A novella is a work of narrative prose fiction, longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. Publishers and literary award societies typically describe a novella's word count as falling between 15,000 and 40,000 words, although definitions vary.

The English word "novella" derives from the Italian novella, feminine of novello, which means "new".[1] The novella is a common literary genre in several European languages.


The novella as a literary genre began developing in the Italian literature of the early Renaissance, principally Giovanni Boccaccio, author of The Decameron (1353).[2] The Decameron featured 100 tales (named novellas) told by ten people (seven women and three men) fleeing the Black Death, by escaping from Florence to the Fiesole hills in 1348. This structure was then imitated by subsequent authors, notably the French queen Marguerite de Navarre, whose Heptaméron (1559) included 72 original French tales and was modeled after the structure of The Decameron.

Not until the late 18th and early 19th centuries did writers fashion the novella into a literary genre structured by precepts and rules, generally in a realistic mode. At that time, the Germans were the most active writers of the novelle (German: "Novelle"; plural: "Novellen").[citation needed] For the German writer, a novella is a fictional narrative of indeterminate length—a few pages to hundreds—restricted to a single, suspenseful event, situation, or conflict leading to an unexpected turning point (Wendepunkt), provoking a logical but surprising end. Novellen tend to contain a concrete symbol, which is the narrative's focal point.[citation needed]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Novelle
Alemannisch: Novelle
العربية: رواية قصيرة
azərbaycanca: Novella
башҡортса: Нәҫер
беларуская: Навела
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Навэля
български: Новела
bosanski: Novela
Чӑвашла: Новелла
dansk: Kortroman
Deutsch: Novelle
dolnoserbski: Nowela
eesti: Novell
Ελληνικά: Νουβέλα
español: Novela corta
Frysk: Novelle
Gaeilge: Nóibhille
Gàidhlig: Nobhaileag
한국어: 중편 소설
հայերեն: Նովել
hrvatski: Novela
Bahasa Indonesia: Novelet
italiano: Novella
עברית: נובלה
ქართული: ნოველა
қазақша: Новелла
kernowek: Romansik
kurdî: Çîrok
latviešu: Novele
Lëtzebuergesch: Novell
lietuvių: Novelė
magyar: Novella
македонски: Новела
മലയാളം: നോവെല്ല
Nederlands: Novelle (proza)
日本語: 中編小説
norsk: Kortroman
polski: Nowela
português: Novela
română: Nuvelă
русский: Новелла
shqip: Novela
Simple English: Novella
slovenščina: Novela (književnost)
српски / srpski: Новела
svenska: Kortroman
Türkçe: Uzun hikâye
українська: Новела
اردو: ناولٹ
Tiếng Việt: Tiểu thuyết ngắn
吴语: 中篇小说
žemaitėška: Nuovelė
中文: 中篇小說