About the Northern Fiction Alliance

The Northern Fiction Alliance was founded in 2016 by Comma Press, having been awarded an International Showcasing Grant from Arts Council England. Comma’s proposal for the grant was to take 4 independent Northern publishers - Peepal Tree PressAnd Other StoriesDead Ink, and Comma Press - to a number of international book fairs under the group identity of the 'Northern Fiction Alliance', where they could showcase and sell the work of their exciting and diverse authors in order to help build a strong cultural identity of British writing, as well as publishing based in the North of England.

Since the initial proposal, the Alliance has expanded to also include Fly on the Wall Press, (Manchester), Saraband (Salford), Bluemoose (Hebden Bridge), Mayfly (Newcastle), Route (Pontefract), Valley Press (Scarborough), Wrecking Ball (Hull), Cultureword/Commonword, (Manchester), Confingo, (Manchester) Dead Ink, (Liverpool) Dodo Ink, Dostoyevsky Wannabe, (Manchester), Flapjack Press, (Manchester) Honford Star, (Stockport), NightJar Press, (Manchester) Peepal Tree Press, (Sheffield), Route, (Pontefract), Stairwell Books, (York), zimZalla, (Manchester) Bloodaxe Books, Arc Publications, Carcanet, (Manchester) If P then Q, (Manchester) and Smokestack Books (Ripon). Together we are reshaping and redefining the UK's literary landscape, commissioning bold new works, and providing alternative platforms for underrepresented authors.

So far the Alliance has provided development opportunities to publishers across the North of England in workshops focusing on international and subsidiary rights, and decolonising publishing. It has also visited six international book fairs - including Frankfurt and London, where the Alliance have had stands - and sold a combined total of £44,000 worth of rights into thirteen territories.

The purpose of forming the Northern Fiction Alliance was to work towards the following goals:

  • Exposure to new markets abroad and establishing relationships with international publishers as a result of this.
  • Increased revenue for writers and publishers through international rights sales.
  • Increased author visibility across the international stage, through events and media coverage.
  • Raising authors’ standing at home (by making their work globally recognised).
  • To form a working collective structure that provides mentoring and support through the sharing of contacts, skills and resources.
  • Positioning Northern writing and publishing as a culturally distinct product on a global stage.
  • To increase the resilience of the emerging, domestic fiction market in England.

You can get in touch for Northern Fiction Alliance opportunities by emailing isabelle.kenyon@commapress.co.uk

The Northern Fiction Alliance in the Press

Comma Press hires Kenyon to support Northern Fiction Alliance in The Bookseller

Launch of the Northern Fiction Alliance in The Bookseller

The implications of Brexit on publishing as the Northern Fiction Alliance travel to FBF in The Bookseller

Bluemoose, Tilted Axis and Mayfly join Northern Fiction Alliance, reported in The Bookseller

Ra Page is interviewed by Publishing Perspectives about the values, formation, and future of the Northern Fiction Alliance