Student Writer Spotlight: Angie Brodil

Angie Brodil
Angie Brodil

Early Childhood major wins 2018 DCTC Student Writing Competition

Angie Brodil, 23, an Early Childhood & Youth Development major at Dakota County Technical College, won the 2018 DCTC Student Writing Competition. Angie’s winning entry is a short story called “Clarksville.”

Her fictional work was ranked first by a panel of four judges, earning her a $300 scholarship and a $50 DCTC Bookstore voucher. The competition was sponsored by Jim Kosmo, award-winning author and retired Mississippi riverboat pilot, the DCTC Bookstore, and Creative Arts and Writing Club co-advisors.

Angie grew up in Apple Valley, Minnesota, graduating from the School of Environmental Science in 2012. She is earning her Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in her program and is scheduled to graduate from DCTC in fall 2018.

She is an engaged student on campus, participating in the Multicultural Student Leadership Association (MSLA) and Sexuality and Gender Acceptance Association (SAGA). She also works while going to school, helping her mom operate a home childcare business. Angie has previous work experience as a teaching assistant at New Horizons.

Angie is undecided regarding her transfer plans, but is considering  Metropolitan State University, where she would pursue a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English.

As for her future career, Angie would very much like to become a professional writer. She can see herself publishing an anthology or two of short stories and several novels. She would also enjoy illustrating children’s books and screenwriting for TV shows and movies.

Angie has three biological brothers, Matt, Dan and Mike, and two adoptive brothers, Josh and Cory. When she’s not studying, working and writing, she enjoys drawing, playing Dungeons & Dragons and jogging. She’s also learning how to box.

2018 DCTC Student Writing Competition

Sponsored by Jim Kosmo, the DCTC Bookstore, and Creative Arts and Writing Club co-advisors, the competition received 14 submissions. The competition’s four judges found merit with all the submitted work.

The winners are as follows:
  • First Place: “Clarksville” by Angie Brodil
    • $300 scholarship
  • Second Place: “Lesson to the Queen” by Lisa L. Parker
    • $200 scholarship
  • Third Place tie:
    • “Growth on Steroids” by Yingyi Ye
    • “Scholarship Essay” by Makayla Lohrmann
      • $100 scholarship
All prizewinners received a $50 DCTC Bookstore voucher.
Scholarship awards, including book vouchers, will be distributed in May 2018.

Angie Brodil Q & A

Angie Brodil

Angie Brodil

Why did you choose your career path?
I like children—and I like the idea of writing for them. Though, I want to write more than just children’s and young adult books, of course.

What do you like best about your DCTC experience?
I like that I’ve gotten to meet all sorts of different people from different cultures.

What do you like best about writing?
I like using writing as an excuse to research things I might not have the chance to learn about otherwise. I also like to explore different points of view.

What is your greatest strength as a writer?
I’ve been told my writing has a cinematic sort of vibe. And I like to think that I’m really good at world-building, or describing settings, at least.

What do you most want to improve about your writing?
I want to work on making my characters feel a little more believable.

Three words that describe you as a person:

What part do you like best in “Clarksville,” your winning story?
I like the parts where the townspeople are kind of gossiping; they were a lot of fun to write about and gave the story some depth.

Who is your favorite writer?
Neil Gaiman

What is your favorite novel?
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

What is your favorite writing genre?
Probably sci-fi, though I also like anything with some vaguely supernatural elements.

Have you or have you considered writing a novel?
I have a novel in progress, The Reaper’s Apprentice [working title], as well as some short stories and things I post online.

Three words that describe you as a writer:
(According to my friend, at least.)

What has been your toughest challenge in life?
Honestly, trying to accomplish just about everything while having ADD.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
I spent a summer screenwriting a pilot for animated TV show called Fish Bones. The screenplay didn’t get accepted or turned into anything, but it was fun and cool to work on.

What person  has influenced you the most in life?
I had an English teacher in 9th grade, and he would listen to me talk about the ideas I’d come up with for books. I still really appreciate that he would take me seriously and encourage me to write.

Excerpt from “Clarksville”

It was hardly any wonder Jack and John thought Mia’s house had been haunted. While Veronica was right and the lawn itself was neatly trimmed, the hedges seemed to be winning the battle in regards to taking over the yard.

The house itself looked like a beast that had been aging poorly. The dark shingles gave the illusion of scales; the slanted windows on the top gave the illusion of eyes. The disrepair was hard not to notice, truthfully.

All the other houses on the block were only one story or so high. In comparison, the Kounalakis house towered over the neighbors. It gave the house the appearance of being the only rotting fruit on the branch of a tree. Read more…

Angie Brodil | 21 Answers

  1. Favorite season: Summer, definitely.
  2. Favorite natural feature (e.g., waterfalls, oceans, mountains, etc.): Oceans; I would like to visit the Pacific
  3. Favorite sport or physical activity: It’s a tie between boxing, horseback riding and yoga
  4. Your national bird if you could have one: Kiwi
  5. Place you would most like to visit: Egypt
  6. Favorite holiday: Halloween
  7. Your national mammal if you could have one: Manatee
  8. Favorite actor or actress: Dwayne Johnson
  9. Favorite band or performing artist: Bleachers
  10. Your personal motto if you had to have one: “Take your broken heart and turn it into art.”
  11. Coolest thing in the world: Dinosaurs
  12. Scariest thing in the world: Being on a camping trip and hearing something rustling outside your tent at night
  13. Favorite all-time TV show: Stranger Things
  14. Favorite all-time movie: Jurassic Park
  15. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Becoming a bestselling author
  16. Most precious material possession: Toshiba laptop
  17. First thing you would buy if you won the $1.5 billion Powerball: Trip on SpaceX
  18. Dream occupation: Some sort of paleontologist who also writes books
  19. Person you would most like to meet: David Bowie or Mark Hamill
  20. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Knitting without injuring everyone in a 10-yard radius
  21. Humankind’s greatest challenge: Remembering to be kind to each other and treat each other with basic human dignity.
To learn more about the DCTC Student Writing Competition, contact:

Wes Jorde
English Faculty

Joe Campbell
English Faculty

Amy Eppen
Foundation Assistant Director

To learn more about Early Childhood & Youth Development at DCTC, contact:

Sharon Bergen
Early Childhood Youth Development Faculty