What kind of fiction writer do you want to be? One that lifts up the human condition? Or one that highlights its baser instincts? Up Lit today both delivers great stories and gives fiction readers new hope.
If you are drawn to writing fiction, there are many literary genres you could choose from to anchor your writing. Traditional major genres include adventure, drama, fantasy, mystery, mythology, romance, satire, science fiction, tragedy and tragic comedy. However, many more recent fiction genres favor the portrayal and even celebration of bleaker aspects of human thought and behavior, such as slashers, crime thrillers, crime dramas, gangster fiction, techno thrillers, dystopian fiction, horror fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, tech noir, cyberpunk, biopunk and dark fantasy.
But as a writer today, there’s another literary genre that you should seriously consider. It’s a rather recent, not yet well-known genre, but it’s one that I think many of us need more of in our lives. Also, it’s taking the fiction bestseller lists by storm so far this year. I’m talking about Up Lit.
What Is Up Lit?
Up Lit is a new literary genre that centers on the power of kindness, the power of friendship, the power of community, the power of redemption and the power to fix what’s broken. Up Lit depicts life-affirming stories of hope, kindness, joy, empathy, humor, compassion and love. With a healthy dose of realism, Up Lit portrays often complex human connections as opportunities to find and deliver hope in spite of any chaos that may be present. In Up Lit, human existence isn’t futile; it’s something worth recognizing and celebrating.
I don’t know about you, but I know that many of us feel like we’re living in rather dark times politically, economically and culturally. As a consequence, there’s a bit of a dark cloud that seems to have settled over the public imagination. And what greater purpose does fiction (as a time-honored form of entertainment) have than to provide a bit of healthy escapism? Or some time to enjoy what we value most? Either way, it’s time to be uplifted.
I believe audiences today are hungry for a kinder, more hopeful face of fiction. While some argue that Up Lit is not really new, but simply a convenient label for something that’s been around for a long time, I see nothing wrong with using a label to help people find what they need more of right now – hopeful, uplifting fiction full of great stories. But make no mistake: Up Lit isn’t naive. There’s often a heavy dose of cold-hard real life described within its pages, but Up Lit fiction always has a feel-good quality to it. The reader will see that no matter what happens, humanity is not lost: hope and kindness will ultimately prevail.
People Like Up Lit
Up Lit is gaining traction. The term was coined two years ago, but this year Up Lit is fast becoming a favorite among book buyers and critics alike.
Gail Honeyman’s novel Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Joanna Cannon’s Three Things About Elsie have won a lot of praise from fans and have become bestselling books. Both titles were also longlisted for the prestigious Women’s Prize for Fiction, which included the two relatively new authors alongside heavier literary hitters. Honeyman’s novel is also slated to be turned into a movie by Reese Witherspoon’s company.
Another bright Up Lit star is Ruth Hogan and her second novel The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes. Here she channeled the kindness she received from others during her chemotherapy. Her first novel, The Keeper of Lost Things, was another Up Lit sensation and earned the 2017 Richard and Judy Autumn Book Club Readers’ Award.
Now what about you, dear reader and writer? Have ever read an Up Lit book? What did you think of it? Would you like to try your hand at writing some Up Lit? Would you like to join this small wave of writers who are making the world of fiction a more uplifting, more hopeful place for readers and lovers of fiction? I hope you will.
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 and become successful published authors.