phone as you travel.

For more information on Place Pins: The Pinterest Blog