1. With countless periodicals, publishers and literary agencies based in NEW YORK CITY, it’s the place for any writer ready to move up from rejection letters to rejection face-to-face.
2. Home of the popular and influential Iowa Writers’ Workshop, IOWA CITY offers many benefits to aspiring, as well as accomplished, authors, including: itemizing tax deductions for dependent clauses, allowing unpublishable experimental novels to be legally euthanized, and granting poets a blanket exemption from vagrancy laws.
3. The Internet, cable television, substance abuse—all are proven, time-honored methods of avoiding the mockery of the blank page. But in PHOENIX, writers have a readily available alternative time killer that’s all natural, loaded with vitamin D and absolutely free: staring at the sun. Only a blind man would fail to see the advantages.
4. In the illiterate backwater of THIKSKUL, MISS., if you write a book, you’ll be worshiped as a god. (Caveat: If you read a book, you’ll be reviled as the devil.)
5. Global leviathan Wal-Mart is headquartered in BENTONVILLE, ARK., (population at last census: 20,000) and employs an army of 5,000 full-time professional writers, all ceaselessly churning out spin on, denials of and rebuttals to the sea of negative press the retailer attracts.
6. NORWAY’s sovereign wealth fund is ranked number one in the world. All public universities are essentially free to attend. This seems like it cannot quite be true, but according to the CIA World Factbook, the adult literacy rate in Norway is 100 percent. With the combination of oil wealth and a robust Scandinavian state, government funding of culture is substantial.
7. To attract and retain the desirable “creative class,” PORTLAND, ORE., has implemented a plethora of writer-friendly municipal programs, like Resolution Counselors who provide free plausible endings to mystery novelists who’ve written themselves into a corner, and a Needle Exchange Program that allows polemicists to trade pointed insults in real time.
8. DULUTH, MINN., is a mecca for sitcom writers for a very simple reason: Every person there has the personality of a wacky neighbor.
9. Rich in natural ink reserves and graphite deposits, POCATELLO, IDAHO, is a pen-and-pencil paradise where old-school, “low-tech” writers come with their yellow legal pads to live off the land and off the grid.
10. EDINBURGH, Scotland. It’s practically mandatory that visitors to Edinburgh travel by the book. The atmospheric city—which has inspired more than 500 novels—passionately keeps its written tradition alive, from the verse of 18th-century bard Robert Burns (who even merits an iPhone app) to the works of modern-day writers like Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith