The latest in Comma’s acclaimed series of short story anthologies, Bracket brings together 20 of the country’s most promising, previously unpublished writers. From the cliffs of Flamborough Head to high rise, inner city madness; from lost loves to the last days of civilisation - the settings and scenarios in these stories captivate and unsettle in equal measure, all the time striving for that most unlikely modern thing, intimacy.

"Short fiction is in good hands"
Independent on Sunday, 13 Mar 2005. 
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"Fills you with hope for the form" 
Time Out, 2 Feb 2005. 
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"Get with the zeitgeist and buy yourself a copy of Bracket"
Leeds Guide, 26 Jan 2005. 
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"An agreeably accomplished collection populated, as promised, by some intriguing characters" 
City Life, 19 Jan 2005. 
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About the author


Penny Anderson has written for The NME, and BBC radio, as well as worked as a record company talent scout, a body parts courier, and a filing clerk in a sewerage works. She is presently writing a novel.

Patrick Belshaw is a retired HM Inspector of Schools who has recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at Northumbria University. The author of A Kind of Private Magic, Deautsch, l994 (a group biography featuring EM Forster), he is married to Kathie and has three sons and two grandsons.

Sheena Brabazon worked for several years as a magazine journalist before beginning an MA in Writing. Since then she has had a short story, ‘Ciara's Bird’, published in an online magazine, E-Sheaf, and is currently working on her first novel.

Jaime Campbell is currently working on his first novel ‘Harmonica’ whilst completing an MA in Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has recently published work in Word Riot and Open Wide. ‘The Removal’ is set to be made into a short film early in 2005.

Tim Cooke has worked variously as a lecturer, an internet consultant, and a composer of music for television, film and new media. His unpublished novel ‘The Zero-Sum Game’ was the source for the 2004 film ‘The Principles of Lust’ directed by Penny Woolcock. He lives (with a headache) in Manchester. 

Penny Feeny is a former copywriter and editor now concentrating on fiction. Her short stories have been published in literary magazines and anthologies and won prizes in several competitions. She lives in Liverpool with her family.

Sara Heitlinger grew up in Australia and Israel. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She won first prize in the Time Out Student Awards in 2003 for her short story, ‘Empty’.

Philip Hughes was born in Birmingham, is 22 years old and is presently living in Aberystwyth where he studyied English and Media. Having since completed a Masters in Creative Writing he is now working on a first novel in his spare time.

Annie Kirby is a graduate of the University of East Anglia Creative Writing MA. Her first short story was recently broadcast on Radio 4 as part of their ‘Ones to Watch’ series. She lives in Dorset.

David Lambert was born in the West Indies of Trinidadian/Irish parentage. He has an MA in Creative Writing from UEA. His unpublished novel 'Mulatto Moon' was a National Black First Chapter winner(2004). His novella 'Providence' won the Norwich Prize (2002). He is currently working on something set in the former Soviet Union. He teaches Creative Writing in Cambridge.

Zoe Lambert has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and is finishing her first novel. She writes reviews for various magazines. She is an associate lecturer and PhD student at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Char March has written three collections of poetry, most recently Deadly Sensitive (Grassroots Press), five BBC Radio 4 plays and six stage plays. She grew up in Scotland and now divides her time between the Highlands and Yorkshire.

Adam Maxwell is 28 years old and has been writing short-short stories or 'flash fiction' for his website ( and others for some time. He is currently working on his first novel. This piece is based on a true story.

Rory Miller wrote his contribution for a Creative Writing module as an undergraduate at the University of Kent, under the tutelage of Susan Wicks. He is presently living in Canada.

Tom Palmer works for the Reading Agency and as a freelance Reader Development Officer for Yorkshire and the North West. He has previously published If You're Proud to be a Leeds Fan (Mainstream, 2002). This story is loosely drawn from a novel in progress titled ‘News Junkie’, for which he received a K Blundell Award for development.

Mario Petrucci has been resident poet at the Imperial War Museum and with BBC Radio 3. He recently won the London Writers Competition for an unprecendented third time. ‘Heavy Water’ (Enitharmon) secured the Arvon Prize and “Radiates compassion” (The Observer).

Fiona Ritchie Walker’s first poetry collection, Lip Reading, was published by Diamond Twig in 1999. She has a second, Garibaldi’s Legs, due from Iron Press in 2005. She received a 2004 Northern Promise Award from New Writing North to develop her short stories, and is presently working with Sara Maitland as part of NWN’s mentoring scheme.

Maria Roberts was born in 1977 in Manchester. She studied English and Spanish at the University of Manchester and has just graduated from the Creative Writing School at MMU. She lives in a small house full of junk on the outskirts of Manchester with Scratch, her very talkative six-year-old son. She has just completed her first novel.

Sarah Tierney is 27, works as a journalist and copywriter, and lives in Manchester.

