t: @thecommonbreath
e: editor@thecommonbreath.com

A brief bio
Brian Hamill is a writer, editor, and publisher, based in Partick in Glasgow. Brian grew up in Airdrie, went to Glasgow Uni to study English, dropped out after a year, worked in a factory for a year screwing the caps on bottles of fake tan, went back to Strathclyde Uni to study English, graduated with a first-class and the Dissertation Prize for 2006, went to Jordanhill to study teaching and dropped out after a few inept months, got a job in a call centre, got jobs in three more call centres, started going out to techno clubs very often in Glasgow and beyond, lost those jobs and got more, including briefly being a door-to-door milk salesman then a social media updater for a nightclub, spent some years paying off debts and saving up, went back to Glasgow Uni to study Computing, graduated, and now works in software ... continued below ...

A visual selection of publications that Brian has been involved in:

As writer & publisher
'Good Listeners' is a short collection of fiction - the first half of the book written by the novelist Alan Warner, the second by Brian. Alan also provides an introduction, and there is an Afterword/Postscript on behalf of The Common Breath. More info is given on the Shop page.
As writer
In early 2020, Brian's fragment story "Your Retired Physics Teacher" was included in the 'Fool-saint' fiction and poetry pamphlet from Tangerine Press, alongside work from Jenni Fagan and Simon Kövesi.
As writer
Brian fulfilled an ambition in 2014 by being published in the print edition of the Edinburgh Review. His story 'Mr Summers' was also added to the ER website, where it is still available. ER 139 was entitled 'Now Would Be The Right Time', and the fiction section also included Dilys Rose & Regi Claire.
As co-editor & essayist
In 2018 Brian led the production of issue #3 of thi wurd fiction magazine, where he was fortunate enough to work closely with Janice Galloway on the inclusion of her great story, 'peak'. The magazine also featured James Kelman, a story by Chekhov, and Brian's essay on Nikolai Gogol, entitled "A Worm's-Eye View".
As writer
This year, Brian's short story 'Morning Bell' was included in issue #2 of Low Light magazine, an exceptional publication produced by Jim Gibson and the Hi-Vis Press in England (www.hi-vispress.com). This edition also contained an interview with James Kelman, alongside a range of prose, poetry, photography, and journalism.
As writer
An earlier version of the title story from The Common Breath's debut publication, Good Listeners, was published in New Writing Scotland 35: She Said He Said I Said in 2017. The brilliant cover design was by Mark Mechan of Red Axe, who also designed the Good Listeners book jacket this year.
As editor
Among the publications that Brian co-edited during his time with thi wurd books (see www.thi-wurd.com) was the fiction anthology 'Tales From a Cancelled Country', which was published in 2015 and included new work by 17 writers, including Alan Warner.

This project
... In amongst this, he attended an evening class in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow in 2007, kept writing, started to get published, and won the Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award for Writing in the Scots Language in 2013. Brian co-founded thi wurd fiction magazine in 2012 along with his friend Alan McMunnigall, and remained as Submissions Editor for thi wurd books until 2018. During this time, thi wurd published work by James Kelman, Janice Galloway, Alan Warner, and the late Tom Leonard. The literary artists that Brian admires most are James Kelman, Hubert Selby, Jean Rhys, Ernesto Sabato, Nikolai Gogol, Naguib Mahfouz, Flannery O’Connor, and Samuel Beckett.

Having spent the last decade or so writing short stories and essays, Brian came to the realization that there isn't really anywhere for a relative nobody to have full collections of serious literary fiction or critical essays published in print. Thus, the purpose of The Common Breath website and publishing imprint is twofold - to allow Brian to collect and present his existing body of work online (as opposed to via disparate magazines, or taking up space on Google Drive), and also to provide a new avenue for writers who are in a similar position (you can view Brian's personal publication history by clicking right here).

The Works In Progress literary community blog is a new online publication opportunity for writers of fiction and non-fiction. It will be updated with new content as frequently as possible. Therefore, please submit anytime to editor@thecommonbreath.com, where your work will be read and responded to very promptly. As discussed in the Good Listeners book, online publication enables writers to then submit work for The Common Breath print anthology each year as well. Indeed, the online blog section is effectively the frontispiece for the imprint - The Common Breath aims to publish novels, collections, illustrated chapbooks, single-story editions, books of essays and other non-fiction works, and anything else that appeals. Please feel free to make contact on Twitter @thecommonbreath, so you can propose and discuss publication ideas.

Anyone who purchases a copy of our debut on this label, Good Listeners, should gain a sense of the literary & design aesthetics and standards that The Common Breath's publications will strive to continue, and hopefully improve upon with year of progression. It's an honour to publish work by Alan Warner; sincere gratitude is extended to him for his belief in and enthusiasm for this project.

We have no rules of submission, no criteria, no guidelines. If you would like to make contact or submit any form of work, you can follow on Twitter: @thecommonbreath, and email: editor@thecommonbreath.com.

Brian is now committed to completing his first novel (an excerpt of which is available in the Fiction section), and will split his creative time between that and continuing to build The Common Breath. He will still work on stories and essays as they come to mind - that is, whenever he's not at work, daydreaming aimlessly, or indulging in his other main passion, playing the Japanese Taiko drums for the Mugen Taiko dojo group in South Lanarkshire.


This website and publishing imprint are not affiliated in any way with the poet Tom Leonard, but, like anyone else from this part of the world who has a serious interest in art and language, those involved draw great inspiration from his work in both poetry and prose. The title ‘The Common Breath’ is taken from Tom Leonard’s magnificent essay of the same name, which was published in Edinburgh Review 126: Passing Place in 2009, and is an examination of poetics, space, and democracy. ●