Val Bodurtha has won over two dozen writing awards, mostly in humor. She is a classics major and statistics minor at the University of Chicago, where she practices her improv, sketch and stand-up comedy. She has had three plays staged, and currently, has three films she wrote in production. ''The History Makers" is her first novel.
Awards and Recognition
- "The History Makers" was named a finalist in March 2018 for a coveted Benjamin Franklin Award by the Independent Book Publishers Association, the largest publishing association in the U.S.
- David Shelton Memorial Fellowship Award. Lizzie Koch Heart and Hand Character Award. President Obama's Volunteer Service Award. Repeat winner of Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards
Press and Media Mentions
- NPR's "A Novel Idea" calls Val Bodurtha's debut novel a "chilling, funny, and a smart coming of age story" in Suzanne Lang's interview, airing Dec. 10, 2017 on KOWS FM and again on Dec. 31, over KRCB-FM Radio 91. Listen here: http://bit.ly/2EFprR8
- "Doing your homework pays,'' writes Lisa Herndon in the Oct. 27, 2017 edition of The Riverdale Press. "It did for Valerie Bodurtha in a way she never expected."
- How a 2- to 3-page homework assignment for history class caught a teacher's eye and turned into a 313-page, debut novel.
- A "clever alternative history written by Bodurtha, a 20-year-old college student who got the idea for the book after taking an AP history class at Horace Mann," wrote Mackenzie Dawson, who mentioned the book as a must-read in her "Required Reading" column for the New York Post on July 30, 2017.
- “I had been expecting more essay-like responses, but a few students took a more creative-writing approach," Dr. Susan Groppi, the history teacher whose HW assignment furnished the spark for "The History Makers," told the Stamford Advocate. “They were all interesting responses, but Val’s was amazing. She jumped straight ahead to imagining what life would look like in an Aztec empire that survived and thrived for centuries. How would they develop new technologies to solve their problems? How would their religion evolve to meet the needs of a larger society? How would their forms of government adapt, and how would people respond?"
- "'Making a Killing' is a superbly funny, thoughtful vignette of Tom—a twenty-something still joined at the hip to his mother." -- The Chicago Maroon's review of play Val wrote and directed for New Work Week, 2017.
- "Bodurtha’s storytelling humor drew ample laughs from the crowd. Her content was relatable and honest—from jokes about dating to family life—and her delivery was well-timed. She’s clearly seasoned." -- The Chicago Maroon's review of the night Val opened for Jerrod Carmichael.