Course Sessions
Winter Term Begins
Jan 7


Get an in depth look into the life and work of one of our greatest imaginative writers, Ray Bradbury. Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, was one of the 20th century’s most prolific, visionary and celebrated authors. Published in more than 40 languages, he indelibly altered the field of “fantasy” literature through the originality of his ideas and the artistry of his prose. This course explores creative writing perspectives and strategies with the life and work of Ray Bradbury serving as inspiration and foundation.
  • Learn about Ray Bradbury, directly from Sam Weller, literary master and authorized biographer.  
  • Study Bradbury's remarkable and prodigious creative process—on your own schedule.   
  • Deepen your creative writing skills through interactive assignments and writing projects geared to enhance your creativity.

Strong writing communication is essential for any career. Our flexible, online courses are 8-weeks long and asynchronous to accommodate your busy schedule.

What will you learn in Creative Storytelling Featuring Ray Bradbury?

Week One:
-Meet Ray Bradbury
-Formative Years and Early Work
-Gothic Tradition and Fantastic Fiction
-Pulp Fiction and Poe Poetry
-Quiz: Early Short Stories

Week Two:
-Early American Gothic Fantasy and Horror
-Later Childhood Years
-Readings: “Uncle Einar” & “The Next in Line”

Week Three:
-The Real Ray, The Real World
-Aiming Up with Influences
-Imagery as Inspiration
-Readings: “Powerhouse” & “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”
-Assignment: Hopper Writing Prompt
-Quiz: Reading Responses

Week Four:
-The Story of the Writer
-Writing Communities
-Reading: The Martian Chronicles 

Week Five:
-Cultural Influence
-Science Fiction vs. Gothic Horror
-Tattoos and Story Ideas
-Reading: The Illustrated Man
-Assignments: Your Bradbury Inspired Short Story
-Quiz: “The Lottery”

Week Six:
-Writing About Things You Love
-Readings: “The Fog Horn” & Fahrenheit 451
-Assignments: Sub-Genres of Fantasy & Things You Love

Week Seven:
-Trigger Story Ideas
-Readings: Dandelion Wine & “Smoke Ghost”

Week Eight:
-Ray Bradbury’s Later Years
-What’s Next For You
-Readings: “In a Season of Calm Weather”, “The First Night of Lent” & “Banshee”
-Assignment: Final Project

Required Textbooks: 

Bradbury, R. (2010). The Stories of Ray Bradbury.
Bradbury, R. (2012). The Martian Chronicles.
Bradbury, R. (2013). Fahrenheit 451.

Sam Weller Photo

Sam Weller

Sam Weller is a fiction and nonfiction writer. Weller is an award-winning author and writer of the national bestseller, The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury. He co-edited the short fiction anthology Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury, and in 2014, the graphic novel adaptation of Shadow Show was published. Weller is a frequent lecturer on the life and legacy of Ray Bradbury and has given more than 350 talks worldwide.

Courses: Creative Writing and Storytelling Essentials, Creative Storytelling Featuring Ray Bradbury

Each lesson reveals the endless possibilities our writings can accomplish. Through this, I believe it will further our expectations and ambitions as we delve deeper into the world of writing. It opens worlds, such as the lesson revolving around forms of narrative that could really be useful in times of struggle.

— Cristian R., Columbia Online Student