An interview with 2012 Maurice Hodgson Award winner, Brock Zawila
By Angela Espinoza, Arts Editor
Each year, the Maurice Hodgson Creative Writing Award is handed to one Douglas College student who has displayed a fantastic growth in their creative writing abilities. This year’s winner is soon-to-be graduate Brock Zawila. Zawila has spent his last few years at Douglas tackling the Associate of Arts Degree and spending a respectable amount of time taking on a number of creative writing courses.
Of maintaining his focus on this particular skill, Zawila states, “I guess the best way I could say it is… everyone’s got that one thing they’re good at. Writing’s just that thing for me.” He was inspired to further explore creative writing after an experience he had in high school.
“First thing I ever wrote was a play in twelfth grade, and I asked my drama teacher if I could put it on for the school. I got to direct it, act in it… all this stuff. [But out of everything], the writing process was the most interesting to me.”
In honour of his abilities, Zawila was recently published in Pearls 31, the latest issue of an annual anthology. His excerpt is taken from an original screenplay entitled Rum for Wisdom, but Zawila stresses the piece was not the reason for his success.
“[The faculty judges] it based on improvement of the writer’s ability from the time [that] they start [at Douglas]. I sent a number of things in through a portfolio… some from my [time in Introduction to Writing Plays] course, which I took at the very beginning… [to] some short stories from a course I just took.”
As Zawila will be graduating from Douglas this summer, I asked him what his future plans are.
“I’m hoping to get into [the University of Victoria] and get a creative writing degree from there.” Beyond that, Zawila states that the door is pretty much open.
“I’ve been thinking about a lot of grey areas that go into creative writing. I’m going to continue writing short stories and stuff that [will] hopefully get published, and probably take the route of going through a creative writing journal—[just] trying to get my work out.
“I’ve also really considered looking into writing for video games, maybe films, but video games especially; it’s like an untapped new source for writing.”
When asked of his influences, Zawila firmly stated that, “I can’t… directly cite my influences at this point,” but named Hunter S. Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut amongst some of his favourites.
Congratulations again to Brock Zawila, and may his creative writing career only continue to flourish from here!