Sarah Cleave, formerly of Saqi Books, has made the move up north to join Manchester-based independent publisher Comma Press in the role of publishing manager.
Cleave was previously publishing manager at Saqi Books and Telegram, where she acquired literary fiction and non-fiction in translation, and worked on titles such as Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline by Malu Halasa and Zaher Omareen and About My Mother by Tahar Ben Jelloun.
In her new role with Comma Press, Cleave will commission contemporary short fiction by British and international writers, and will also co-edit a new history-into-fiction series that will explore the ongoing social costs of globalisation through community histories and the short story.
Cleave said: "I am excited to be joining the small but mighty team at Comma Press. It is a publisher that is not afraid to take risks, and I have long admired its editorial tenacity and commitment to championing authors of short fiction, both nationally and internationally."
Last August, Comma Press launched the Northern Fiction Alliance to facilitate independent publishers in the North of England to work together and represent themselves and their authors internationally. The cohort includes Peepal Tree Press (Leeds), And Other Stories (relocating to Sheffield from High Wycombe) and Dead Ink Books (Liverpool).
Founder and editorial director of Comma Press, Ra Page, said: "I've been a great fan of Saqi Books and what Sarah has done there, for years. It's extremely rare that publishing professionals head north to develop their careers - usually the brain drain heads in the other direction - so this is a real coup for Comma, and for the Northern Fiction Alliance generally."
Comma Press is a not-for-profit publishing initiative dedicated to developing new writing, with an emphasis on short narrative forms. In 2012, Comma became one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations and was recently awarded additional funding to head the Northern Fiction Alliance as part of their International Showcasing Programme.