Matthew Dicks

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Matthew Dicks (born February 15, 1971) is an American novelist, storyteller, columnist, playwright, blogger, and teacher.

Dicks’ first novel, Something Missing,[1] was published in 2009 (Doubleday).[2] His second novel, Unexpectedly Milo, was published in 2010 (Doubleday).[3] His third novel, Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, was published in March 2012 in the UK and August 2012 in the US (St. Martins Press).[4] His fourth novel, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs, published in 2015 (St. Martins Press).[5] Dicks is the humor columnist for Seasons magazine. His work has appeared in The Hartford Courant, Reader's Digest, Parents magazine,[6] Slate,[7] and The Christian Science Monitor. He is the creator and cohost of the weekly podcast on Boy vs. Girl. He blogs daily at matthewdicks.com.

Dicks' novels have been translated into 26 different languages. He publishes in the UK under the pseudonym Matthew Green.

Storytelling[edit]

Dicks began competing in live storytelling events in New York City 2011. He is a frequent participant in The Moth in New York City and Boston and has also told stories for the This American Life, The Story Collider, Literary Death Match, The Liar Show, and more. He is a 34-time Moth StorySLAM winner and 5-time GrandSLAM champion.[8] His stories have been featured multiple times on The Moth Radio Hour, a nationally syndicated radio program. He appears on several Slate podcasts, including Mike Pesca’s The Gist, where he is a regular storytelling expert.[9] Dicks uploads many of his storytelling performances to his YouTube channel.

In 2013, Dicks and his wife, Elysha Dicks, founded Speak Up, a Hartford-Based storytelling organization producing more than a dozen shows each year at Real Art Ways, The Connecticut Historical Society, and Infinity Hall in Hartford, CT as well as a variety of partner venues.[10] Dicks also teaches storytelling. He has taught at the University of Connecticut School of Law, Yale University, Purdue University, The Mount in Lenox, MA, Kripalu in Stockbridge, MA, The Connecticut Historical Society, Graded School in São Paulo, Brazil, and many more.

Awards[edit]

Dicks has worked as an elementary school teacher since 1999. In 2005 he was named the West Hartford Teacher of the Year and was named as one of three finalists for Connecticut’s Teacher of the Year.[11]

Dicks's third novel, Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, won the 2014 Dolly Gray Award for Children's Literature. It was also nominated for a Connecticut Nutmeg Award in 2016.

He was awarded first prize for opinion writing in 2015 by the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists.

Early life[edit]

Dicks was raised in the small town of Blackstone, Massachusetts. He was a Boy Scout, a pole vaulter and played several instruments including the bassoon, flute, and drums. At age 16, he began working for McDonald’s restaurants. At 17 he was promoted to manager. On December 23, 1988, Dicks was in a head-on car accident. Upon arriving at the scene, paramedics found him without respiration or pulse and began CPR. He was ultimately revived before arriving at the hospital. This is one of two near death experiences to which Dicks credits much of his drive for success. Dicks left home at age 18 and continued working in the restaurant business, including McDonald’s, for several years.

In 1993 Dicks was robbed at gunpoint while managing a McDonald's restaurant in Brockton, MA.[12] The incident left him suffering from post traumatic stress disorder for more than a decade. Dicks attributes this incident as the impetus that sent him to college and launched his writing career.

Education[edit]

Associate degree in 1996 at Manchester Community College in Manchester, Connecticut.

Bachelor's degree in English in 1999 at Trinity College in Hartford, CT.

Teaching certificate from St. Joseph’s University in West Hartford, CT in 1999.

Master's degree in Educational Technology at American Intercontinental University in 2009.

Career[edit]

Dicks has been working as an elementary school teacher at Henry A. Wolcott School in West Hartford, CT since 1999.[13] He also owns and operates the Connecticut-based DJ company Jam Packed Dance Floor DJs. He has been entertaining at weddings since 1997.[14] Dicks also works as a speaking coach, life coach, and tutor. Dicks also works as a minister of the Universal Life Church.[15] Dicks is a paid public speaker. He is represented by Macmillan Speakers Bureau.

Family life[edit]

Dicks is married to fellow teacher Elysha Green. They have two children.[16] He is an avid poker player and golfer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stasio, Reviews By Marilyn (2009-08-13). "Mystery Novels by Stieg Larsson, Karin Fossum, Matthew Dicks, Steven M. Thomas and Margaret Maron". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-10-24. 
  2. ^ "West Hartford Teacher Matthew Dicks Finds Success With". Courant Community. Retrieved 2015-10-24. 
  3. ^ Nolan, Tom. "Dangerous and Strange". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  4. ^ "West Hartford Teacher's". tribunedigital-thecourant. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  5. ^ "Newington Fifth Grade Teacher Publishes Novel About Bullying". courant.com. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  6. ^ "Confessions of a Grown-Up: My 6-Year-Old Schooled Me". Parents. Retrieved 2016-12-13. 
  7. ^ Dicks, Matthew. "Rabbit Holes: Why I Research the Careers of Middling Baseball Players". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 2018-02-27. 
  8. ^ Ziv, Stav (2015-06-30). "Newsweek". newsweek.com. Retrieved 2015-12-19. 
  9. ^ Barone, Joshua (2015-09-24). "Spare Times for Sept. 25-Oct. 1". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  10. ^ "'Speak Up' Storytelling In West Hartford Friday". Courant Community. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  11. ^ "West Hartford Public Schools: Grade 5". www.whps.org. Retrieved 2015-10-24. 
  12. ^ "West Hartford Teacher Matthew Dicks Finds Success With". tribunedigital-thecourant. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  13. ^ "West Hartford Teacher Matthew Dicks Finds Success With". tribunedigital-thecourant. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  14. ^ "Newington Fifth Grade Teacher Publishes Novel About Bullying". courant.com. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  15. ^ "Newington Fifth Grade Teacher Publishes Novel About Bullying". courant.com. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  16. ^ "Newington Fifth Grade Teacher Publishes Novel About Bullying". courant.com. Retrieved 2015-12-27.