Fun in the FABfest sun
We are all about strengthening communities and creating new ones, and FABfest, sponsored by the Fulton Area Business Alliance, is a terrific way to connect local businesses to one another and to the neighborhood they work in. Each Sunday in June, FAB organized activities designed to get people outside having fun together. Last week’s included a Michael Jackson tribute in music and dance, salsa dancing, kids demonstrating martial arts, mini-golf (really hard on a hill, in case you wondered), and a collaborative mosaic made out of cereal.
We were invited to participate by Greenlight Bookstore, of which we are inordinately fond because (a) they sell our magazine, (b) they offer a great selection of books and an astonishing array of events, (c) as it turns out, they’re a lot of fun to spend a sweltering day outside with.
And it was HOT. Hot as…well, something really hot (fact: not all writers are good with similes), but that just meant the folks who did show up were hardcore, and also eager to stand in the shade of Greenlight’s tent.
We ran a short-short story contest, wherein folks could write fiction under 250 words to compete for a brand-new A/S t-shirt. Our typewriter, a 1960s Smith Corona Sterling, attracted attention—mostly the tentative kind, at first. A lot of our visitors—and not just the kids—had never used a typewriter. They weren’t sure how to use it, and were even less sure what to write. But time after time, someone would sit down and tap at a
couple keys…and a smile would spread across their face. Once people got a taste of that satisfying, clacking momentum, they got serious about it, pulling the chair in and scowling in concentration. It was a thrill for us to get to share that pleasure, and a lot of fun to read the stories. We’ll share all the entries and announce the lucky winner early next week!
Capping the day was a reading featuring authors from four Brooklyn literary magazines: A Public Space, BOMB, Electric Literature, and us. All were a blast—very different styles, and ranging from a work in progress to a excerpt from a recently published novel. A/S’s Travis Kurowski, who had hauled his delightful family three-and-a-half hours to Brooklyn, still had energy to deliver a wonderful excerpt from his story “White,” one of our favorite pieces from Issue No. 1. And as a bonus, Issue No. 2 poet Alanna Bailey showed up. We love getting to meet our writers in person—it’s nice to make a face-to-face connection after so many emails flurrying between us over months.
Did we mention there were adorable children, wine, and steel drums, and that people liked our new t-shirts? What’s not to love?