Jackie is a Baltimore-based screenwriter and award-winning graphic designer. She's currently a Fellow at the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film & Media at Johns Hopkins University.
Jackie’s father, Chris Dreja, is a founding member of The Yardbirds, an influential British rock band. An only child, she spent her childhood in London surrounded by incredible music and artistic talent. Her parents divorced and she moved to suburban NJ with her American mom where Jackie quickly morphed into a typical 1980s rebellious teenager.
In 1989 Jackie landed in the wonderfully quirky city of Baltimore. She fell in love with its salt-of-the-earth personality and warm non-competitive spirit and now considers Baltimore her real hometown.
After 27 years in the design world, Jackie took a screenwriting course at the Community College of Baltimore County taught by Evan Balkan, who came in first place in the Features category of the 11th Annual Baltimore Screenwriters Competition. She immediately discovered a passion for storytelling.
Evan Balkan is the author of six books of nonfiction, including The Wrath of God: Lope de Aguirre, Revolutionary of the Americas (Univ. of New Mexico Press). He holds degrees in the humanities from Towson, George Mason, and Johns Hopkins universities and currently coordinates the English Department at the Community College of Baltimore County, where he also runs the creative writing program. A past recipient of a Maryland State Individual Artist Award for Fiction, most recently he was awarded a Saul Zaentz Innovation Fellowship and won the 2016 Baltimore Screenwriting Competition for his feature length screenplay, Spitfire.