3 Scary Good October Poetry Prompts

October is a month with so much to offer, from fall foliage to fear-filled films. The environment surrounding this autumn month sets the stage for some great writing prompts. Whether you are a lover of all things spooky or prefer to experience the brighter side of October through the changing landscape, there is so much to glean inspiration from. Let’s explore a few poetry prompts in depth together. 

1. Write a poem based on fear.

October conjures all things scary, so take this time to reflect on the concept of fear. Where does your mind take you? Write a poem about a common fear or feel free to make it more personal. Build in strong imagery and a sense of suspense. For some extra Halloween fun, make your poem feel like a scary story to tell over a campfire. If you feel comfortable, perform your poem in a video or live for a friend or family member. Allow spooky season to inspire your writing and motivate you to try spoken word poetry as well! 

2. Create your very own ode to October.

Consider writing an ode—a lyrical poem of varying lengths that typically focuses on an intense feeling for a person, place, or thing—to reflect on this month. When you are ready to write, dial into an aspect of October that you love. Maybe you are a huge Halloween fan and spooky season brings you great joy. Or maybe you have a soft spot for the vibrance of the leaves as they change. Perhaps your connection to October is less universal: does October hold a special anniversary, birthday, or celebration? Reflect on the month in as many abstract and personal ways as you’d like. The key to an ode is to tie in an intense emotion, so choose a topic or facet of October you can write about with genuine feeling! 

3. Challenge yourself to brainstorm a haiku a day for the remainder of October. 

As you sit down to write, challenge yourself to begin each day with an October-themed haiku. Think of pumpkins, hayrides, crisp air, and sitting by the fireside. Think of leaves, change, and facing fears. Think of how your heart has felt haunted in the past or how it empathizes with the scars of a jack-O-lantern. Take the fun one step further by posting your haikus and tagging friends who you think would participate! 

As you hit your stride with the haiku challenge, feel free to take it with you into each new month and introduce new seasonal themes and exercises to keep your creative energy flowing all year long. 

These prompts are designed to help you dig in deeper to everything October has to offer and to think about what this special month means to you. I hope that these ideas awaken your creativity and open up your heart to October-inspired poetry.