Founded by Ra Page and Sarah Eyre, and formally incorporated in 2007, Comma's initial purpose was to redress the dearth of short story publishing opportunities in the UK, bringing award-winning writers like David Constantine, Sara Maitland and Adam Marek to new audiences. Our popular, long-running 'Reading the City' series has proven that people's engagement with place can override other barriers to reading fiction in translation, and has now visited over 20 cities worldwide. Our interdisciplinary commissions celebrate the short story's ability to take deep dives into cutting-edge research, and our 'Futures Past' series has delivered ground-breaking anthologies of science fiction from Palestine, Iraq, Kurdistan and elsewhere.
Comma has an international reputation for excellent and ground-breaking commissioning. Our titles and authors have won multiple awards ranging from the World Fantasy Award (Robert Shearman's Tiny Deaths, 2008) and the Shirley Jackson Award (The New Uncanny, 2008) to the BBC National Short Story Award (David Constantine, 2010the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award (David Constantine's Tea at the Midland, 2013), the Caine Prize (Bushra Al-Fadil, 2017), and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (Hassan Blasim's The Iraqi Christ 2014) – the first time it had been won by a short story collection or a book translated from the Arabic. Our podcast was shortlisted for the 2019 FutureBook Award, Podcast of the Year, and, as a publisher, we won the 2020 Small Press of the Year (Northern Region) at The Bookseller’s British Book Awards. In 2017 we also won the inaugural Northern Soul Northern Publisher of the Year Award. Comma has published two subsequent Nobel Prize winners; it has sold rights to its titles into over 30 languages, sold 7 titles to Audible, seen over 60 stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and had two stories adapted for the big screen: POSSUM (dir. Matthew Holness) and 45 YEARS (dir. Andrew Haigh), the latter receiving an Oscar nomination for Charlotte Rampling, winning 2 Silver Bears at Berlinale and being voted The Guardian's No. 1 best film of 2015.