“#AmtrakResidency Program” – Call for Applications
1. Overview: The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, commonly known as Amtrak, is proud to offer the #AmtrakResidency Program, an exciting, new initiative where certain, carefully selected persons will receive as an award a writer’s residency: the opportunity to take an overnight trip onboard an Amtrak train where he/she can write with limited interruption. The ideal candidate will possess strong writing skills as well as extensive social media connections. No professional writing experience or particular educational background is required to apply, however.
2. Who Can Apply: Legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age older (or the age of majority in the jurisdiction of their residence, whichever is older), as of the date of submission of Application. (Applications will NOT be accepted from persons who are legal residents of Alaska or Hawaii.) In addition, employees of Amtrak (“Sponsor”) and its agencies CANNOT apply.
3. Application Period: 12:00:01 a.m. ("ET") on 3/8/14 - 11:59 p.m. ET on 3/31/15.
4. How To Apply:
Step 1: Application Form may be found at http://blog.amtrak.com/amtrakresidency/ (“Website”). [Applications will ONLY be accepted on-line.] In the indicated fields, provide your first name, last name, city, state, email address, Twitter handle, Facebook URL and Instagram handle.
Step 2: Type your answers to the following questions in the text box fields of the Application Form: (a) Why do you want an #AmtrakResidency? and (b) How would this residency benefit your writing? Each answer should be no more than 1,000 characters in length. ANSWERS MUST BE SOLELY YOUR ORIGINAL WORK (DO NOT COPY OTHERS’ WORKS, IN WHOLE OR IN PART). ANSWERS MUST BE TRUTHFUL IN ALL MATERIAL RESPECTS.
Step 3: Upload a sample of your writing whether published or not. The subject of the writing sample is of your sole choosing. Writing sample cannot exceed ten (10) pages in length. Each Applicant must submit their original writing sample (DO NOT COPY OTHERS’ WORKS, IN WHOLE OR IN PART). Third party assistance from professors or others is expressly prohibited. Do not repeat your answers in your writing sample; writing sample must be separate and distinct from answers. If another person is identified in the writing sample, Applicant must have their written consent prior to submitting same as part of his/her Application. File attachment must be in one of the following formats: jpg,jpeg,gif,png,bmp,tif,pdf,doc,docx,txt,au,zip,gz,rar,z,tgz,tar and sitx. Total file size must be no larger than 24MB. Without the writing sample attachment, Application will be deemed incomplete, will be automatically disqualified and will not be reviewed.
Partial or incomplete/piecemeal submissions (e.g., submission of Application without writing sample/answers to questions) will NOT be accepted or reviewed.
Carefully read these Terms. Then, click the check box signifying that you have read, fully understand and agree to these Terms. IF YOU DO NOT CHECK THE BOX INDICATING YOUR AGREEMENT TO THE TERMS, YOUR APPLICATION WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED OR REVIEWED.
Proof of entering information at the Website is not considered proof of submitting Application. Sponsor (or its agencies) may acknowledge receipt of Application but is in no way obligated to do so. If Sponsor has any questions regarding your Application or requires any additional information or materials, Sponsor (or one of its agencies) will contact you. SPONSOR AND ITS AGENCIES WILL NOT ENGAGE IN COMMUNICATIONS INITIATED BY APPLICANTS AS TO APPLICATION STATUS OR OTHERWISE.
Limit of one (1) Application per person per email address. Submission of more than one Application will result in disqualification of all Applications submitted by a given individual and none of the Applications will be reviewed.
Sponsor has the sole discretion to determine whether an Application is incomplete. All Applications become the property of the Sponsor and will not be returned.
Application must be submitted only by a single individual. No Applications by groups/clubs/businesses/organizations will be accepted; joint Applications will not be accepted.
