7 Seasonal Writing Prompts to Inspire You This November

As the holiday season begins, it may feel more challenging than usual to carve out time for writing poetry. However, starting each writing session with a prompt can help you thwart writer’s block and maximize creativity, whether you have an uninterrupted afternoon or only a few spare minutes. These prompts inspired by the cozy, autumnal month of November promise to fill up the pages of your notebook.


1. Explore imagery through seasonal descriptions.

Whether it’s the crunchy sound of fall leaves, the smell of cinnamon in your coffee, or the changing colors throughout this transitory month, November is full of fall imagery. Write a poem that brings these senses to life by embracing a fall setting or weaving in fall as a central metaphor. 


2. Express gratitude through poetry.

Oftentimes, poetry arises from sad or wistful memories, but Thanksgiving offers an opportunity to change this perspective and highlight the positive. From the small to the monumental, sharing moments of gratitude in poetry can be powerful. 


3. Write about a family memory or tradition. 

In addition to being a month full of family traditions—like cooking together or decorating for the holidays—November is also Family Stories Month, which honors passing stories through generations. Write about a well-known story your family members love to tell, or go a step further and ask a relative about the most insightful moments from their past. This inspiration can prove humorous or heartfelt.


4. In honor of National Candle Month, incorporate the sensation of smell into your poetry. 

With literary candle brands selling big, it’s no secret that readers and writers love book-inspired scents. Light one of your favorite candles and let smell conjure new words. 


5. Write a recipe poem.

During the month of November, you’re likely to find yourself in the kitchen or at a full table. In this sense, ingredients are tangible and literal—but they can also serve as an engrossing and creative metaphor. For example, what would a recipe for a perfect day look like? What about a recipe for love, anger, or heartbreak? 


6. For Picture Book Month, enhance your poetry with illustrations and a childlike perspective.

Some of today’s most popular poetry features original drawings and illustrations. Picture Book Month—which occurs in November—encourages poets to try out this trend. Add whimsical art to your poetry, and embrace a youthful perspective. Bonus: Revisit your childhood and write a poem in the voice of your favorite picture book protagonist.


7. Listen to an iconic artist—like Taylor Swift or Adele—and let their music move you.

November welcomes not only notable poetry releases but also new music from some of the most celebrated artists. Among others, this month ushers in the release of Taylor Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version), featuring nine new songs, as well as Adele’s highly anticipated 30. Escape into sound and see what it brings out on the page. 


Happy writing!