Fantasy Novelist Sam Glass Develops as an Author

Sam Glass ‘25 is approaching her first publication as a student author


Portrait of Sam Glass ’25

Lulu Roarick and Mary Cate Pugh

Just a freshman in high school, Sam Glass ‘25 is making way as an emerging author in the literature industry. Glass has won the Regional Gold Scholastic Writing Award twice, the Scholastic Writing Award National Silver Award and, most recently, an American Voices Award nomination. She finished her first fantasy novel, The Lost Dragonrider, in October 2020 and is now working with publishers to complete her first publication. 

Glass has always been interested in writing and storytelling, but her significant development as a writer began about five years ago. 

“I would write for 20 minutes every day before dinner on my family’s creaky old desktop computer,” Glass said. “My first story was a fanfiction of a mermaid novel I’d read. It was about 36 pages long and 21 point font and I thought I was so good.”

Sam Glass’s concept art for her narrative, dragons serve as a big inspiration in her storytelling.

The Lost Dragonrider tells the story of a young woman who is chosen by a dragon and becomes a famous dragonrider. Glass’s inspiration for the novel sparked from her fascination with dragons and the desire for a book that related to her own interests. 

“[My inspiration] came from my wish to find a book that I can just fall in love with, the way other people found Harry Potter or the Hunger Games,” Glass said. “I really wanted something specific that I couldn’t find on the library shelves. I couldn’t find it online, so I started writing.”

Glass’s novel was kickstarted by an opportunity to attend a week-long writing intensive camp at the University of Iowa. There, Glass finished 22 more pages and had the start to a real novel. 

“I was able to spend all day writing with no distractions, no other people, and no other responsibilities,” Glass said. “That’s what was really able to trigger my ability.

Throughout the writing process, Glass was able to utilize resources in order to develop plot strategies and to overcome challenges like writer’s block. 

“I ended up working with a local writer named Andrea Wilson, who was in charge of the Iowa Writers’ House for a while,” Glass said. “We had meetings over Zoom for about a year.”

Glass began writing The Lost Dragonrider at ten years old. Over the following five years, she feels that she has matured alongside her writing abilities. Many developments have been made to Glass’s first draft including changes in the story arc and tone.

Sketch of the world Sam Glass’s current narrative takes place in. ” “World Building” is a big part of the design of a fantasy novel.

“As I’ve matured, my writing ability has grown and my technical ability has grown,” Glass said. “So it would not be the same story that I plotted out in a spiral-bound notebook five years ago.”