Full Sail University

Faculty Spotlight: Ryan Little (Department Chair, Creative Writing)

Ryan Little strives to provide his students with the tools, techniques, and experience they need to become adaptable and successful writers.

A shoulder-length photo of Ryan Little wearing a dark shirt standing in front of a light-colored background.

As the Department Chair for the Creative Writing bachelor’s program, Ryan Little helps a team of instructors provide students with the wide range of skills and experience they may need to have successful writing careers. “We have very adaptable writers on our faculty who have industry-specific knowledge, but also [have] a lot of skills that translate outside of our program,” he explains.

Ryan has worn several hats throughout his writing and teaching careers before and during his time at Full Sail University. “I've taught…about half of the classes that we've ever had,” he says. He’s also worked for celebrated film directors Michael Mann and Sean S. Cunningham, the director of the legendary slasher film Friday the 13th, as well as on countless freelance writing jobs.

This varied portfolio of projects and jobs has taught Ryan an important lesson that he bestows onto all Full Sail Creative Writing students: a good writer is a versatile writer. “One of the things I tell students is to get involved in a lot of projects, whether they think they'll be interested or not.”

“We’re training our students to be adaptable writers – even more so than I’ve been…. They can write different versions of game writing… [audio visual] scripts… different versions of copywriting, content writing, social media [copy], marketing, [TV scripts, comics,] and other types of…social media marketing.” This assortment of courses and skills gives his students the opportunity to learn about all the potential career paths available to them while also giving them the skills they need to succeed in whichever path they eventually decide to take.

Ryan also recognizes that in a post-pandemic and increasingly digitalized world, the writing industry has evolved significantly. “The world around us has changed a lot and there's a lot more opportunity for our students and a lot of types of jobs that maybe weren't as available to them [before].”

“I've been emphasizing freelancing in my class. I'm teaching them about contracts and…how to find freelance work.” This relatively new focus on freelancing has paid off. Compared to six years ago, far more Creative Writing students have pursued and found work in freelancing.

Along with providing his students with the tools and techniques needed to make it in the industry, Ryan also teaches them the importance of patience and consistency. “Being a successful writer is more of a long game,” he explains.

While the Creative Writing program aims to help students get employed during and after their time at Full Sail, Ryan’s also passionate about allowing students the space and resources to pursue their more personal endeavors. “You're going to have a lot of time in this program to develop your personal projects [and] your creative projects…. [We believe it’s important to get] in the habit of working on your own personal projects.”

At the end of the day, Ryan’s priority is his students and their goals. “My rule of thumb is always trying to help the student accomplish what they are setting out to accomplish.”