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Common Fiction Genres

•Classic – fiction that has become part of an accepted literary canon, widely taught in schools

•Crime/detective – fiction about a crime, how the criminal gets caught, and the repercussions

of the crime

•Erotic Fiction –  deals with sex or sexual themes

•Fable – narration demonstrating a useful truth, especially in which animals speak as humans;

legendary, supernatural tale

•Fairy tale – story about fairies or other magical creatures

•Fan fiction – fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from, a particular TV series,

movie, or book

•Fantasy – fiction with strange or otherworldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension

of reality

•Fiction in verse – full-length novels with plot, subplot(s), theme(s), major and minor characters,

in which the narrative is presented in verse form (usually free verse)

•Fiction narrative – literary works whose content is produced by the imagination and is not

necessarily based on fact

•Folklore – the songs, stories, myths, and proverbs of a people or "folk" as handed down

by word of mouth

•Historical fiction – story with fictional characters and events in a historical setting

•Horror – fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread and sometimes fear in both

the characters and the reader

•Humor – Usually a fiction full of fun, fancy, and excitement, meant to entertain and sometimes

cause intended laughter; but can be contained in all genres

•Legend – story, sometimes of a national or folk hero, that has a basis in fact but also includes imaginative material

•Magical realism  – story where magical or unreal elements play a natural part in an otherwise realistic environment

•Meta fiction – also known as romantic irony in the context of Romantic works of literature, uses self-reference to draw attention to itself as a work of art, while exposing the "truth" of a story

•Mystery – this is fiction dealing with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets

•Mythology – legend or traditional narrative, often based in part on historical events, that reveals human behavior and natural phenomena by its symbolism; often pertaining to the actions of the gods

•Mythopoeia – fiction in which characters from religious mythology, traditional myths, folklore and/or history are recast into a re-imagined realm created by the author

•Picture book – picture storybook is a book with very little words and a lot of pictures, picture stories are usually for little kids

•Realistic fiction – story that is true to life

•Romance - primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people

•Science fiction – story based on the impact of actual, imagined, or potential science, usually set in the future or on other planets

•Short story – fiction of such brevity that it supports no subplots

•Suspense/thriller – fiction about harm about to befall a person or group and the attempts made to evade the harm

•Tall tale – humorous story with blatant exaggerations, such as swaggering heroes who do the impossible with nonchalance

•Western  – set in the American Old West frontier and typically set in the late eighteenth to late nineteenth century

 

Common Nonfiction Genres

•Biography/autobiography  – narrative of a person's life; a true story about a real person

•Essay  – a short literary composition that reflects the author's outlook or point.

•Owner's manual (also Instruction manual, User's guide)  – an instructional book or booklet that is supplied with consumer products such as vehicles, home appliances, firearms, toys and computer peripherals

•Memoir  – factual story that focuses on a significant relationship between the writer and a person, place, or object; reads like a short novel

•Narrative nonfiction/personal narrative  – factual information about a significant event presented in a format which tells a story

•Self-help book  – information with the intention of instructing readers on solving personal problems.

•Textbook  – authoritative and detailed factual description of a topic.

 

It is important for an author or submitting publisher to ensure they choose the correct common genre and/or subgenre for their novel. Genres are evolving all the time. If in doubt  or if not represented in our list simply choose the nearest genre that reflects your book.

Please use the classifications below when submitting your titles.

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Adventure novel

  • Epic

  • Imaginary voyage

  • Lost World

  • Men's adventure

  • Milesian tale

  • Picaresque novel (picaresco)

  • Robinsonade

  • Apocalyptic robinsonade

  • Science fiction robinsonade

  • Sea story

  • Subterranean fiction

Brit lit

Children's literature

  • Young adult fiction

Erotic fiction

  • Erotic romance

  • Picaresque novel (picaresco)

  • Women's erotica

Experimental fiction

  • Antinovel

  • Ergodic literature

Graphic novel

Historical fiction

  • Historical romance

Metahistorical romance

  • Historical whodunnit

  • Holocaust novel

  • Plantation tradition

  • Prehistoric fiction

  • Regency novel

Regency romance

  • Contradiction

Literary fiction

Metafiction

Nonfiction novel

  • Bildungsroman

  • Biographical novel

Autobiographical novel

Semi-autobiographical novel

Occupational fiction

  • Hollywood novel

  • Lab lit

  • Legal thriller

  • Medical fiction

Medical romance

Sports fiction

Philosophical fiction

  • Existentialist fiction

  • Novel of ideas

  • Philosophical horror

  • Platonic Dialogues

Political fiction

Political satire

Pulp fiction

Quantum fiction

Religious fiction

  • Christian fiction

Christian science fiction

Contemporary Christian fiction

  • Islamic fiction

  • Jewish fiction[3]

Saga

  • oFamily saga

Speculative fiction

  • oFantasy

Epic / high fantasy

Hard fantasy

Historical fantasy

Prehistoric fantasy

Medieval fantasy

Wuxia

Low fantasy

Urban fantasy

Paranormal romance

By theme

  • Comic fantasy

  • Contemporary fantasy

  • Dark fantasy

  • Fantasy of manners

  • Heroic fantasy

  • Magic realism

  • Mythic

  • Paranormal fantasy

  • Shenmo fantasy

  • Superhero fantasy

  • Sword and sorcery

  • oHorror

  • Body horror

  • Splatterpunk

  • Erotic

  • Gothic fiction

  • Southern Gothic

  • Psychological

  • Supernatural / paranormal

  • Cosmic (Lovecraftian)

  • Ghost story

  • Monster literature

  • Jiangshi fiction

  • Vampire fiction

  • Werewolf fiction

  • Occult detective

  • oScience fiction

  • Alien invasion

  • Post-apocalyptic

  • Cyberpunk derivatives, aka punk

  • Cyberpunk

  • Biopunk

  • Nanopunk

  • Postcyberpunk

  • Steampunk

  • Atompunk

  • Clockpunk

  • Dieselpunk

  • Dystopian

  • Hard science fiction

  • Military science fiction

  • Parallel universe, aka alternative universe

  • Alternative history

  • Scientific romance

  • Soft science fiction

  • Space opera

  • oSpeculative cross-genre fiction

  • Bizarro fiction

  • Dying Earth

  • Science fantasy

  • Planetary romance

  • Sword and planet

  • Slipstream

  • Weird fiction

  • New Weird

Suspense fiction

  • Crime fiction

  • Detective fiction

  • Gong'an fiction

  • Mystery fiction

Thriller

  • Mystery fiction

  • Legal thriller

  • Medical thriller

  • Political thriller

Spy fiction

  • Psychological thriller

  • Techno-thriller

Tragedy

  • oMelodrama

Urban fiction

Westerns

Women's fiction

  • Femslash

  • Matron literature

  • Romance novel

  • Yaoi

  • Yuri

Workplace tell-all

General cross-genre

Historical romance

LGBT pulp fiction

Gay male pulp fiction

Lesbian pulp fiction

Lesbian erotica fiction

Paranormal romance

Romantic fantasy

Tragicomedy

Subgenres

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