gmpMatthew Salesses is my friend. I am being upfront about that. He also has a chapbook out from PANK, a book forthcoming from Flatmancrooked, and is possibly one of the most well-adjusted writers as a human I’ve ever met. He edits The Good Men Project which donates proceeds to humans who need help, and is going to be publishing Kim Chinquee and James Franco shortly. Super talented nice guy, belongs to Fictionaut.

Q (Nicolle): Matthew Salesses! You have started a Fictionaut Group here for the Good Men Project. I hear GMP is a non-profit of sorts? What is the Good Men Project?

A: GMP is indeed a non-profit. It gives back through Street Potential, The Boys and Girls Club of Boston, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, and other organizations.

The stated goal is to examine what it means to be a “good man,” but we’re not trying to tell men how to be, or even to be, good, though of course we all hope that men will be good. For the fiction, I’m not looking for stories with a theme of “goodness,” or even “maleness.” I’m just looking for stories that present males as they are. The amount of goodness or badness is up for interpretation. The fiction will run every weekend, so we’re looking for a lot of stories, but stories compelling enough to reach as many as possible of our million or so monthly readers.

Q: So if Kim Chinquee’s in it, that means that women can submit also? Is GMP running work by solicit only? (One time, a wizard behind the curtain of Fictionaut and other internets got me a present which was tickets to a Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson concert for the PEN events. So I sit down and to my right was Walter Mosely and to my left was James Franco. Not shabby, actually. This is barely relevant to this interview). Will Franco be guest editing or contributing for this one issue?

A: Women can definitely contribute (please!), though the stories should include men. Kim’s story is wonderful and features a female protagonist and two, shall we say, male suitors.

Solicitations are a part of any magazine, but we’re hoping to get as much work as possible through unsolicited submissions. Submit here.

James Franco contributed a story entitled “Yosemite” for the launch. The other story in the launch is the amazing “Saint Roger of Fox Chase” by Sean Ennis.

Q: What is your role with GMP specifically?

A: I will be serving as Fiction Editor, but I am also a contributing writer. I write a biweekly column, “Love, Recorded,” about myself and my (now pregnant) wife and our two cats.

Q: Is GMP in print or exclusively online? Free or fee?

A: Exclusively online. And free.

Q: Where do you see GMP in five years? (Obviously we hope the Fictionaut Group helps in this lovely mission).

A: Fiction-wise, I’m hoping we will provide the kind of big-magazine outlet that has mostly disappeared. Fiction used to be far more prominent in The Atlantic, Esquire, etc. The weekend fiction section is about giving fiction a larger audience, especially among men, who it is said do not read.

We’d also like to be one of those places online that people trust with longer content. There are very few sites where I am willing to read 8,000 words. We’d like to be so good that people know we are worth their time and attention when so many other tabs beckon.

How the Fictionaut group can help: post stories that speak to the ones we publish in the magazine; join the discussion; submit.

Q: Please tell us more about you, your projects, anything else you’d like to talk about here. One random fact would be good, we like nice things.

1. I wrote a chapbook, Our Island of Epidemics, but it’s a lot different from most other things I’ve written, like this, or the Flatmancrooked novella I’m currently working on.

Which means, I’m open to anything and everything fiction.

2. I like stories with a lot of ambition, as long as it is pulled off.

Nicolle Elizabeth checks in with Fictionaut Groups every Friday.

  1. susan tepper

    This is a worthy project, for sure. Anything that gives back earns my respect. Bravo! And good interview, too!

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