5. Content Guidelines: In addition to complying with all other requirements of these Terms and/or Website, each Application must comply with the following guidelines (“Content Guidelines”). If Application is determined to be in violation of the Content Guidelines in Sponsor’s sole discretion, the Application will automatically be disqualified and will NOT be reviewed. Each Application must not:
- Contain content, image(s) or material that violates or infringes any third party rights of any kind, including without limitation, any third party privacy, publicity, trade secret and/or intellectual property rights, including third party registered and/or common law copyrights and trademarks;
- Disparage Sponsor, its agencies, any other person or entity affiliated with the Program or products, services or entities that are competitive with any of the foregoing;
- Contain brand names or trademarks of any third party other than those owned by or licensed to Sponsor, subject to the Application complying with all other requirements of these Terms (including these Content Guidelines) and/or on the Website; Applicant has a limited, non-exclusive, revocable license to use Sponsor’s trademarks solely and only to incorporate them in his/her Application*;
- Contain content not created by and original to Applicant;
- Contain content that is misleading, inappropriate, indecent, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous;
- Contain content that reflects, advocates or promotes bigotry, racism, hatred, harm or exploitation of or against any class, group or individual, discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age, or actions or activities that are restricted, prohibited, illegal or unlawful (including without limitation, the consumption of alcohol or any other controlled substances);
- Contain content that is unlawful or in violation of or contrary to any applicable federal or state laws or regulations;
- Contain content that advocates violent, reckless, irresponsible or otherwise unhealthy behavior;
- Have been previously submitted in a promotion/contest of any kind.
In addition to the foregoing, the file attachment containing the writing sample cannot:
- Contain executable programming of any kind, including without limitation, viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, malware, time bombs, Easter eggs, cancel bots or any kind of malicious or benign computer programming whatsoever; and
- Contain encrypted content of any kind, including without limitation, encoded messages.
If a file and/or Application cannot be opened, viewed and/or accessed by Sponsor or its agencies for any reason whatsoever, that file and/or Application shall be disqualified without any fault or liability of the Released Parties, as defined below.
*Sponsor grants to each qualified Applicant a limited, non-transferable, non-exclusive, non-sublicensable, revocable right to use its trademarks solely for purposes of and limited to including them in the Application; such right and license will automatically expire without further act of any party upon the earlier of submission of Application or 3/31/15 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Any other use of Sponsor’s trademarks will be a violation of Sponsor’s intellectual property rights. Sponsor’s trademarks cannot be modified, adapted, or edited by Applicant; the preceding only excludes modifications due to technological limitations or malfunctions.
Applicant understands and agrees that Sponsor has wide access to ideas, stories and other literary, artistic and creative materials submitted to it from outside sources or developed by its own employees and agents (together, “Sponsor Creative”); and, such Sponsor Creative may be competitive with, similar to (or even identical to) the writing sample/answers to questions created and submitted by Applicants; and, Sponsor shall have no liability to Applicant or any third party in respect to or in connection with the development, use, sale and/or commercial exploitation of all or any portion of Sponsor Creative by Sponsor and/or its designees and licensees, all of which liability, if any, Applicant hereby expressly and irrevocably waives, releases and discharges.
6. Grant of Rights: In submitting an Application, Applicant hereby grants Sponsor the absolute, worldwide, and irrevocable right to use, modify, publish, publicly display, distribute, and copy Applicant’s Application, in whole or in part, for any purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising and marketing, and to sublicense such rights to any third parties. In addition, Applicant hereby represents that he/she has obtained the necessary rights from any persons identified in the Application (if any persons are minors, then the written consent of and grant from the minor’s parent or legal guardian); and, Applicant grants Sponsor the absolute, worldwide, and irrevocable right to use, modify, publish, publicly display, distribute, and copy the name, image, and/or likeness of Applicant and the names of any such persons identified in the Application for any purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising and marketing. For the avoidance of doubt, one’s Application will NOT be kept confidential (and, for this reason, it is recommended that the writing sample and answers to questions not contain any personally identifiable information – e.g., name or e-mail address – of Applicant.) Upon Sponsor's request and without compensation, Applicant agrees to sign any additional documentation that Sponsor may require so as to effect, perfect or record the preceding grant of rights and/or to furnish Sponsor with written proof that he/she has secured any and all necessary third party consents relative to the Application.
