MadLab welcomes Comma Press

We are delight to announce Manchester-based short story specialist, Comma Press, has been successful in its application to become a new National Portfolio Organisation (2012-2015), as part of a consortium bid with Literature Northwest and MadLab. This funding will include the provision of a new Writers’ Centre for Manchester, extensive development support for authors and small presses, both regionally and nationally, and the digital development of Comma’s literary and AV work, as well as an exciting and intensive three year publishing programme (focusing on short fiction and short fiction in translation).

MadLab and Comma Press have already worked together in the past, supporting Literature Northwest seminars and celebrating National Short Story Day. We are excited to be working more closely with Comma Press, and in closer proximity when Comma Press started sharing our offices in March. While our official work together will start next year, as a sign of projects to come Comma Press editor Jim Hinks will be running a Short Story Writer’s Workshop at the Omniversity from this May.

Comma has existed as a purely GftA-funded project since its inception as a part-time project in 2003, making this the first time it has received regular funding. This fantastic news arrives hard on the heels of recent award success for the press. Comma’s David Constantine won the 2010 BBC National Short Story Award, Adam Marek won the 2011 Arts Foundation Fellowship, and Constantine’s The Shieling was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award (making him the only non-American on the shortlist). Comma’s recently discovered Iraqi author, Hassan Blasim was also recently described by The Guardian as’perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive.’

Founder Ra Page writes: “This comes as wonderful news for us, and is a shot in the arm for the short story generally. Comma has operated on a project-by-project basis for years, without any real, long-term stability, until now. So it is thrilling to be see our hard work recognised by the Arts Council in this way. It is also wonderful and very reassuring to see independent publishing and work in translation given such serious support.”

You can follow Comma Press on twitter, and check out the giant comma sharing our door.