Mall of America Wants to Pay You $2.5K to Live There and Write About It
What would it be like to live in the Mall of America?
You could start your day with a brisk 1.15-mile morning stroll around the mall’s lower level. (It’s always 70 degrees in there, so it’d feel nice.)
Then, stop by the food court for breakfast before checking out the aquarium. There, you can let your breakfast settle before entering the indoor amusement park where you can hop on a roller coaster.
For lunch, dine with your fave American Girl doll at the aptly named American Girl Bistro before picking through clothing racks at some of the over 520 stores.
Round out your day with a comedy show at the House of Comedy and dinner at Dick’s Last Resort, a terrifying food chain that is known to yank your chain.
There are so many other activities you could get lost in, and Mall of America knows it. That’s why, in honor of its 25th birthday, the Mall of America is hosting this contest to find a writer in residence.
It’s giving a “special scribe” the chance to live and breath the atmosphere of the mall while “writing on-the-fly impressions in their own words.”
The winner will spend four nights and five days gallivanting around America’s largest shopping mall.
It won’t cost you a dime -- and even better, you’ll get paid!
About the Writer-in-Resident Mall of America Contest
The lucky winner will be flown out to Bloomington, Minnesota, and housed in the mall’s attached hotel for four nights -- and it’s all paid for.
Also included is a $400 Visa gift card for food and drinks to use at the mall throughout the week and a “generous honorarium for the sweat and tears they’ll put into their prose” of $2,500.
Approximate retail value? Around $4,500, including hotel and airfare.
How to Enter the Mall of America Free Writing Contest
Applying to this contest is free and open to legal U.S. residents 18 years or older.
The contest began Feb. 20, and remains open until March 10 (midnight, CST). There are two phases to the contest:
- Phase 1: Submit your name, address, email address, social media accounts, a brief biography, previous experience and a story pitch (maximum 150 words) about what you’d write about on your mall-tastic journey. From there, judges will choose 25 semifinalists.
- Phase 2: You should know if you made it to this round by April 1. You’ll get two weeks to write a 500-800-word essay describing in more depth the content you plan to churn out. Here, you’ll be judged by creativity, quality and previous experience.
Winners will complete their stay at the Mall of America between June 10 and July 10.
For all the fine-printed, official rules, click here.
Want to apply? Here’s the application page. Again, be sure to get this done before
my mom’s birthday -- err, March 10.
Your Turn: What would you do with five days at America’s largest mall?
Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’d probably buy way too many clothes if she spent a week inside the Mall of America.