Sunday 19 June 2011

How to know what genre you write in...

Apparently there is a Facebook quiz to determine just about everything else, but none to help me put my book in a nice little slot.

I'm writing a synopsis and I need to state my genre in the opening line. Now, I know that I either write in chick-lit or contemporary women's fiction. But I'm not sure which one my book falls into. And Google is being no help at all.

My book is written in a light-hearted, irreverent register. That kind of points to chick-lit. But there's quite a dark event in the book. Does that point to contemporary women's fiction?

Does anyone know what the differences are between the two? I don't care which genre my book falls into, just don't want to get it wrong on my cover letters.


  1. Sorry, I don't know the difference. Talli Roland writes chick lit - maybe she can help.

  2. Wikipedia defines chick-lit like this:

    "Chick lit is genre fiction within women's fiction which addresses issues of modern women often humorously and lightheartedly."

    So, I'd say you're book is probably chick-lit. Or, at least, it'd be safe to query it as such.

  3. I think yours sounds a lot like chick-lit. However, I have read in several articles that chick-lit as a genre is dying out. (I can't seem to find the original ones, but Google gave me this and this (which is back in the 2006).)

    I think books with chick-lit characteristics still sell, but I'd be wary of labelling it "chick-lit." However, please don't take my words on it, since I write primarily YA and know very little about this. If you do decide to label it "chick-lit," do research a bit more into it to see if the genre is still called that now. :)

  4. I think it depends on your target audience. Chick-lit tends to make people think of teenage girls, or more mature women looking for a relaxing escape into more simple literature... So I'd be careful about pigeon-holing yourself into that category if you think your book is also applicable to more philosophical readers.

    I in no way have any idea what the technical definition of these two genres are, but from a consumer perspective that's what I think when I see a "chick-lit" category.

  5. I agree that you should think about the target audience. I've honestly not really heard of "chick-lit", but contemporary women's literature just sounds more professional to me. Other than that, from what I've found, there's not a big difference between the two. Sorry if that doesn't help.

  6. Thanks everyone. I think I'll go with women's contemporary fiction, it seems like a better fit.

    Thanks again!

  7. I agree with Emy. I went to three different conferences in 2007 - 2009 and word was the term "chick-lit" was a no-no. What I don't know is whether it has or will come back around. Best to play it safe.