Are You the Mall of America’s New Bard?

If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.

Apply now for a residency inside the US’ #1 cathedral to capitalism

Mall of America. Photo by Aine.

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Mall of America, perhaps our nation’s favorite capitalist monument, has announced a new writer-in-residence program. If you’re up to the challenge of capturing the mall’s evolution and essence, check out the full submission guidelines here.

The chosen “special scribe” will win:

“the chance to spend five days deeply immersed in the Mall atmosphere while writing on-the-fly impressions in their own words…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.”

For those wondering what the nation’s largest mall requires of applicants, the guidelines explain that writers “from all writing backgrounds and levels of experience,” including poets, are encouraged to submit a 150-word pitch detailing their plan for the residency. The Mall wonders, “would it be a personal story? A blow-by-blow account of your experiences? The Mall as seen through the eyes of a first-time tourist or a regular guest?… Heck, if you can make the assignment work as a musical-comedy screenplay, by all means make it so!”

Frankly, I’m confident this competition is already as good as over. If anyone has an idea to top my analysis of the Mall’s controversial restriction of protests and Big Brother-esque surveillance while seated on a veranda awash with the scent of Wetzel’s Pretzels cinnamon sugar, shaded by billowing faux-trees, and wearing this American flag morph suit, be my guest.

More Like This

“Klara and the Sun” and the Fantasy of the Servant Who Loves You Back

Ishiguro's novel realizes a long-time dream of the owning class: perfectly selfless laborers who do their jobs out of devotion

May 25 - Lindsay Bartkowski

“Nomadland” Helped Me Realize That I’d Grown Up Homeless

Watching the Oscar-winning film, I finally understood how much shame and stigma had influenced my childhood

Apr 27 - Jason Ferguson

Your Only Job Is to Ignore That Phone

"The Temporary Job," a short story by Hannah Gersen

Mar 22 - Hannah Gersen
Thank You!