Chick-Lit and Similar Genre Terms

chick-lit: a sometimes derogatory term for literature aimed at women, about single women in their twenties who are looking for love

trick-lit: “Trick Lit is the term [Seth Godin invented] for a chick lit novel that pretends to be something else, hoping to rope people in with an interesting premise. 30 pages later, you discover that you were deceived, that it’s just another piece of genre trash.” Interestingly, there’s no such word to describe a word for serious literature written by women which nevertheless gets covered in pastel covers (a la the dark and brilliant work of Lionel Shriver).

clit-lit: romance aimed at women but with more erotica than usual

dick-lit: chick-lit for men

quick-lit: Expression that encompasses both chick lit and dick lit. Essentially quick lit is light, contemporary fiction that is quickly and easily read and (most often) takes place in an urban environment.

sick-lit: a subgenre of YA which deals with characters who are in some way physically incapacitated, whether it’s from cancer (The Fault In Our Stars), mental illness, or recovering from an accident (If I Stay)

hick-lit: a specifically American genre featuring parochial characters without much money living in the country

brick-lit: that genre of travel literature in which a sophisticatedly jaded man, woman, or couple falls in love with a crumbling farmhouse in some exotic, rural locale and in the comic struggle to restore said farmhouse, and via encounters with the native populace, gleans profound lessons about life, love, and local color. —Jonathan Miles, Garden and Gun

flick-lit: books which have been adapted for the big screen

click-lit: one of the many words for ‘transmedia storytelling’. “”The idea is to make something inspired by the novel – where the book is the brief – rather than an obvious dramatisation, so that it has the potential to go beyond the book and to add something to the reading experience.” (The Guardian)

kick-lit: literature about football

thick-lit: a term used to describe the kind of literature that is not worthy of serious study, but which is nevertheless studied in schools.

s(c)tick-lit: A writing genre in which the author undertakes an odd or stuntlike project with the intention of writing about the experience.

mick-lit: A category of Popular, generally humorous, literature by Irish male writers, and about the Irish Male Condition. Includes authors such as John Banville, Ross O’Carroll Kelly, and even classic authors such James Joyce and Oscar Wilde.

Further Suggestions

broomstick-lit: a subgenre of fantasy featuring witches who ride broomsticks, keep black cats and brew potions in cauldrons

lipstick-lit: books you love so much you actually kiss them

tick-lit: canonical works you feel you should read, but you only read them so you can tick them off your bucket list

homesick-lit: books set in your hometown, or read when younger in a comfortable, homely spot, which you re-read when you’re away at college or on AFS

yardstick-lit: books writers read in their own genre, and can’t help comparing their own work to

toothpick-lit: meaty stories

picnic-lit: paperbacks about food that you slip into a picnic basket and read while lying under a tree

seasick-lit: books which are full of emotional ups-and-downs and leave you in a different place after you’ve put them down (with relief)

candlestick-lit: stories set in Gothic mansions

walking-stick-lit: stories enjoyed by your Nan and Pop

politic-lit: chick-lit written about politics e.g. Campaign Ruby by Jessica Rudd

arithmetic-lit: fiction featuring a magical world which works on maths. Includes heavy mathematical explanations.

dip-stick lit: stories about mechanics

slick-lit: stories about oil spills


On paper, things look fine. Sam Dennon recently inherited significant wealth from his uncle. As a respected architect, Sam spends his days thinking about the family needs and rich lives of his clients. But privately? Even his enduring love of amateur astronomy is on the wane. Sam has built a sustainable-architecture display home for himself but hasn’t yet moved into it, preferring to sleep in his cocoon of a campervan. Although they never announced it publicly, Sam’s wife and business partner ended their marriage years ago due to lack of intimacy, leaving Sam with the sense he is irreparably broken.

Now his beloved uncle has died. An intensifying fear manifests as health anxiety, with night terrors from a half-remembered early childhood event. To assuage the loneliness, Sam embarks on a Personal Happiness Project:

1. Get a pet dog

2. Find a friend. Just one. Not too intense.




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