7. Release of Liability: BY SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION, YOU AGREE TO RELEASE SPONSOR, ITS PARENT, SUBSIDIARY OR AFFILIATED COMPANIES, AND ADVERTISING AND PROMOTIONAL AGENCIES, CONTRACTORS AND EACH OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS AND REPRESENTATIVES as well as Facebook, Inc., Instagram, LLC, Twitter, Inc. (COLLECTIVELY, THE “RELEASEES” OR “RELEASED PARTIES”), FROM ANY AND ALL CLAIMS AND LIABILITIES ARISING FROM OR RELATING TO YOUR SUBMISSION OF AN APPLICATION AND/OR ACCEPTANCE, RECEIPT, POSSESSION, USE OR MISUSE OF AN AWARD (IF APPLICATION IS ACCEPTED).
8. Review of Applications: Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing, rolling basis (as they are received) by a panel, consisting of designated representatives of Sponsor (collectively, “Judging Panel”). WHILE THE JUDGING PANEL HAS SET A TARGET OF ACCEPTING TWENTY-FOUR (24) APPLICATIONS/GRANTING TWENTY-FOUR (24) AWARDS, JUDGING PANEL MAY SELECT FEWER THAN TWENTY-FOUR (24) APPLICANTS IF JUDGING PANEL DETERMINES IN ITS SOLE AND ABSOLUTE DISCRETION THAT AN INSUFFICIENT NUMBER OF QUALIFIED APPLICATIONS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED, WITHOUT LIABILITY OR OBLIGATION OF ANY KIND. Judging Panel will initially evaluate Applications based on the following criteria: originality/creativity of writing sample and answers to questions; quality of writing sample; the quality and quantity of Entrant’s social media connections and activity, including the extensiveness of Entrant’s social community. Applications advancing from such initial evaluation will thereafter be considered by Judging Panel based on the degree to which the Applicant would function as an effective spokesperson/endorser of Sponsor’s Amtrak brand as well as related creative considerations, to be determined in the sole and absolute discretion of the Judging Panel.
9. Notification to Accepted Applicants: Persons whose Applications are tentatively accepted will be notified by e-mail. Failure to respond to the initial verification e-mail within three (3) business days after notification or return of e-mail notification as undeliverable after three (3) attempts will result in disqualification. In conjunction with acceptance of Application, Applicant will be required to sign and return within three (3) business days an Affidavit of Eligibility, Release and Indemnification, and a Publicity Release where allowed by law. If the Affidavit of Eligibility, Release and Indemnification and Publicity Release is not returned to Sponsor within specified time period, or, if Applicant cannot be contacted for any reason, such Applicant will be rejected and Sponsor and its agencies shall have no liability or obligation to Applicant. Sponsor further reserves the right to conduct a background check of Applicant and condition receipt of Award on Sponsor’s determination in its sole and absolute discretion that the results of the background check do not reveal any act (be it criminal or not) that may adversely affect the goodwill or business reputation of Sponsor or otherwise expose Sponsor to public contempt or ridicule. Applicant agrees to furnish any and all necessary consents and to provide any required information and materials to Sponsor or its agent (upon request and without compensation) so as to facilitate the timely conduct and review of the background check, with the understanding that failure to timely provide such consents/information or the inadequacy of such consents/information (as determined by Sponsor in its sole and absolute discretion) will result in rejection of Applicant. Sponsor further reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to reject an Applicant on the basis of the results of the background check. In all instances, Sponsor shall have no liability or obligation of any kind to Applicant if he/she is rejected for any reason in conjunction with the background check requirement.
10. Awards, Approximate Retail Values (“ARV”):
Award (Up to 24 in total): a writer’s residency consisting of one (1) round trip on an Amtrak train to a destination of Sponsor’s sole choosing serviced by Amtrak (“Trip”). Trip will be provided in the form of one (1) roundtrip Amtrak travel voucher (subject to terms and conditions indicated thereon) for one (1) person on an Amtrak Sleeper Train. Amtrak travel will last between two (2) and five (5) days. Award recipient will receive a private sleeper car, desk and window-view. ARV of Award: $900.00. Actual value of Award may vary based on point of departure and dates of travel; if value is less than $900, Award recipient will not receive the difference in cash.
