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.

AJAX progress indicator
  • Absurd
    The absurd is a style of writing that is influenced by humanity’s isolation and a lack of logic in the universe.
  • 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.
  • Agitprop
    Agitprop is political propaganda conveyed through art, music, literature, and films.
  • 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.
  • Amatory Fiction
    Amatory fiction is a genre of literature that was popular in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. It is today considered a predecessor of the romance novel.
  • Antinovel
    An antinovel is any novel that disregards traditional conventions of novel-writing. These books push the limits of what a novel can be.
  • Apocalyptic
    The term “apocalyptic” is applied to a genre of classical religious literature that contends with end of the world scenarios. These stories contain an author's unique vision of the end of the world, as inspired by religious texts. 
  • 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.
  • Arthurian Literature
    Arthurian Literature is a category of writing that encompasses stories written during the 12th, 13th, and later centuries that tell the story of King Arthur and his court.
  • Autobiography
    An autobiography is an account of one’s life written by the subject.
  • 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. 
  • Bildungsroman
    A bildungsroman is a literary genre that focuses on coming of age stories, following a character's progression towards adulthood.
  • Biography
    A biography is an account or description of a person's life, literary, fictional, historical, or popular in nature, written by a biographer.
  • Blackout Poetry
    Blackout poetry is also known as redacted poetry and erasure poetry. It is also regarded as a type of “found poetry.” 
  • Bodice Ripper
    A bodice ripper is a genre of romantic literature. It refers to novels that take place in a historic context and follow an erotic or outwardly passionate relationship.
  • Burlesque
    Burlesque is a style of literature that mocks its subject. Burlesque writers represent their subjects using irony and obviously outrageous imagery. 
  • Campus Novel
    The campus novel, also known as the academic novel, is a book set around a university or college campus.
  • Carol
    A carol is a song sung during a festive period, such as Christmas, although not exclusively. They are usually religious in nature.
  • Carpe Diem
    The term “carpe diem” is used to describe a genre of poetry that seeks to “seize the day.” It inspires readers to live as well as possible.
  • Chick Lit
    Chick lit is a genre of literature that focuses on female protagonists. These stories are usually targeted at younger women and are described as “popular fiction.”
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Chronicle Novel
    A chronicle novel is a long novel, or one in a series of novels, that follows at least two generations of a family or group.
  • Chronicle Play
    A chronicle play describes a piece of drama that consists of a series of short episodes that are arranged chronologically, or at least loosely so.
  • Classicism
    Classicism is a term used to describe literature that reflected the thoughts and ideas from Ancient Greece and Rome. 
  • Comedy
    Comedy is a humorous and entertaining genre of literature, film, and television.
  • 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.
  • Companion Poems
    Companion poems are pieces of poetry that were written to accompany one another. They can also be poems written by multiple authors in response to one another. 
  • 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 the 1950s.
  • Conversation Poem
    A conversation poem is a style of poetry that addresses someone close to the poet in an informal way. These poems use serious language and usually discuss a specific topic. 
  • Detective Story
    The detective story is a sub-genre of fiction that follows an investigator as they try to track down a criminal, solve a crime, or prevent one from happening. 
  • Devotional Poetry
    Devotional poetry refers to poems that express worship or prayer. They’re most commonly religious in nature.
  • Dime Novel
    A dime novel is a form of short, cheap fiction popular during the 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. 
  • Documentary
    A documentary or documentary film is a genre of non-fictional filmmaking. It is used for the purpose of sharing real-life events as they happened. 
  • Drama
    Drama is a mode of storytelling that uses dialogue and performance. It’s one of several important literary genres that authors engage with.
  • Dub Poetry
    Dub poetry is a form of performance poetry common to Caribbean immigrants and the West Indian region. It refers to poetry that’s spoken above a reggae music backing. 
  • Dystopia
    A dystopia is the opposite of a utopia. It is an imagined place or community in which the majority of the people suffer. 
