Genre is a category of composition, whether that is artistic, literary, or musical. A genre is defined by its style, content, and approach to its subject matter.

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  • Absurd
    The absurd is a style of writing that is influenced by humanity’s isolation and a lack of logic in the universe. Read More
  • Adventure Story
    An adventure story tells the tale of a protagonist’s journey. They go on an adventure or quest: one that could be personal or geographical. Read More
  • Agitprop
    Agitprop is political propaganda conveyed through art, music, literature, and films. Read More
  • Alba
    Alba is a specific type of poetry. It’s a genre of lyric poetry from the Old Occitan period, also known as the Old Provençal. Read More
  • Antinovel
    An antinovel is any novel that disregards traditional conventions of novel-writing. These books push the limits of what a novel can be. Read More
  • Apologue
    An apologue is a short story, sometimes a fable, that shares a moral lesson. For example, kindness is more important than power, or love triumphs over hate. Read More
  • Autobiography
    An autobiography is an account of one’s life written by the subject. Read More
  • b
  • Beast Fable
    A beast fable, also known as an animal tale, is a short story or long poem that uses animal characters to relay a moral or narrative.  Read More
  • Bildungsroman
    A bildungsroman is a literary genre that focuses on coming of age stories, following a character's progression towards adulthood. Read More
  • Biography
    A biography is an account or description of a person's life, literary, fictional, historical, or popular in nature, written by a biographer. Read More
  • c
  • Campus Novel
    The campus novel, also known as the academic novel, is a book set around a university or college campus. Read More
  • Chivalric Romance
    Chivalric Romance is a genre of literature and culture popular during the Medieval and Early Modern periods in Europe from the 12th century. Read More
  • Chronicle
    A chronicle is an account of events that occurs in the order that they happened in. The term is usually associated with historical events. Read More
  • Comedy
    Comedy is a humorous and entertaining genre of literature, film, and television. Read More
  • Coming-of-Age Novel
    A coming-of-age novel is a book that tells the story of a character growing up and going through a series of important life-defining changes. Read More
  • Confessional Poetry
    Confessional Poetry is a style of poetry that is personal, often making use of a first-person narrator. It is a branch of Postmodernism that emerged in the US in(...) Read More
  • d
  • Drama
    Drama is a mode of storytelling that uses dialogue and performance. It’s one of several important literary genres that authors engage with. Read More
  • Dystopia
    A dystopia is the opposite of a utopia. It is an imagined place or community in which the majority of the people suffer.  Read More
  • e
  • Elegy
    An elegy, in literature, is a poem or song that is written in dedication to someone who has died. Read More
  • Epic Poetry
    An epic is a long narrative poem that tells the story of heroic deeds, normally accomplished by more-than-human characters. Read More
  • Epistolary
    An epistolary novel is a book made up of a series of documents, usually letters, diary entires, or newspaper clippings. Read More
  • f
  • Fable
    A fable is a short and concise story that provides the reader with a moral lesson at the end. Read More
  • Fabliau
    A fabliau is a traditional French tale penned by an anonymous writer between 1150 and 1400. These were usually written by jongleurs or medieval entertainers. Read More
  • Fairy Tale
    Fairy tales are short stories that include fanciful and magical elements such as goblins, elves, fairies, and ogres. Read More
  • Fantasy
    Fantasy is a literary genre that includes talking animals, magic, and other worlds. It includes plots that couldn’t take place in the real world. Read More
  • Farce
    A farce is a genre of comedic literature. It uses exaggerated and outrageous situations to create humor and make the audience laugh. Read More
  • Folklore
    Folklore refers to stories that people tell. These include folk stores, fairy tales, urban legends, and more.  Read More
  • g
  • Gothic
    Gothic literature, poetry, and prose is that which deals with themes of death, the supernatural, sorrow, fear, loss, and more. Read More
  • h
  • Historical Fiction
    Historical Fiction is a genre that fictionalizes real places, people, and events. It takes place in the past with accurate historical details in regard to customs,(...) Read More
  • Homily
    A homily is a speech delivered by a religious person, usually a priest, in front of a group of people. Read More
