In my opinion, there are too many forums.

What's the point of distributing the queries across a dozen different places? It just makes it awkward to find questions that need answering, which is slow work on a dial-up modem. Besides, I think it's confusing for newcomers.

I think 4-6 forums would be ample to separate out the major sub-divisions.

What do you think?
That sounds quite good.
To me is comfortable and accesible, well organised and clear but if the owner wants to add changes, I'm sure it'll continue being all of that.
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Thanks for the suggestion John but I disagree based on the following:

1 - Less forums would mean more posts per forum.
2 - Less forums would mean less persistence time per forum (Ie. new posts would only last a couple of hours on the first page in our case)
3 – Less of a hierarchical (tree form) data structure would mean more searching time (Worse for modem users)
4 - It's difficult to look beyond the first couple of pages in any forum as it is.

5 - Hence: The more accurate and distributed the top-level (root) nodes, the more likely you'll find what you're looking for.

I do believe I’m failing on point 5 though, I think the essay / short story etc etc. forums are badly organised; The main groups do need reorganising, any suggestions?

After thought: I think the amount is right; but perhaps the actual categories are wrong
maybe you could have: short stories, articles and letter writing all in one, under "writing" for example.
I've moved "Short stories" and "Essay.." into "Writing world"
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I've tried to "clean it up" a bit; I've made another group called "Writing"