Inspired-WritersSometimes you just have to shout for joy at some of the cool ideas out there – moreso when they benefit our favorite people on the planet: writers!

Here, a look at five recent headlines that we hope will encourage and inspire YOU…

1. From The Wire: Inside Amtrak’s (Absolutely Awesome) Plan to Give Free Rides to Writers

Amtrak has begun offering “writers’ residencies” to, well, writers – long roundtrip rides aboard Amtrak trains dedicated solely for the purpose of writing.

How will Amtrak decide who to send on its residencies? In the short term, as the program gets off the ground, candidates will be selected on a case-by-case basis. Read the full article HERE!

 2. From (brought to us by author Steve Piacente): Does Reading Actually Change the Brain?

“Stories shape our lives and in some cases help define a person,” says neuroscientist Gregory Berns, lead author of a recent Emory University study and the director of Emory University’s Center for Neuropolicy.

Results showed heightened connectivity in the left temporal cortex, an area of the brain associated with receptivity for language, on the mornings following reading assignments by subjects. “Even though the participants were not actually reading the novel while they were in the scanner, they retained this heightened connectivity,” Berns says. “We call that a ‘shadow activity,’ almost like a muscle memory.”

Encourage your readers to keep reading and work out that brain! Read Steve’s full article HERE!

3. From GalleyCat: Read Across America Coming Up March 3

Speaking of reading, National Education Association’s (NEA) 17th Annual Read Across America event will take place on Monday, March 3, 2014.

The day is designed to encourage reading among school kids. Here is more about the event from the website: “The Seussical celebration will kick off a week of reading across the nation as NEA members gather students, parents, and community members together to share their love of reading. It’s never too early to plan your event and NEA’s RAA will be posting tips and resources to help you make your event Seussational.”

If you write for the youth market, contact your local library to see how you might help, and create a future market of adult readers, too! Read full article here.

4. From PubSmart: Children’s and YA Author Contest!

And, speaking of kids (!), PubSmart recently announced a contest opportunity for registered attendees. buy book report best custom papers alternative al viagra naturali thesis informative essay commercial law assignment business case study introduction example argumentative essay formats Tretinoin Cream 005 Reviews Acne math problem generator how to write a gripping short story source url writing college essay common app assignments of aiou emory business school essay questions write an essay on why south korea is my favourite country go site try it free resume creator go to link cheap custom essays online cialis marketing strategy follow url how to include thesis in resume thesis acknowledgement position source link outline for research paper mla format sample buy research paper on criminal thesis dedication to friends source link How cool would it be to put your work in front of two leading industry professionals – an award-winning acquisitions editor and an agent celebrating 10 strong years in the business? That’s exactly what one lucky writer at the PubSmart Conference (April 16-18, 2014) in Charleston, SC will win. Read full article here.

5. From Mercy Pilkington at Vook Acquires Booklr, Means Realistic Book Sales Data

The publishing industry has spent the past few weeks reeling from the insights provided by DBW and AuthorEarnings… providing meaning discussion and furthering conversations about how accurate comparative sales data can help authors and publishers. But a new acquisition, announced today from Vook, can open the door to better real-time data to help furthering marketing strategies.

With the acquisition of BookIr, a leading analytics platform that tracks the sales of nearly four million books to provide information to professionals in every aspect of the publishing industry, Vook is poised to offer unheard-of tools to authors who use its ebook creation and distribution service. Read full article here.

Have an inspiring story or article to share with fellow writers? Tell us about it with your comment below!