  • Horror
    Horror is a genre of fiction that plays with human fear, feelings of terror, dread, and repulsion to entertain the audience.  Read More
  • l
  • Lampoon
    A lampoon is a type of satire in which a person or thing is attacked unjustly. They can be found in prose and verse. Read More
  • Legend
    A legend is a genre of folklore that features stories about human events and actions. Read More
  • Lyric Poem
    A lyric poem is a musically inclined, short verse that speaks on poignant and powerful emotions. Read More
  • m
  • Magical Realism
    Magical Realism is a genre of fiction writing that is interested in imbuing the modern realistic world with magical, fantastical elements. Read More
  • Medievalism
    Medievalism is a set of beliefs that are inspired by the Middle Ages in Europe. It’s possible to find examples of Medievalism in art, music, literature, philosophy,(...) Read More
  • Melodrama
    A melodrama is a work of literature or a theatrical performance that uses exaggerated events and characters. Read More
  • Metafiction
    Metafiction refers to stories in which the characters, author, or narrator acknowledge the fact that they're parts of a fiction. Read More
  • Morality Play
    A morality play is a genre of theatre popular in the medieval and Tudor period.  Read More
  • Myth
    A myth is a genre of folklore that usually includes a hero and sometimes fanatical elements.  Read More
  • Mythopoeia
    Mythopoeia is a genre of modern literature (and film) that refers to the creation of artificial mythology. Read More
  • n
  • Naturalism
    Naturalism is a nineteenth-century literary and arts genre that focuses on the realistic depiction of life and all its struggles Read More
  • Novel
    A novel is a long, written, fictional narrative that includes some amount of realism. Read More
  • Novella
    A novella is a prose, fiction work that’s shorter than a novel and longer than a short story.  Read More
  • Nursery Rhyme
    A nursery rhyme is a short rhyming song or poem that conveys a lesson or tells an amusing story. They are aimed at children. Read More
  • p
  • Paean
    A paean expresses thanks, elation, or triumph through the form of a song or lyrical poem. Read More
  • Parody
    A parody is created based on an already existing work in order to make fun of it. Read More
  • Pastiche
    A pastiche is a literary creation that imitates a famous work by another author. Read More
  • Pastoral
    Pastoral poetry is a genre or mode of poetry that refers to works that idealize country life and the landscape they take place in. Read More
  • Penny Dreadful
    Penny dreadfuls were a cheap, serialized form of literature popular in the nineteenth century.  Read More
  • Picaresque Novel
    A picaresque novel is a genre of prose fiction that depicts a roughish hero who experiences episodic adventures. Read More
  • Play (Theatre)
    A play is a form of writing for theatre. It is divided into acts and scenes.  Read More
  • Prose
    Prose is a written and spoken language form that does not make use of a metrical pattern or rhyme scheme. Read More
  • r
  • Romance
    Romance is a narrative genre of literature. It can feature elements that include mystery, adventure, bravery, and more. Read More
  • s
  • Science Fiction
    Science fiction is a literary genre that focuses on imaginative content based in science.  Read More
  • Short Story
    A short story is a piece of writing with a narrative that’s shorter than a novel. These stories usually only take one sitting to read. Read More
  • t
  • Theatre of Cruelty 
    The Theatre of Cruelty is an experimental genre of theatre that’s concerned more with audience sense-experience than it is with dialogue and content. Read More
  • Thriller 
    The thriller is a genre of fiction that is defined by its wide variety of sub-genres. They range from crime to science fiction. Read More
  • Tragedy
    The word “tragedy” refers to a type of drama that explores serious, sometimes dark, and depressing subject matter. Read More
  • Tragedy of Blood 
    Tragedy of Blood theatre, also known as revenge tragedy or revenge drama, is a genre of theatre that’s primarily concerned with revenge and its consequences. Read More
  • Tragicomedy
    A tragicomedy is a fictional genre that incorporates elements of tragedies and comedies. Read More
  • u
  • Utopia
    The word “utopia” refers to a perfect, or nearly perfect, place or ideal.  Read More
  • v
  • Vaudeville
    Vaudeville is a genre of entertainment or theatre that originated in France in the 19th century. It is based in lightly comical situations without deeper moral(...) Read More
  • w
  • What is a Poem?
    A poem can be written down or spoken aloud. It is a collection of ideas and emotions in a creative way. Read More

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