  • Elegy
    An elegy, in literature, is a poem or song that is written in dedication to someone who has died.
  • Epic Poetry
    An epic is a long narrative poem that tells the story of heroic deeds, normally accomplished by more-than-human characters.
  • Epistolary
    An epistolary novel is a book made up of a series of documents, usually letters, diary entires, or newspaper clippings.
  • Essay
    An essay is a short piece of writing that is based around a single subject. More often than not, the personal opinion of the author is included. 
  • Fable
    A fable is a short and concise story that provides the reader with a moral lesson at the end.
  • 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.
  • Fairy Tale
    Fairy tales are short stories that include fanciful and magical elements such as goblins, elves, fairies, and ogres.
  • Fantastic Genre
    The word “fantastic” is applied to a specific genre of stories and poems in literature. These stories feature supernatural forces that are presented in an unusual and sometimes strange way.
  • 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.
  • Farce
    A farce is a genre of comedic literature. It uses exaggerated and outrageous situations to create humor and make the audience laugh.
  • Folk Song
    A folk song is a piece of music that was composed within the parameters of folk music. These songs are usually about a particular group of people, an event, or an experience. 
  • Folklore
    Folklore refers to stories that people tell. These include folk stores, fairy tales, urban legends, and more. 
  • Ghost Story
    A ghost story is any story that involves a supernatural, ghost element. It is a subgenera of fantasy and mystery.
  • Gothic
    Gothic literature, poetry, and prose is that which deals with themes of death, the supernatural, sorrow, fear, loss, and more.
  • Heroic Poetry
    Heroic poetry is a form of narrative verse that is elevated in style, commonly sung or chanted aloud, and focuses on the deeds of high-ranking warriors and heroes.
  • 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, technologies, people, and events.
  • History Play
    A history play is a genre of theatre. It is based on a historical events, usually set sometime in the past with characters from the period. 
  • Homily
    A homily is a speech delivered by a religious person, usually a priest, in front of a group of people.
  • Horror
    Horror is a genre of fiction that plays with human fear, feelings of terror, dread, and repulsion to entertain the audience. 
  • Hysterical Realism
    Hysterical realism is a genre of fiction, coined by James Wood. It refers to novels that he found to be absurdly elaborate in their use of characters and plots and that delve into real-life experiences.
  • Idyll
    An idyll is a type of short poem that describes rural life or a natural scene.
  • Juvenilia
    The term “juvenilia” refers to creative works finished during the early points of someone's career. It can be used to describe music, art, or literary work.
  • 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.
  • Legend
    A legend is a genre of folklore that features stories about human events and actions.
  • Life Writing 
    Life writing is a term used to define a variety of genres focused on recording personal memories and experiences. It includes biographies, diaries, letters, personal essays, memoirs, and more.
  • Light Verse
    Light verse is poetry that touches on amusing, light-hearted topics. It does not deal with emotionally heavy themes or traumatic life events. 
  • Lyric Poem
    A lyric poem is a musically inclined, short verse that speaks on poignant and powerful emotions.
  • Magical Realism
    Magical Realism is a genre of fiction writing that is interested in imbuing the modern realistic world with magical, fantastical elements.
  • 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, architecture, and more. 
  • Melodrama
    A melodrama is a work of literature or a theatrical performance that uses exaggerated events and characters.
  • Metafiction
    Metafiction refers to stories in which the characters, author, or narrator acknowledge the fact that they're parts of a fiction.
  • Morality Play
    A morality play is a genre of theatre popular in the medieval and Tudor period. 
  • Mystery Play
    Mystery plays were developed in medieval Europe and focused on representations of the Bible. They were originally performed in churches and then moved out into public squares and marketplaces.
  • Myth
    A myth is a genre of folklore that usually includes a hero and sometimes fanatical elements. 
  • Mythopoeia
    Mythopoeia is a genre of modern literature (and film) that refers to the creation of artificial mythology.
