Comma Press

Comma’s Mission is to put the short story at the heart of contemporary narrative culture. Through innovative commissions, collaborations and digital initiatives, we will explore the power of the short story to transcend cultural and disciplinary boundaries, and to enable greater understanding across these boundaries.

Our Aims are:

  1. To commission and publish new short fiction in a way that demonstrates the potential of the form, and speaks to the diversity of perspectives that make up contemporary England.
  2. To create opportunities for emerging and established authors to develop, as writers, and to share their work in new contexts, be these interdisciplinary, intercultural, or digital.
  3. To develop new and diverse audiences for literary short fiction, and new ways for these audiences to access, experience, and interact with it, as well as with each other.
  4. To support the wider publishing ecology for literary fiction, throughout England, creating new opportunities for translators, editors, and other publishing professionals to enter and prosper in the industry, where those opportunities are often geographically or socially biased.

Comma’s award-winning publications include collections by new and established authors, interdisciplinary collaborations between authors and scientists, and translation commissions devised to identify cutting-edge (often marginalized) voices from across the world.

Publications

The Sea Cloak

Drawing from her own experiences of growing up in a Syrian refugee camp, as well as her current life in Gaza, these 14 stories by author, journalist and women’s rights campaigner Nayrouz Quarmout stitch together a patchwork of different perspectives into what it means to be a woman in Palestine today.

Refugee Tales II

Modelled on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the second volume of Refugee Tales sets out to communicate the experiences of those who, having sought asylum in the UK, find themselves indefinitely detained. Here, poets and novelists create a space in which the stories of those who have been detained can be safely heard, a space in which hospitality is the prevailing discourse and listening becomes an act of welcome.

Letters Home

Martyn Bedford’s short stories ask a difficult the question: how do we re-define ourselves in the age of identity politics and social media echo-chambers. What constitutes personal identity, and what can we call ‘home’, when the places we come from are either no-longer accessible, or not what they claim to be

You Should Come With Me Now

From gelatinous invaders from the astral plane to siblings at loggerheads because of preferences over pets … These are weird stories for weird times. In an age that is both ‘bland and rotten’ the only glimpses of respite lie in delusion.

Banthology: Stories from Unwanted Nations

On 27 January 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting all refugee admissions for 120 days and temporarily barring entry from seven Muslim-majority countries. Mass protests followed, and the order has since been blocked, revised and challenged by judges, activists and artists alike.

This urgent and timely collection brings together seven specially commissioned stories from the so-called ‘banned nations’. Written in response to Trump’s ban, it showcases new works by previously unplatformed writers, exploring the emotional and personal impact of all restrictions on movement – both existing restrictions and potential future bans.

From Professor Murasaki’s Notebooks on the Effects of Lightning on the Human Body

A John Latham poem is a like a precipitation: images coalesce around a single memory the way ice crystallises around the smallest particle to form a snowflake; the strange logic that constructs them is unique each time. And as the title poem demonstrates, every last atom of detail, even the mistakes of a makeshift translation, has the capacity to beguile.

Protest: Stories of Resistance

When does a riot become a revolution? When does a demonstration of dissent tip over into a moment of unstoppable political change? This book asks 20 authors and 20 historians to bring crucial moments of British protest to life.

Iraq +100

10 Iraqi writers were asked: what do you think your country will look like in 2103, 100 years after the disastrous American- and British-led invasion? Iraq + 100, named one of the best SF and Fantasy Books of 2016 in The Guardian.

Refugee Tales

Poets and novelists – including Booker shortlisted and award winning authors - retell the real stories of anonymous refugees, held in the UK under indefinite detention.

In Another Country

Widely regarded as the master of short stories, this collection brings together David Constantine’s best work from his four collections with Comma, including ‘In Another Country’, the story which inspired the Oscar nominated film 45 Years.

Drone Eats With Me: stories from a city under fire

One of the few voices to make it out of the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in 2014 was that of Atef Abu Saif, whose eye-witness accounts offered a rare window into the conflict for Western readers.

Jebel Marra

Here, Michelle Green – a former aid worker in Darfur - re-tells the story of the 2004 Darfur war from 15 different perspectives, offering fictional yet moving, first-hand insights into a tragedy that disappeared from our headlines all too quickly.

The Book of Gaza

This anthology brings together some of the pioneers of the Gazan short story, with ten stories that offer glimpses of life in the Strip that go beyond the global media headlines; stories of anxiety, oppression, and violence, but also of resilience and hope, of what it means to be a Palestinian, and how that identity is continually being reforged; stories of ordinary characters struggling to live with dignity in what many have called 'the largest prison in the world'.

The Iraqi Christ

A soldier with the ability to predict the future finds himself blackmailed by an insurgent into the ultimate act of terror… Fleeing a robbery, a Baghdad shopkeeper falls into a deep hole, at the bottom of which sits a djinni and the corpse of a soldier from a completely different war…

Tea at the Midland

The characters in David Constantine’s fourth collection are often delicately caught in moments of defiance. Constantine’s bewitching, finely-wrought stories give us permission to escape.

Contact Info

Ra Page
Managing Editor and CEO
ra.page@commapress.co.uk (+44) 7792564747

Becky Harrison
Engagement Manager
becky.harrison@commapress.co.uk

Comma Press on Twitter