• Jennifer 8. Lee

    Co-founder of Plympton. Film Producer.

    Seed Investor. Author. Journalist. Emoji Activist

  • Work

    I'm cofounder of a literary studio called Plympton, which focuses on innovation and publishing. I wrote a book and produce documentaries. I work where technology x journalism with Hacks/Hackers. I also co-lead a Y Combinator Demo Day seed fund for Angel List. Once upon a time I was a reporter for The New York Times. Now I'm a vice-chair of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee. You can find an official bio here.

    The Dumpling and Hijab Emoji


    The Dumpling Emoji Project was a successful two-year campaign with Yiying Lu to bring dumpling representation to Unicode. From our efforts sprung Emojination, a grassroots group whose motto is "Emoji For the People, By The People." Emoji we have created are the hijab emoji, the bagel emoji and the lobster emoji. Backstory in Fast Company.

    The Search for General Tso (and other films)


    The Search for General Tso premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. Based on my book research, the documentary was directed by Ian Cheney and produced by me and Amanda Murray. Tso was released January 2, 2015 in theaters and has a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. I also help produce other films, which have appeared at the Sundance and SXSW Film Festivals.

    MisinfoCon (and the Credibility Coalition)

    February 2017

    MisinfoCon was a summit on misinformation at the MIT Media Lab in February 2017. It was one of the largest gatherings to focus on trust, verification, fact checking, and reader experience. Sponsors and hosts included Mozilla, Knight Foundation, Craig Newmark, the Nieman Foundation, and First Draft, among others. It has since given birth to the Credibility Coalition, an initiative to create a technical schema for assessing credibility on the Web.

    The Fortune Cookie Chronicles


    The Fortune Cookie Chronicles was my book about how Chinse food is actually all-American. It hit #26 on the New York Times Best Seller List and was featured on Colbert Report, Martha Stewart, TED.com, CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, and NPR stations coast to coast. Plus it was a Borders Original Voices and Book Sense selections.

    Lincoln in the Bardo VR


    I was an executive producer of an immersive VR piece for The New York Times based on George Saunders' novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. The piece was directed by Graham Sack and was also produced by Sensorium. Read more about it in Variety.

    Recovering the Classics


    Recovering the Classics is a crowdsourced collection of original covers for great works in the public domain where anyone can contribute.The project was a collaboration between Plympton and the Creative Action Network. We partnered with the White House, the New York Public Library and the Digital Public Library of America.


    You can host your own local Recovering the Classics exhibit as part of our 50x50 campaign.



    NewsDiffs is a website that records changes to news organizations' websites. It was created in June 2012 at the Knight Mozilla hackathon at MIT with Eric Price (now a professor at University of Texas Austin). The project has received lots and lots of press attention.

  • Contact Me

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  • Elsewhere on The Interwebs

  • Long Bio

    Jennifer 8. Lee is co-founder and CEO of Plympton, a San Francisco-based literary studio that innovates in digital publishing. A former New York Times reporter, Jenny is a producer of “The Search for General Tso,” a documentary that premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, and the author of the New York Times-bestselling book, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles (Twelve, 2008). She is the founder of Emojicon and MisinfoCon.


    Jenny also serves on the boards for the Nieman Foundation, the Center for Public Integrity, the Digital Public Library of America, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Hacks/Hackers, as well as committees for the New York Public Library Young Lions committee, the Robert F. Kennedy journalism awards, and SXSW programming.


    Jenny has served as the lead judge for the $25 million Knight News Challenge, and on the launch team for Upworthy. She discovered fortune cookies were originally Japanese, and coined the term "man date."


    She is the founder of Emojination, a grassroots group whose motto is "Emoji by the people, for the people." As part of that organization, she successfully lobbied for a dumpling and hijab emojis. She is the vice-chair of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee. 


    Jenny graduated with a degree in Applied Math and Economics from Harvard, where she was vice president of The Harvard Crimson.