Comma is Recruiting! New Job Opportunity - Engagement Manager

Comma Press: Engagement Manager


Job title: Engagement Manager

Application deadline: Monday 1 August 2015

Interviews: Fri 5 August (flexible)

Part-time position (4 days, 32 hours per week, initially)

Location: Manchester, Northern Quarter/Ancoats

Line manager: CEO

Starting Salary: £16k pro rata


Comma Press, one of the UK's leading independent literary publishers, seeks an Engagement Officer to oversee its marketing and press strategies, as well as its writer development programme (including the National Creative Writing Graduate Fair). The post will also develop to include managing Comma’s research-based commission series (including ‘science-into-fiction’ projects, and people’s history projects).  The appointee will work closely with the Production Editor, Digital Editor, and CEO on all aspects of the day-to-day running of the press.


Apply by emailing a CV and covering letter, outlining your suitability to the role, to Ra Page at by Monday 1 August at the latest. Please includeEngagement Managerin the email subject heading.




Marketing, Press & Audience Development

  1. Research and deliver a tailored marketing strategy for each new title, as well as strategies to promote the backlist.
  2. Develop new contacts and relationships with press (including the books editors at major newspapers, radio producers, freelancers, and online reviewers).
  3. Broaden and deepen Comma’s engagement with audiences online, through a range of approaches including social media and blogs.
  4. Research new audiences and diverse market segments for all aspects of Comma’s work. 
  5. Create marketing materials including press releases (for books, events and other news), reading samples, and regular e-newsletters.
  6. Oversee the development and promotion of Comma’s audio and visual content (author interviews, discussions, podcasts, etc).
  7. Secure a growth in the overall media coverage of Comma’s work.


Writer Development – Comma Labs

1.      Plan, promote and manage the National Creative Writing Graduate Fair. This will include: updating the website and social media channels; liaising with MMU and Manchester Writing School; pairing participants with agents for pitching sessions; liaising with all participants including keynote speaker, agents and authors; booking speakers (travel and accommodation requirements); promoting the Fair to potential delegates and press; and overseeing the smooth running of the Fair on the day.

2.      Plan, promote and oversee Comma’s various on-going short story courses (taking place over 6 months in several cities) and capture feedback and data from participants.


Project Management of ‘Research-Based’ Commissions

  1. Work with the CEO and guest editors to source and coordinate ‘consultants’ for upcoming series (from researchers and academics, through to historians, activists and eye-witnesses)
  2. Research potential themes, opportunities, partner organisations, and funding opportunities to develop the series further
  3. Work with filmmakers to capture interviews and conversations with writers, academics, eye witnesses, activists, and other specialists involved in the commissions
  4. Facilitate the public’s engagement with the above AV material, and the final publication.


Other – Office Management

  1. Monitor and maintain office supplies, e.g. stationery etc
  2. Chair weekly office meetings
  3. Take minutes at Board meetings
  4. Work with interns on the delivery of the above tasks
  5. Additional office tasks as and when needed by any department




Full in-house training will be given for all aspects of the role (covering many aspects of design, editing and production). We are looking for someone with well-developed communication skills and a high level of proficiency with the English language (for instance, they will often be needed to proof read texts to a high standard of accuracy). You must be able to work both independently and as a part of the Comma team, and have the resourcefulness to research and develop solutions unassisted.



  • A basic understanding of the way books are promoted through traditional media coverage (press reviews, radio coverage, etc).
  • A familiarity with all major social media platforms and a sense of what constitutes good social media promotion and what constitutes bad.
  • A familiarity with all basic Microsoft Office packages (Word, Excel etc), and basic Google services (e.g. Google Analytics, Google Drive).
  • An interest in contemporary world literature, and particularly the short story.
  • An interest in contemporary world politics and recent history.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Meticulous attention to detail.
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills, with the ability to work to deadlines.



  • Familiarity with WordPress, MailChimp, Survey Monkey.
  • Experience of working with code, such as basic html and CSS.
  • Familiarity with design and image software (such as Adobe Photoshop, Quark or Indesign).
  • Experience of managing a website and/or social media accounts.
  • Experience of promoting events/projects to the general public (ideally in an arts context).