A major but positive change is coming to The Chamber. The Chamber will now average about 40,000 words of short fiction per issue. Flash fiction, reviews, poetry, and other miscellaneous posts will continue to be included in each issue, but the total word count for short fiction alone will average around 40,000. This means each issue will be about the length of a short novel not including poetry, reviews, etc. This change will take effect with the July 1 issue.
When The Chamber started as a weekly, each issue averaged around 5 works (fiction and poetry combined). That averaged about twenty works of both fiction and poetry per month. After The Chamber became a monthly, I endeavored to keep the size of each issue to about twenty works per month. However, this meant the size of each issue varied. So, to provide a consistent size for each issue, I decided to have a minimum word count. I set that count at 40,000 words per issue, which is generally considered the lower limit for a novel (though the minimum word count for a novel can be lower, depending upon the publisher). This also ensures that the reader can have a substantial issue to read. After all, where else can you get what is essentially a free novel every month? Besides, I really enjoy reading submissions. It is becoming an addiction of sorts, but with a positive effect versus a detrimental one.
I will try this for a while and see how much my workload increases. I do have a life outside The Chamber (though it is generally not as exciting as the worlds I visit when I read submissions). If it becomes too much of a demand on my time for each issue, I may lower the word count. The word count will vary somewhat depending upon the number of quality submissions I receive, but I will try to keep it consistent. So far, each issue has been averaging about 20,000-30,000 words per issue, so bringing it up to 40,000 should not be that much more difficult.
Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.