Ryan graduated from the University of Iowa in 1998, where he was a member of the Undergraduate Writer's Workshop, and then went on to Columbia University to receive an MFA in fiction writing in 2005. His debut novel, Onward Toward What We're Going Toward, will be released in August 2013 by IG Publishing.
In 2005, Ryan won the Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers hosted by Boulevard. Other stories have appeared in The Greensboro Review, Sycamore Review, Opium, Phoebe: A Journal of Arts and Letters, and Sweet Fancy Moses.
Ryan has published non-fiction and other miscellanea in The Believer, Time Out: Chicago, Gadfly and a litany of trade publications and websites. He is the Dean of General Education at Kendall College in Chicago and has been a member of the Gotham Writers' Workshop faculty since 2005.
He lives in Chicago with his wife, daughter and two cats.