Jimmy Matejek-Morris

Jimmy Matejek-Morris was born and raised in New Jersey, the middle of five children. He earned undergraduate degrees in Film and English at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. After graduating, Jimmy moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he earned an MA in Children’s Literature and an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College (now University). He currently lives in Massachusetts with his husband Scott and their very well-dressed poodle-Pomeranian named Rudy. His first novel, My Ex-Imaginary Friend, was named a Best Children’s Book of the Year by the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

Growing up, I was fascinated by whimsical stories that blended humor with heart. Some of my favorites included the Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar and The Wish Giver by Bill Brittain.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

I do not have the best memory so specific lines tend to be forgotten, however the closing line of Charlotte’s Web has definitely stuck with me. I will refrain from spoiling the end of the book though.

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

This is a very difficult question. Each time I finish a new book, I feel it’s time to modify the list of favorites because I keep being wowed by my fellow authors. Recent favorites include Chad Lucas, Kelly Yang, and Naz Kutub.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I have always enjoyed storytelling and knew that I wanted to do something creative with my life. Over the years, I have dabbled in drawing, acting, animation, and filmmaking before finally finding my way as a writer. I am so excited that I finally have a chance to share my imaginary worlds.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Find a supportive yet (kindly) critical writing group and immerse yourself in the writing community wherever you can. Never give up on your dream, but realize it is okay to take a break. You got this.