2023 Writer by Bus


After a pandemic hiatus, Ride Solutions, the City of Roanoke Arts Commission, and the Greater Roanoke Transit Authority are once again partnering to present a unique suite of public art projects celebrating the role of transit and artists in our community.

Project Elements:

  • ART BY BUS: Up to four Valley Metro buses will display artworks selected from Roanoke’s Year of the Artist during the month of September.
  • MUSIC ON THE BUS: Performing artists will present works on select routes during September.  
  • WRITER BY BUS: Finally, during spring 2023, a writer (or writers) will be provided a bus pass and paid an honorarium of $1,000 to create a unique work of literature while riding different bus routes. The work may be any genre including short stories, poetry, essays, plays, etc. and may also be multimedia and include art, music or photography. Writers are encouraged to consider the project in terms of the Year of the Artist goals of wellness, justice and inclusion. The work will be printed and published on websites in September.

The Writer by Bus call was announced at the 2023 Roanoke Regional Writers Conference, hosted at Hollins University on Saturday, January 21. Pictured below are Writer by Bus alumni Meighan Sharp (2016), Melanie Almeder (2015), and Tim Thornton (2018).

WRITER BY BUS Project Goals:

  • Draw attention to the important role public transportation plays in connecting our neighborhoods and communities,
  • Reflect on the role of transit in creating a just, healthy, and welcoming community that works for all residents,
  • Encourage transit ridership and celebrate riders,
  • Share the work of artists and the arts in making Roanoke a better place, and
  • Encourage riders, residents, and Roanoke visitors to explore and participate in the community around them.

Application Process

Individual writers or writer groups may submit an application by submitting an entry form, a writing sample, a résumé and references. A panel made up of representatives from the sponsoring organizations, community members and writers will review the applications and select the writer(s). The panel seeks original family-friendly content that creatively and constructively celebrates our community and its potential. Writers of color are encouraged to apply.

Apply here and visit www.ridesolutions.org/artbybus for past chapbooks and information on the entire art by bus project.

February 28, 2023, midnight: Applications due
March 22, 2023 Selected writer notified 
April 1, 2023 Project onset
June 30. 2023 Deliverables finalized and submitted by author
September 2023 Transit Month celebrations and public reading


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