Emma Unsworth is 25 and works as a writer and editor. She began her first novel whilst studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester University. Previous short stories have been published in Comma: an anthology and Sepember Stories published by Prospect magazine and Comma Press.
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1 total

Additional Information

Comma Press
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Published on
Dec 3, 2013
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Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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ForeWord's Book of the Year Award FINALIST - 2008
USA Best Book Award FINALIST - 2008
A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real-World Violence.

Experienced martial artist and veteran correction officer Sgt. Rory Miller distills what he has learned from jailhouse brawls, tactical operations and ambushes to explore the differences between martial arts and the subject martial arts were designed to deal with: Violence.

In section one, Sgt. Miller introduces the myths, metaphors and expectations that most martial artists have about what they will ultimately learn in their dojo. This is then compared with the complexity of the reality of violence. Complexity is one of the recurring themes throughout this work. Section two examines how to think critically about violence, how to evaluate sources of knowledge and clearly explains the concepts of strategy and tactics. Sections three and four focus on the dynamics of violence itself and the predators who perpetuate it. Drawing on hundreds of encounters and thousands of hours spent with criminals Sgt. Miller explains the types of violence; how, where, when and why it develops; the effects of adrenaline; how criminals think, and even the effects of drugs and altered states of consciousness in a fight. Section five centers on training for violence, and adapting your present training methods to that reality. It discusses the pros and cons of modern and ancient martial arts training and gives a unique insight into early Japanese kata as a military training method. Section six is all about how to make self-defense work. Miller examines how to look at defense in a broader context, and how to overcome some of your own subconscious resistance to meeting violence with violence. The last section deals with the aftermath—the cost of surviving sudden violence or violent environments, how it can change you for good or bad. It gives advice for supervisors and even for instructors on how to help a student/survivor. You’ll even learn a bit about enlightenment.

Rory Miller has served for seventeen years in corrections as an officer and sergeant working maximum security, booking and mental health; leading a tactical team; and teaching subjects ranging from Defensive Tactics and Use of Force to First Aid and Crisis Communications with the Mentally Ill.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R. R. Martin’s ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire.
These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living consciousness. Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there was Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals—in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg—whose true name is hidden from all he and Dunk encounter. Though more improbable heroes may not be found in all of Westeros, great destinies lay ahead for these two . . . as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.
Featuring more than 160 all-new illustrations by Gary Gianni, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a must-have collection that proves chivalry isn’t dead—yet.

Praise for A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

“Readers who already love Martin and his ability to bring visceral human drama out of any story will be thrilled to find this trilogy brought together and injected with extra life.”—Booklist

“The real reason to check out this collection is that it’s simply great storytelling. Martin crafts a living, breathing world in a way few authors can. . . . [Gianni’s illustrations] really bring the events of the novellas to life in beautiful fashion.”—Tech Times

“Stirring . . . As Tolkien has his Silmarillion, so [George R. R.] Martin has this trilogy of foundational tales. They succeed on their own, but in addition, they succeed in making fans want more.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Pure fantasy adventure, with two of the most likable protagonists George R. R. Martin has ever penned.”—Bustle

“A must-read for Martin’s legion of fans . . . a rousing prelude to [his] bestselling Song of Ice and Fire saga . . . rich in human drama and the colorful worldbuilding that distinguishes other books in the series.”—Publishers Weekly
USA Best Books Award WINNER - 2016The speed and brutality of a predatory attack can shock even an experienced martial artist. The sudden chaos, the cascade of stress hormones—you feel as though time slows down. In reality, the assault is over in an instant. How does anyone prepare for that?
As a former corrections sergeant and tactical team leader, Rory Miller is a proven survivor. He instructs police and corrections professionals who, in many cases, receive only eight hours of defensive tactics training each year. They need techniques that work and they need unflinching courage.
In Training for Sudden Violence: 72 Practical Drills Miller gives you the tools to prepare and prevail, both physically and psychologically. He shares hard-won lessons from a world most of us hope we never experience.
• Train in fundamentals, combat drills, and dynamic fighting.
• Develop situational awareness.
• Condition yourself through stress inoculation.
• Take a critical look at your training habits.
“You don’t get to pick where fights go,” Miller writes. That’s why he has created a series of drills to train you for the worst of it. You will defend yourself on your feet, on the ground, against weapons, in a crowd, and while blindfolded. You will reevaluate your training scenarios—keeping what works, discarding what does not, and improving your chances of survival.
Miller’s “internal work,” “world work,” and “plastic mind” exercises will challenge you in ways that mere physical training does not. Sections include
• Stalking
• Escape and evasion
• The predator mind
• Personal threat assessment
This is a fight for your life, and it won’t happen on a nice soft mat. It will get, as Miller says, “all kinds of messy.” Training for Sudden Violence: 72 Practical Drills prepares you for that mess.
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