James Ryan, now Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing at the School of English, University College Dublin, retired in 2017 from his position as Director of that programme, which he had founded in 2006. Among the many initiatives he undertook in this role was the UCD / NYU/Irish Arts Council collaboration, leading to the appointment of a Laureate in Fiction. In addition, he directed the Faber and Faber Creative Writing Programme in Dublin, was external examiner at Manchester University and judge on a range of literary competitions, both national and international.
His first novel, Home from England , was published by Phoenix, Lon., in 1995 and formed the basis of a screenplay, completed in 1997. In that same year, his second novel, Dismantling Mr Doyle was published by Phoenix London. Seeds of Doubt, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson London, followed in 2001 and in 2006 South of the Border was published by Lilliput Press & Sitric Books, Dublin.
His interest in the creative process, dates back to his postgraduate work in Trinity College Dublin when in 1984 his work in this field was published as part of a joint Arts Council / Trinity College Dublin initiative. This interest continued throughout his writing and teaching careers, culminating in the conferring of a Doctorate in Literature by the National University of Ireland in 2017. Currently, he is an occasional contributor to a number of literary / critical journals while serving on judging panels and cultural boards, notably that of The Little Museum of Dublin. He is also actively involved with Special Collection in the Library at UCD in the building of an archive dedicated to his late wife, Caroline Walsh, literary editor of the Irish Times 1999 – 2011.