Each year it seems the word count limits for journal submissions drop. The reasons given range from our supposed diminished attention spans to the goal of including more writers in each issue. For me, the result is that I write shorter. Shorter than I used to. Sometimes shorter than the piece should be.
But now there's Big Fiction: Long Shorts with Style. They take pieces up to 30,000 words and nothing less than 7,500 for their hand-designed letterpress issues. And they offer the Knickerbocker Prize. And this year I came in second place. Which means the editor and I worked on revising my story ("Half-Boy") and you know what? She found places where she wanted more. We ended up making it longer not shorter. It was as if the story was allowed expansive breaths that rushed oxygen into the sentences.