Last week, Christopher Grant announced some interesting changes at A Twist of Noir.
Starting at ATON 601 and up until 700, every story's word count will correlate with its number. (So 601 will be 601 words, etc.) After that the maximum word count will (probably) be 3500 instead of 5000. He also plans to add interviews with writers.
Reducing the word count is something I definitely support. Reading on the computer is a bit hard on the old eyes and, I think, shorter tends to be better. You can read a couple of shorter ones on your lunch break, or while you're waiting for your plane to take off, or while your plan for world domination is being hatched. Plus it forces us long-winded writers to revise and revise again, leaving in only what is absolutely crucial.
It seems like most sites have gone in this direction--there aren't too many places out there publishing longer short stories. Off the top of my head, places with shorter limits include: Gloom Cupboard and Short, Fast and Deadly, which do all microfiction; Thrillers, Killers n Chillers and Pulp Metal are 2500 words; Flash Fiction Offensive and Powder Burn Flash are 1000 words; Crimefactory is "partial" to stories at around 3000 words; Yellow Mama is 3,500, and Beat to a Pulp has is 4000 There are other sites regularly publishing longer works (Mysterical-E, Plots with Guns and Pulp Empire come to mind), but it seems to me that the direction is toward flash and short shorts.
So what do y'all think about this? Are tight word limits better? Do they stifle creativity or foster it?