WSU alum creates business centered on accessible literature, inclusivity

OGDEN, Utah – Patrick Ramsay is taking the skills he learned at Weber State University and turning them into a creative, inclusive space to bring together the Ogden community through a love of written and spoken words. A photo of Patrick Ramsay sitting in front of books at his bookstore the Happy Magpie Book & Quill.

After graduating from Weber State in 2017 with a degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing, Ramsay moved away from Utah to start his professional writing career in New York City, but he found himself back in Ogden during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Like many people during that time, he craved in-person experiences and connections. As life slowly returned to normal, he decided it was time to revive those opportunities in a way that matched his literary passions.

“I've always felt that independent bookstores are essential to the community," Ramsay said. "They're a place for people to be surrounded by stories and wonder and engage with other people in a meaningful way, so I wanted to bring that back to Ogden.”

In 2022, Ramsay contacted The Monarch, a collaborative art center in downtown Ogden, to secure a space in their building. From there, Happy Magpie Book & Quill was born.

Happy Magpie is a community bookstore and gathering place for writers and those interested in the literary arts. The used bookstore is built on a pay-what-you-want model, giving more people the opportunity to engage with books and literature. In addition to the bookstore, Happy Magpie also hosts open mics, poetry readings and writing workshops for the community.

Beyond the shelves of unique books, the Happy Magpie’s hallmark is its inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, bringing together writers of all skill levels and community members from all walks of life. 

Ramsay, who identifies as queer, felt it was important to not only create a community gathering place but to also build a safe haven for those who might not have access to inclusive spaces.

“I know how it feels to not see yourself represented,” Ramsay said. “When I was creating Happy Magpie, I knew I wanted it to be a space where everyone could feel welcome and safe, no matter who you are or where you come from.”

Now almost a year into his ventures, Ramsay credits some of his success with his experience at Weber State. 

“Weber State taught me to live a life that aligns with my literary passions and community, which has really contributed to the lifeblood of Happy Magpie,” Ramsay said. “My professors and peers are the same people who come to my events and bring me books and make sure my shelves are full of incredible stories and poems.”

As his business grows, Ramsay is focused on expanding its capacity for events and writing workshops, with the hope of reaching even more people in the Ogden area.

“My hope for the future is to have a more robust classroom and event setting,” Ramsay said. “The literary community here is so vibrant, so I’m excited to create more opportunities for people to engage with and learn from local writers.”

To learn more about Ramsay’s vision, visit the Happy Magpie website.


Shaylee Stevens, Marketing & Communications


Rachel Badali, Marketing & Communications