Publisher Spotlight: Comma Press

Despite the fact that English translations are being published around the world, the barriers to awareness of what is going on outside of one’s national boundaries are substantial. Distribution and review access are just two of the major factors involved in stifling the flow of information. In the interest of helping librarians and others to learn about what is going on in other corners of the globe, we will be featuring sketches of some of these publishers. First up, Comma Press in the UK.

From the publisher’s About page:

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:

(i) 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.

(ii) 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.

(iii) 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.

(iv) 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.

Our digital initiatives have helped thousands of aspiring authors to self-publish and then learn from the reading habits of those who download their work (MacGuffin). We have also enabled readers to virtually interact with cityscapes around the world, through short stories in translation (LitNav).

Comma delivers masterclasses and creative writing courses throughout the year. We host the National Creative Writing Graduate Fair, which gives aspiring writers access to key agents and editors, and we support the wider publishing sector through the Northern Fiction Alliance.

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