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Jimmy Matejek-Morris grew up in New Jersey as the middle child of five kids. He enjoys musical theater, Muppets, ice cream, and action figures. He currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his husband, Scott, and a very well-dressed poodle-Pomeranian named Rudy. When he is not writing books and screenplays for kids and young adults, you can find Jimmy peeking through the blinds in hopes of spotting baby bunnies.
Jimmy has a BA in Film and English from Cornell University and an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram @jmatejekmorris.
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Hi! I'm Jimmy! I grew up in Skillman, New Jersey, as a middle child with four siblings: Megan, Michael, Robert, and Brian. I always wanted a dog, but happily settled for a goldfish named Randolph. I spent much of my time finding ways to channel my creativity: acting, dancing to Disney soundtracks, co-hosting a direct-to-cassette tape news station with my sister, drawing, dreaming, writing, and performing intensely complicated melodramas with my action figures. I had many career goals, including animator and zookeeper. I was also certain I was destined to be a star on the stage and screen, but my stage fright, anxiety, and lack of theatrical talent rerouted my creative energies at an early age. With writing, I found that I could be all of the above and build complex characters and emotional journeys without the fear of falling off the stage.
My favorite book growing up was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (you definitely would have lost me in the Squirrel Room with Veruca Salt), and my creative idol was (is) Jim Henson. As such, I enjoy stories that blend humor, heart, and whimsy while promoting an ultimately kinder world.
My own writing career began in a tattered green notebook with a short story titled Animals 1. The story starts: "One day the Dog and Cat were going to the park. On the way they saw the Pig was going to the Park. So they all went together. They got to the Park. On the way back they saw a cow and the cow was on the way back too. And the cow said goodbye." This illustrated story continues with a trip to the zoo, again focusing on the Hellos, Goodbyes, and friends made along the way rather than on the destination. As my younger self was clearly aware, the journey described is, of course, a metaphor for life. I have made many friends and colleagues along the way who have inspired me, challenged me, and helped me to grow.
I am forever grateful for the people I met at Colgate University, Cornell University (BA in Film and English in 2007), Simmons College (MA in Children's Literature and MFA in Writing for Children in 2010), and everywhere in between.
In 2009, I met my now-husband Scott, online initially, then in-person while serving on jury duty. We currently live on the city line between Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts, along with the dog I always wanted, a well-dressed Poodle-Pomeranian named Rudolph (Rudy).
I currently work at Harvard University in a non-writing job and spend evenings working on manuscripts and screenplays for children and young adults or relaxing and watching TV while thinking I should be writing. I also enjoy eating ice cream and drinking hot chocolate, but this probably isn't really unique. Hmm.