Weller’s Workshop Brings New Life to Student Writing

Ray Bradbury’s biographer came to ACHS to share his knowledge on how to both start and create a story.


Isabelle Hunter

Sam Weller is an author who presented the first day of Storyteller Series.

Sam Weller, one of Storytellers Series’ traditional storytellers, is someone who has broken the mold and does not enjoy being confined into one genre of writing. He considers himself a creative writer, journalist and an artist. With that, he has written journal articles, short stories and graphic novels. As someone who teaches at Columbia College in Chicago, he loves sharing information on what it means to be a good writer.

His workshop consisted of what he learned whilst working alongside famous horror writer Ray Bradbury and how all of that can transform someone’s writing. He started off by asking the students why they write. A general answer was that writing to them is an escape and it is important to them to make others feel that same way. This line of thinking is something Weller can relate to. He believes writing is like playing with toys, and the dolls or action figures correlate to the characters in a person’s story.

A student at this workshop was junior Grace Nance. She has been seeing Weller since her freshman year.

“[The workshop] was awesome,” Nance said. “It was beneficial and he introduced me to something I had never seen before: [Ray Bradbury].”

During the conclusion of the workshop, Weller introduced a way Bradbury came up with story ideas. Weller had every student come up with a list of ten nouns all starting with the article “the.” After they chose two to share with the class, it was up to them to find the most intricate one and write the beginning of a story including it. This lasted until the end of the period.

Weller has impacted not only Nance, but a multitude of students. Being both a powerful speaker and writer, he influences the minds of many young and old with his immersive thinking and impactful stories.