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Submissions for the Breakout 8 are now closed. Look out for an announcement of the winners and the release of our Breakout 8 special issue later this Spring 

Epiphany is partnering with the Authors Guild to honor and support outstanding emerging literary voices and bring visibility to the writers of our future by choosing eight breakout student writers to win:

  • A manuscript review and year-long mentorship with Epiphany Editor-in-Chief Tracy O'Neill
  • Publication in Epiphany's Breakout 8 special issue
  • A one-year membership to the Authors Guild
  • A one-year subscription to Epiphany
  • A $250 cash prize and more...

Prize: Eight writers will receive publication in Epiphany's Breakout Eight special issue; a $250 cash prize; a year-long mentorship with Epiphany editor-in-chief, 2015 National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, and 2012 Center for Fiction fellow Tracy O'Neill; a complimentary one-year student membership to the Authors Guild, including free access to seminars, webinars, and the writers’ resource library; a featured interview published on the Epiphany website, in the Authors Guild Bulletin, and on the Authors Guild website; a one-year subscription to Epiphany; and a short manuscript review. 

Eligibility: Candidates must be enrolled in an accredited university at least part-time for the academic year Fall 2017­–Spring 2018. The prize is open to both graduate and undergraduate students. Students need not be enrolled in MFA programs or creative writing programs.

Submission: Applications will be submitted by individual writers. They must include a creative work and a “Statement of Interest” including the author's enrollment status and university, and an email address and telephone number for the department head of the student’s program of study. Manuscripts may be a single work of short fiction, novel excerpt, or work of creative nonfiction of no more than thirty double-spaced pages, or up to five poems. The author’s name should NOT appear on the creative manuscript. All entries must be submitted via Submittable. The entry fee of $10 can be paid via Submittable to subsidize administrative costs associated with the application review.

Judging: Honorees will be selected blind on the basis of the work’s creative merit by a judging panel made up of Alexander Chee and Hannah Tinti, and Epiphany Editor-in-Chief Tracy O’Neill.

Deadline: Submissions for the prize closed on February 19, 2018. 


The Authors Guild has been the nation’s most trusted resource for working writers since 1912, advocating on behalf of all authors, and offering guidance, advice, and community in the form of professional support, education about the legal and business sides of writing, and networking opportunities. As the largest and oldest community of professional writers, the Guild is committed to providing lifelong support to authors of all stripes as they move through multiple stages of their careers. Whether it’s securing an agent, landing a first book contract, negotiating royalties, or reclaiming rights, the Guild stands by its members, helping to ensure a sustainable future for every author. The Authors Guild has spent over 100 years advocating for the rights of authors, protecting copyright, defending free speech, and ensuring fair pay. Its advocacy work is on the front lines of the fight to guarantee writers can continue to have the creative freedom that comes with the ability to earn a living wage, and can continue to produce the diversity of books that free expression makes possible.

Epiphany is a nonprofit literary journal published in print twice per year. We are interested in risk-taking work, and though we've published well-established writers like Elena Ferrante and Patricia Smith, we are especially open to writers whose explorations of new territory may not yet have found validation elsewhere. In the first year of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Prize for Debut Fiction, a story from the magazine, "A Message" by Ruth Serven, was awarded the honor. Our contributors have included winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the Man Booker Prize, and the National Book Award.


The Judges:

Alexander Chee is the bestselling author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night. His essay collection, How to Write An Autobiographical Novel, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2018. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic and an editor at large at VQR. His essays and stories have appeared most recently in The New York Times Magazine, T, Tin House, and Best American Essays 2016, among others. He is an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. He lives in New York City and Bradford, VT. 

Hannah Tinti is the author of the bestselling novel The Good Thief, which won The Center for Fiction's first novel prize, and the story collection Animal Crackers, a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her new novel, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, is an Indie-Next bestseller and has been optioned for television. She teaches creative writing at New York University's MFA program and co-founded the Sirenland Writers Conference. Tinti is also the co-founder and executive editor of One Story magazine, which won the AWP Small Press Publisher Award, and the PEN/Magid Award for Excellence in Editing. You can find her @hannahtinti.

Tracy O'Neill is the author of The Hopeful, one of Electric Literature's Best Novels of 2015. The same year, she was named a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, long-listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan Prize, and was a Narrative Under 30 finalist. In 2012, she was awarded the Center for Fiction's Emerging Writers Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, the New Yorker, LitHub, BOMB, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Literarian, New World Writing, Narrative, Scoundrel Time, GuernicaBookforumElectric Literature, Grantland, Vice, The GuardianVQR, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her column Body Language appears in Catapult. She holds an MFA in fiction from the City College of New York and an MA in communications from Columbia University. She currently teaches at the City College of New York and is editor-in-chief of the literary journal Epiphany.