Ryan Thorpe, Manitoba

Senior Writer

Ryan is a journalist and writer born and raised in the Canadian prairies. He’s made his living putting words on the page as a daily newspaper reporter since 2017. A graduate of Niagara College’s journalism program, his writing—including investigative reports, feature articles, and essays—has appeared in a variety of Canadian and international newspapers and magazines. His work has led him to be a featured speaker on national TV shows, radio programs, and podcasts. When not on deadline, he enjoys good books, old films, fine food, and watching football on Sundays.

As a StoryTerrace writer, Ryan interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better by reading his autobiographical anecdote below.

A Storyteller from the Beginning

I’ve been fascinated by stories for as long as I can remember. From an early age, the only thing I ever wanted to be was a writer. It was as if there was no other path for me in life. I felt certain I was put on this earth to fill blank pages with words. From bedtime books read by my parents as a young child, to serialized adventure stories as an adolescent, and the novels of Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell as a teenager, I’ve long been obsessed by the written word.

Growing up, I lived in a different province from my father, who planned monthly trips to visit me. The highlight of each weekend we spent together was when dad would take me to the bookstore. Each time, he’d let me peruse the aisles, running my finger along the spines of the titles, and pick out one book he’d buy me. This, perhaps more than anything else, fostered my lifelong interest in literature. It also helps explains the stacks and stacks of books that line my apartment.

When I was eight years old, I figured it was time to try my hand at writing a story of my own. For hours, I locked myself away in my bedroom, the door shut to the outside world, furiously scribbling away at loose leaf pages with a pencil. When I was finished, I presented the short story—a taut psychological thriller about a guilty man being subjected to a polygraph test during a police interrogation—to my mother. The nervousness I felt having something I’d written read by another human being was matched only by my excitement.

While I’m sure it wasn’t my best work, it was enough to get me started. Since penning that first story two decades ago, I haven’t stopped writing. Two novels, dozens of essays and features, and more than a thousand newspaper articles later, I’m as obsessed as ever with the written word. Joan Didion once wrote, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” I couldn’t agree more.

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