Katrina Gray: Howdy, Ames. (May I call you Ames? Because Ames John Gigounas is quite mouthful.) You have a spanking-new group here on Fictionaut called The Brooklyner, which is also the name of your new literary journal. Tell us more. Tell us everything.

Ames John Gigounas: Hi Katrina. Ames is fine.

The Brooklyner Web is where to go for a good story. It’s a new platform for literary and mixed-media narratives. The Brooklyner Literary Concern is a journal to be released quarterly, electronically and in print.

We’re happy to start a presence on Fictionaut.

How do you distinguish a Brooklyner from a New Yorker?

Brooklyners are New Yorkers but New Yorkers aren’t necessarily Brooklyners. If you give me that pen, I’ll draw you a Venn diagram.

What kind of submission would really stand out for you and your editors?

We’re interested in compelling narratives supported by language that is innovative, blunt and sincere. Authenticity, lyricism, humor. We like realist fiction, absurdity, a hard edge. The Brooklyner Literary Concern seeks creative fiction and nonfiction up to 20,000 words, in addition to long and short-form poems and art.

One great thing about The Brooklyner Web is its capacity to accommodate a broad scope of voices and concepts. We’ve posted some suggestions on the site, and hope to develop additional themes. Our dispatches section will feature nonfiction from around the world. We also want true romance accounts, office reports. One of our regular contributors will write horror stories from the Bible.

We’re at a party. A cool one with, like, a Kardashian. You say your mag is into “mediatelling.” I stare at you blankly. (Kindly keep in mind I have had maybe three gin gimlets because there’s an open bar and the night is still young.) Explain so I’ll understand.

I’m staring at you blankly because you mentioned the Kardashians. I’m drinking bourbon, smiling now.

Mediatelling. Okay, a little background first.

We created The Brooklyner to produce a literary journal because we’re passionate about supporting and preserving the narrative tradition. We also recognize that books and magazines are changing. Reading is changing.

We believe that the relevant power of social networking is its rhythm of descriptions and accounts which form the basis of storytelling. We want to be part of those cadences, inclusive of technology. The appetite for narrative is pervasive.

The Brooklyner Web is a team of collaborators with diverse creative experience – writers, editors, actors, filmmakers, artists. We invite people to grow with us in presenting new stories with whatever they’ve got.

So. At this cool party, mediatelling is bringing sexy back. It’s imagining a narrative and then using a computer, a camera, a smartphone, a microphone, to aptly communicate that story.

Is it true that Brooklyn has more writers per capita than any other place on earth? Or am I thinking of hipsters?

Possibly you’re thinking of hipsters who write. Yes, it’s true. In a Los Angeles Times profile in February, Jonathan Lethem said, “Brooklyn is repulsive with novelists,” after he defected to California. Maybe he’ll contribute a flash piece to The Brooklyner Web. I’d like to know,with what is LA repulsive?

Top five places to visit in Brooklyn. Go.

Prospect Park
Red Hook
Brooklyn Bridge Park
My house, I’m a great cook.

Katrina Gray checks in with Fictionaut groups every Friday. She lives in Nashville with the writer John Minichillo and their lovechild. She is the editor-in-chief of Atticus Review, and she blogs about mostly non-literary things at www.katrinagray.com.

  1. Marcus Speh

    enjoyed this as always … but you lost me with “a kardashian”. i looked it up. it’s an armenian name. has it got something to do with brooklyn? is it a frequent name in brooklyn? and now i’m wondering how the horror stories from the bible could be turned into more horrorful stories. one of those interviews that makes a berliner feel provincial, uncool and literary lukewarm. *sighs*

  2. Robert Vaughan

    As a former NYer (and always one in my heart), I love this interview! I sent something to Ames and the rest of the Brooklyner gangstas and with fingers crossed, hope it becomes a fun collaboration. Either way, I look forward to the inaugural issue and since my best buddy in the entire world lives in Brooklyn, I have proudly been to all of the “best places” on your list, Ames. The exception is your place, of course. And bring sexy back? You betcha. And as a former LA dweller, I can tell you this: perhaps a given, LA is repulsive with SMOG.

  3. MaryAnne Kolton

    Nicely done, Katrina and Ames. I submitted something to the Brooklyner recently, so fingers crossed.

    Marcus, you are so unbelievably wonderful. The Kardashians are the ample-assed daughters of one of O. J. Simpson’s attorneys. Do you know who O. J. Simpson is? If not email me and I will explain. At any rate, these girls have made a tidy living out of being the “stars” of a television reality show and showing up at the “right” parties. . . . I know, I know, it doesn’t seem quite fair, does it? But thats how we roll here in the good old US of A.

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