With a view to extending and enriching the vibrant, ongoing debate about migration and literature, this article makes an attempt to define »migration writing«. Using three perspectives – the theme-oriented , ethnic-oriented and text-oriented approaches – the paper examines the concept of »migration writing« in relation to other literary terms. Therefore, the starting point for the discussion is a brief comparison of migration writing with autobiography, travel writing and postcolonial literature. Then some useful comparisons are made to other related literary concepts, such as exile literature, refugee literature, foreigners’ literature, guest worker literature, Kanake literature, »allochthonous« literature, ethnic literature, minority literature, diasporic literature, hyphenated literature, multicultural literature, intercultural literature, émigré literature/emigrant literature, immigrant literature, migrant literature, the literature of migration. From these concepts, there emanates what I call »migration writing«. The label is used by me as a term for a whole variety of different types of literary and non-literary texts that have been published since the 1990s. These texts either tackle the topic of migration or emerge from the experience of migration (but not necessarily address the subject of migration). It is also not necessary for the author to be a migrant: it is enough that his or her work is inspired or influenced by the experience of migration and is imbued with a vision of cosmopolitan, transnational, hybrid society and the globalised world. Given the large scope of this definition, it seems best to define the genre as a constellation of many different types of text which are connected to one another by a set of characteristic features. Some of these features include: the real-life nature of the writing, creolization and multilingualism in the text, references to multiple cultures and/or geographic locations, impact of the Internet and online communication on the structure of the work, common themes and motifs. The article ends by illuminating the research potential of migration writing. Among other things, it gives highly informative accounts of migration experience, exposes the stereotypical representations of migrants, gives piercing insights into migrants’ host and home cultures, explores the issues of identity, nationality, borders and belonging, provides alternative knowledge about current social and cultural transformations. Acting as a counterweight to the dominant narratives, migration texts often make visible the phenomena that are unintentionally ignored or wilfully excluded from the mainstream public discourse. Consequently, they provide alternative knowledge that can be a useful research material in all kinds of areas, such as sociological, political, economic or culture studies.