The Year’s Best Weird Fiction anthology series, already setting new standards in recent collections and anthologies for the genre with the release of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 1, edited by Laird Barron, and the hotly anticipated Vol. 2, edited by Kathe Koja, has now thrown open the gates for submissions to Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 3, and will be holding them open for the rest of the year. As yet, the Guest Editor for this volume hasn’t been announced, with a promise to divulge this on March 1st, but given the eminent status of the previous Guest Editors, that in itself should be interesting to see.

“This is a reprint fiction anthology, to be published in 2016,” states Series Editor Michael Kelly, requesting “material first published this year only, 2015.” Submissions can include “ghost stories, the strange and macabre, the supernatural, fantasy, myth, philosophical ontology, ambiguity, and featuring a helping of the outré. Weird fiction, at its best, is an intersecting of themes and ideas that explore and subvert the laws of Nature.” Submissions should come from publishers or editors, however, rather than directly from authors, and should arrive as early as possible for proper consideration.

Kelly does come down against self-published works, alas.

I am afraid I am not considering any self-published work. There are certainly a number of reasons an author may consider self-publishing—rights, control, etc. The sheer number of self-published books is staggering, and is outpacing traditionally published work. My opinion, though, is that, overall, there is a distinct lack of quality in most self-published fiction as compared to legacy publishing. The gulf is huge, in fact. Your work may be the exception. And that is not to say that there isn’t bad fiction being published by traditional houses, because there certainly is. But, due to the fact I receive a high number of quality submissions from traditional publishers, and I really can’t afford the time to wade through an ever-expanding slush pile—in short, for my own sanity, I have to draw a line somewhere—I am not considering self-published work.

With this sole caveat, it seems a fantastic opportunity – if you can meet the exacting standards it requires. That’s going to be quite a hard call, though, given the quality of what’s come before and pending.


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