Bookstores and websites often break fiction down into genres such as Mystery, Historical, and Romance. A newer class is Uplifting Fiction. Uplifting fiction is a book that uplifts and inspires the reader through the story of a person who grows and evolves in positive ways. Uplifting fiction provides hope by telling a heartwarming story.

Inspirational Fiction vs. Uplifting Fiction

Inspirational fiction usually has a religious element. Topics may touch on the hero or heroine’s faith in God and how it contributes to their lives. Not all uplifting fiction adheres to this; some doesn’t mention religion or belief in a higher power at all, focusing instead on resilience, love, human nature, and tenacity as powerful forces for change. 

The Many Possibilities for Uplifting Fiction

Uplifting fiction has a happy ending and leaves readers feeling inspired. It provides a warm glow from feeling that all is right within the world of the book. But the term “uplifting fiction” doesn’t tell you a lot about the plot of a book. In short, it defines the tone but not the content. This is because there are so many different ways to tell an uplifting story, and writers can choose from many of them to tell an inspiring tale. 

A mystery novel is uplifting if the hero gets a new lease on life while solving the mystery. Family sagas leave you feeling inspired when generations of trauma are resolved through understanding and openness. The end result brings the family back into harmony. Even a Gothic vampire tale can be uplifting if the vampire in question finds happiness and overcomes his darker nature.

Examples of Cross-Genre, Uplifting Fiction

James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small 

This classic written by an English veterinarian is a fictionalized account of his own adventures. He spent decades caring for pets and farm animals in rural England. The touching stories of the animal-human bond and the charming quirks of the characters combine to make this a treasure for animal lovers and anyone who appreciates rural life’s pace and natural rhythm.

Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookshop

Touted as “the fairy tale of the Facebook age” by reviewer Katherine Brooks, this novel combines mystery, magical realism, and the intrigues of a secret society in a digital age. The book mourns a world that’s fast losing a sense of wonder and magic. The uplifting ending and hilarious adventures of the bookstore employees and guests will appeal to anyone who loves books, puzzle fanatics, and anyone who looks for hope despite the absurdity of the modern world.

Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

A weird and socially awkward loner lives her life in near isolation outside of work until she accidentally falls into a friendship with an elderly neighbor and nerdy coworker. This novel is heartwarming in the best way possible without ever becoming saccharine. It is filled with sharp wit. This is a millennial-era love story about friendship that appeals to the socially awkward, lovers of chance encounters, and anyone with a sense of humor about what life hands us.

Matt Haig’s How to Stop Time

Sci-fi lovers and fans of time-bending fiction will enjoy the intricacies of time’s effect on relationships in this novel. The lead character ages so slowly he can’t keep in step with the rest of the world. How he and others like him navigate love and life is uplifting fiction with a sprinkling of philosophy on the nature of time and life itself.

Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone

Uplifting fiction focusing on the relationship between the young, soon-to-be-a-movie-star Louise Brooks and her conservative, married chaperone during the summer of 1920. It explores the rapidly shifting morals of a post-WWI nation through the eyes of two women with wildly different outlooks on life.  The Chaperone will appeal to anyone interested in the Jazz Age or those seeking to find their identity (adoption and the secrets surrounding it are vital themes). 

Writers can create uplifting fiction in almost any genre. The crucial element tying all uplifting fiction together isn’t the style used to tell the story but the end result. Readers walk away from your book feeling good about the possibilities in the world. They are inspired to look at their own lives positively after reading uplifting fiction. The genre, whether it is sci-fi, fantasy, family saga, rom-com, or something entirely new, is only one facet of the book.

Dudley Court Press

Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books to achieve publishing success. Contact us to discuss our assisted self-publishing option today for your uplifting fiction.

For more information, including about DCP’s latest programs, please get in touch at +1-520-329-2729 or We’ve recently launched our latest program, Memoir Writing for Non-Writers. This comprehensive, 10-week course helps you turn your memories into a compelling memoir!