The first Spectral Book of Horror Stories, from independent UK publisher Spectral Press, was a particularly fine compilation of the juiciest, goriest modern horror story writing, with an explicit objective from the editor, Mark Morris, “to become a watchword for genre excellence.” Judging by the acclaim the first volume received, The Spectral Book of Horror Stories series looks well on course to do just that. And now the second volume is open for submission – to all comers.

Mark Morris is calling an open submission window until June 30th, with no specified length (though 2000-8000 words is optimal, with payment only up to 5000 words), and all nationalities and themes open, so long as the work is not a reprint and not submitted elsewhere. “There’s no theme for the anthology – all I’m looking for are well-written, original, disturbing stories that push my buttons.” Following the deadline, “the book will be launched at FantasyCon in October. Due to the volume of stories I’m expecting to receive over the next few months it may take a while for me to get back to you, and my responses may, by necessity, be brief.”

Morris’s confidence and ambitions can be measured by the fact that the second volume is already on pre-order. “Given the popularity of the inaugural volume, we thought it might be an idea to put it on pre-order now for those who would like to secure a copy ahead of time,” he notes. “The prices will be exactly the same as last year.”

Of course, anyone in theory could take a chance and submit to Morris. In practice, though, I think they’d be best to bear in mind the very high standard achieved in the first volume – and stay at home unless their work is truly outstanding. Looks like another winner already.


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