Full terms and conditions of Award acceptance/use will be provided at time of final, official acceptance of Application by Sponsor and grant of Award. By way of summary: conditions on receipt of Award are at sole discretion of Sponsor; and, Award is subject to restrictions, including travel deadlines, advanced notice requirements. All travel is subject to availability. Certain documentation and requirements may be necessary for travel, such as photo identification. Award recipient is solely responsible for any documentation and requirements and determining applicable procedures and restrictions.
All travel on Amtrak trains is subject to Amtrak’s Conditions of Carriage/Terms of Transportation. Award travel is non-transferable and cannot be extended beyond the valid date. Award recipient assumes the risk of any inherent or unforeseen dangers associated with travel.
Any costs and incidentals not specified herein are the Award recipient’s sole responsibility; this includes, by way of example only, cost of any hotel accommodation if overnight stay is desired. Amtrak tickets are not valid for Amtrak Guest Rewards points. No upgrades, substitution, cash redemption or transfer of Awards except with Sponsor’s permission (which may be granted or withheld for any reason) or where required by law. Sponsor in its sole discretion may award a substitute Award of equal or greater value if advertised Award is unavailable at time of distribution for any reason.
All taxes are the sole responsibility of the Award recipients; and, Award recipient will be issued a 1099 Tax Form, with his/her receipt of the Award being reported to the Internal Revenue Service.
11. Additional Conditions: Void in AK, HI, and where prohibited by law. The Sponsor, its agencies and contractors are not responsible for technical, hardware, software or telephone malfunctions of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications caused by the user or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the intake/submission of Applications or by any human error which may occur in the processing of Applications or for any liability for damage to any computer system resulting from participation in, accessing or downloading information in submitting Application. The Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the application process, the Website, or who violates the Terms. Sponsor's failure to enforce any term of these Terms shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. If, for any reason, the application process is not capable of being implemented as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of the Sponsor which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the application process, then the Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to cease accepting Applications altogether, to suspend accepting Applications for a certain period of time or to otherwise accept Applications in a modified manner as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion and which is fair, appropriate and in compliance with these Terms. Notice of such action by Sponsor will be posted at http://blog.amtrak.com/7562-2.
12. Indemnification: APPLICANT AGREES TO INDEMNIFY AND HOLD SPONSOR, ITS SUBSIDIARIES, AND AFFILIATES, CONTRACTORS AND EACH OF THEIR RESPECTIVE MEMBERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, ATTORNEYS AND/OR OTHER PARTNERS, HARMLESS FROM AND AGAINST ANY AND ALL CLAIMS, EXPENSES (INCLUDING REASONABLE ATTORNEYS’ FEES, COSTS AND SETTLEMENT COSTS), DAMAGES, SUITS, COSTS, DEMANDS AN/OR JUDGMENTS WHATSOEVER, DUE TO OR ARISING OUT OF: (A) YOUR SUBMISSION OF AN APPLICATION OR USE OF THE WEBSITE; (B) YOUR BREACH OF THESE TERMS; AND/OR (C) YOUR VIOLATION OF ANY RIGHTS OF ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL OR ENTITY. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION ARE FOR THE BENEFIT OF SPONSOR, ITS SUBSIDIARIES AND/OR AFFILIATES, AND EACH OF THEIR RESPECTIVE MEMBERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, ATTORNEYS AND/OR OTHER PARTNERS. EACH OF THESE INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASSERT AND ENFORCE THESE PROVISIONS DIRECTLY AGAINST YOU ON ITS BEHALF.
13. Governing Law: The application process is governed by the laws of United States. Void where prohibited by law. Any and all disputes will be resolved in the appropriate courts of the District of Columbia in the United States, according to the laws of the District of Columbia. Any conflict of laws will be resolved in favor of the laws of the District of Columbia.
14. Names of Award Recipients: For the names of Award Recipients (if any), send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “#AmtrakResidency Award” in the subject line. All such requests must be received 4/30/15.
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