  • Naturalism
    Naturalism is a nineteenth-century literary and arts genre that focuses on the realistic depiction of life and all its struggles
  • Newgate Novel
    The Newgate novel, or the Old Bailey novel, is a type of book published in England from the 1820s to the 1840s that glamorizes criminals' lives.
  • Noir Fiction
    Noir, or noir fiction, is a kind of crime fiction. It is a subgenre in which anti-hero and flawed protagonists are very common. 
  • Non-Fiction
    Non-fiction is applied to prose writing that's based on real events and facts. It includes several different genres, such as biography and history.
  • Novel
    A novel is a long, written, fictional narrative that includes some amount of realism.
  • Novella
    A novella is a prose, fiction work that’s shorter than a novel and longer than a short story. 
  • 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.
  • Occasional Verse 
    Occasional verse is a type of poetry written to commemorate an event. For example, a wedding, birth, military victory, or holiday.
  • Old Comedy 
    The term “Old Comedy” describes a specific type of play written by Aristophanes in the 5th century B.C. It is also known as an Aristophanic comedy. 
  • Paean
    A paean expresses thanks, elation, or triumph through the form of a song or lyrical poem.
  • Parody
    A parody is created based on an already existing work in order to make fun of it.
  • Pastiche
    A pastiche is a literary creation that imitates a famous work by another author.
  • 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.
  • Penny Dreadful
    Penny dreadfuls were a cheap, serialized form of literature popular in the nineteenth century. 
  • Picaresque Novel
    A picaresque novel is a genre of prose fiction that depicts a roughish hero who experiences episodic adventures.
  • Play (Theatre)
    A play is a form of writing for theatre. It is divided into acts and scenes. 
  • Poetic Drama
    Poetic drama is a genre of literature that refers to plays that contain distinctly poetic elements. These are sometimes referred to as verse plays. 
  • Postcolonial Literature
    Postcolonial literature is literature by people who were formally colonized. The term refers to anything, from poems to essays, produced after a colonizing force is left and that is inspired by the impact this immense change made. 
  • Prose
    Prose is a written and spoken language form that does not make use of a metrical pattern or rhyme scheme.
  • Psalm
    A psalm is a sacred song of worship, such as those featured in the Book of Psalms in the Bible.
  • Psychological Realism
    Psychological realism is a type of realism that focuses on why a character does what they do.
  • Pulp Fiction
    Pulp fiction is a type of short, cheap storytelling that was popular from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s.
  • Romance
    Romance is a narrative genre of literature. It can feature elements that include mystery, adventure, bravery, and more.
  • Romantic Comedy
    Romantic comedy is a genre of literature. It follows two characters who fall in love, face obstacles that might separate them, and are reunited for a happy ending.
  • Science Fiction
    Science fiction is a literary genre that focuses on imaginative content based in science. 
  • Sensation Novel
    The sensation novel was a genre of literature that took advantage of outrageous and sensational topics to entertain readers. 
  • Sentimental Novel
    A sentimental novel, or a novel of sensibility is a literary genre, popular in the 18th century, that is defined by its focus on concepts of sentiment and sensibility. 
  • 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.
  • Situational Comedy
    Situational comedy, also known as a sitcom, is a genre of comedy and (primarily) television and film. It refers to comedic situations that are awkward, inescapable, and lighthearted.
  • Spoken Word Poetry
    Spoken word or spoken word poetry is a poetic form that is meant for performance and incorporates the wordplay, alliteration, and intonation of ancient oral traditions.
  • Tall Tale
    Tall tales are stories that feature unbelievable or outrageous elements. They include hyperboles and other forms of exaggeration. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tragedy
    The word “tragedy” refers to a type of drama that explores serious, sometimes dark, and depressing subject matter.
  • 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.
  • Tragicomedy
    A tragicomedy is a fictional genre that incorporates elements of tragedies and comedies.
  • Utopia
    The word “utopia” refers to a perfect, or nearly perfect, place or ideal. 
  • 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 intentions. They included dances and songs. 
  • 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.
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap