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The best Thanksgiving writing prompts

Ah, Thanksgiving. The holiday of (burnt) turkeys, (dysfunctional) families, (awkward) dinners, (controversial) pilgrims, and (questionable) history. Of course, that's not all there is to Thanksgiving — there's also a lot of gratitude, traditions, emotional comings-together, and, of course, pie. 

And if you think that all of this would make the perfect storm for a story, you're right! We've even got all the Thanksgiving writing prompts you need to get started. Whether you're a teacher guiding kids through fun writing activities or a writer looking to practice some writing just in time for Thanksgiving, here's to giving thanks to all of the stories that get us through life. 

If you're looking to cut to the chase, here are our top ten Thanksgiving writing prompts:

  • "What are YOU doing here for Thanksgiving?"
  • Write about a Thanksgiving meal from the perspective of someone who is not grateful. 
  • Your character's father stands up to give a speech at Thanksgiving. What he says next surprises everyone.
  • It's Thanksgiving, and somebody's forgotten the turkey.
  • Write about someone whose turkey recipe is to die for — literally.
  • Your character has a plan. They're going to save the turkeys. All of them.
  • Set your story during a Thanksgiving parade.
  • Set your story in a shopping mall during Black Friday.
  • Write a story about a family dinner from the perspective of an in-law who's married into the family.
  • Write a story about a family dinner that includes someone unexpectedly showing up.

If you’re interested in branching out beyond Thanksgiving and becoming an author of all seasons, check out our free resources on the topic:

  • How to Write a Novel 101 (free course) — Writing a novel might seem like an impossible task at the beginning, but it’s completely doable if you know all of the ingredients that go into a book. This ten-day course will boil a novel down to its bare essence, including plot, structure, characters, and pacing, so that you can get started on your own masterpiece. 

Ready to start writing? Check out Reedsy’s weekly short story contest for the chance of winning $250! You can also check out our list of writing contests or our directory of literary magazines for more opportunities to submit your story.


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