Hacks for Hacks: Sense of Humor RequiredWarning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody.

So I hear you didn’t get your Amtrak Residency. You may think the next logical step is to stuff your laptop into a bindle and hop aboard a freight train under cover of darkness, but that’s a terrible idea. There’s nowhere to charge your phone on those things. If your best work requires that you endure slow, uncomfortable travel through the middle of nowhere, consider applying for the Bill Ferris Hyundai Accent Residency program.


Bill Ferris' 2003 Hyundai Accent

Your chariot awaits.

The Hyundai Accent residency is designed to inspire writers by treating them to a view of the beautiful American countryside, as seen through the passenger-side window of Bill Ferris’ 2003 Hyundai Accent.

The residency includes round-trip travel from Chapel Hill, North Carolina to my parents’ house in South Sioux City, Nebraska. I plan on taking the scenic route, meaning we’ll see iconic sights like Carhenge; the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota; and the endless, endless corn fields of Iowa. I’ll tell you, there’s no scenery quite like agribusiness.

Each residency winner will be given accommodations in the shotgun seat, which reclines pretty far for sleeping purposes. We will stop at only the finest rest stops, with bountiful snack and pop machines.

The Hyundai Accent residency is designed to inspire writers by treating them to a view of the beautiful American countryside, as seen through the passenger-side window of Bill Ferris’ 2003 Hyundai Accent.

Also included:

  • Limitless power: You can plug your laptop or other devices into the cigarette lighter for all your electricity needs. And by “all,” I mean “one at a time as long as you’ve got the right adapter, ’cause I don’t.”
  • Entertainment: You’ll have full run of the stereo, which includes AM and FM channels. You may also plug in your MP3 player or smart phone to listen to your favorite playlists. Note: Playlists may not include zydeco, or anything by the band Foreigner. An overhead light for reading is complimentary, so feel free to dig into your favorite book and refrain from speaking for a couple hundred miles.
  • Meals: You will receive three squares a day, featuring entrees like NutriGrain bars, PB&J, Pringles, and Coke Zero. You’re free to bring your own food as well (if you do, you might also consider sharing it with your driver, who’s going to all this trouble, after all). If you require vegan or gluten-free meals, consider reevaluating your choices in life.

I can tell you’re feeling inspired already. Let’s get started on your application.

Application Process

There is no cost to apply for the Hyundai Accent Residency, though the judging panel has never been averse to getting a little dough-re-mi on the side, if you know what I mean. Your application requires the following information:

  • Name:
  • City:
  • State:
  • Why do you want a Hyundai Accent Residency?
  • How would this residency benefit your writing?
  • How would your writing benefit this residency? That is, will you spend a lot of time writing (and therefore not a lot of time blabbering on about boring stuff)?
  • How often do you brush your teeth?
  • Do you bathe regularly?
  • How far, in miles, can you go between bathroom breaks?
  • Is this trip just an excuse to flee your responsibilities for a few days? Be honest.
  • What are your feelings about picking up hitchhikers?
  • Can you discuss at length, or convincingly feign interest in, the following conversation topics:
    • Which authors do you want on your D&D campaign/pick-up basketball team/Family Feud family?
    • The myriad reasons why Cherno Alpha was the coolest Jaeger in Pacific Rim
    • 1990s professional wrestling feuds
    • Nebraska Cornhuskers football
    • Jacksonville Jaguars football (yes, really)
    • Which second-tier superhero/villain would you be, and why?
    • What kind of bug is this, and will I regret letting it live?

Oh yeah, I suppose you should submit a writing sample. Let’s set a max at, say, 100 words. If you think that’s not enough room to display your plumage, remember that brevity is the soul of wit, and that it takes greater skill to write short pieces than long ones. Also, I’m too lazy to read a hundred thousand words for this.

Terms and Conditions

  • Hyundai Accent Residency winners retain all rights to their work produced during the residency.
  • Residency winners are required to dedicate all works produced during the residency to Bill Ferris. Hyperbolic praise for Bill Ferris in the acknowledgements section is not required, but encouraged.

Submit Your Application

Submit your application for the Bill Ferris Hyundai Accent Residency in the comments section below. Applications must be received by whenever I scrounge up enough gas money and vacation days for the trip. Let’s hit the road!


About Bill Ferris

After college, Bill Ferris left Nebraska for Florida to become a rich and famous rock star. Failing that, he picked up the pen to become a rich and famous novelist. He now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his wife, Jen, and his sons, Elliott and Wyatt, and he looks forward to a life of poverty and ridicule.