COMMERCIAL VS. LITERARY FICTION

At the New Orleans Writers Conference in May, before Hurricane Katrina hit in August of 2005, I asked a panel to define the difference between commercial and literary fiction. One popped off quickly, “One makes money, the other doesn’t.” The audience chuckled, then went quiet. We wanted a serious answer. I cannot remember who said it, but his answer was that commercial fiction provides mindless entertainment, while literary fiction provokes thought. He also said the best fiction, the classics, the Pulitzer Prize winners, do both.

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About sharonervin

I write novels for and about women. I work half-days in my husband and son's law office. A former newspaper reporter, I have a B.A. in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. I have four grown children.
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