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NPR Arts & Life

Mall Of America Searches For Writer-In-Residence

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Who says nobody dreams big anymore?

MATT NEGRIN: I want to write about what it's like to never leave the Mall of America.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

That's Matt Negrin. He's a comedy writer in New York. This week, he learned that there is a job just right for him at this country's largest mall, the Mall of America.

CORNISH: Dan Jasper is vice president there.

DAN JASPER: We're having a writer-in-residence contest.

CORNISH: The mall turns 25 this summer, and they're hiring a writer-in-residence as part of the celebration. They already have 500 entries.

SHAPIRO: As Thoreau once took inspiration from Walden Pond, one lucky writer will have the chance to go to the mall and live deliberately.

JASPER: Have five days on the mall. They can interact with shoppers or ride a roller coaster or swim with sharks, be immersed into the life and the excitement of the mall and get to write whatever they really feel like that pertains somehow to Mall of America.

CORNISH: Writer Matt Negrin put one additional condition on his application.

NEGRIN: I want to make sure, should you select me as your writer-in-residence, that a security guard is assigned to my person 24 hours a day. Not to protect me, but to stop me from trying to escape the Mall of America.

SHAPIRO: One note. The terms and conditions say that the writer's work must not be inaccurate, derogatory, incompatible with, inconsistent with or otherwise contradictory to the Mall of America's desired presentation. Art isn't easy.

CORNISH: The application closes March 10. Good luck.

(SOUNDBITE OF ALLAH-LAS SONG, "FERUS GALLERY") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.