All News

Industry & Advocacy News

Authors Guild Foundation Announces the 2nd Annual Breakout 8 Writers Prize

For Immediate Release
April 25, 2019

Authors Guild Foundation Announces the 2nd Annual Breakout 8 Writers Prize for Undergraduate and Graduate Students in Conjunction with Epiphany Magazine

Winners receive a cash prize, publication and a year-long writing mentorship

What: Now in its second year, the Authors Guild Foundation Breakout 8 Prize is a national student writing competition to recognize outstanding emerging literary voices and demonstrate the Foundation’s commitment to supporting writers at all stages of their careers. In partnership with Epiphany, the competition awards undergraduate and graduate student writers of poetry, short stories, novels and creative nonfiction. Eight prize winners will be selected blind based on the creative merit of the submitted work by a judging panel comprised of novelist Rumaan Alam, short story writer and novelist Rachel Lyon, and poet and essayist Robin Beth Schaer. The award-winning student writers will receive:

  • A manuscript review and year-long mentorship with Rachel Lyon
  • Publication in Epiphany‘s Breakout 8 special issue
  • $250 cash prize
  • A one-year student membership to the Authors Guild, the nation’s oldest and largest organization for professional writers
  • A one-year subscription to Epiphany

Deadline: Entries must be received by June 24, 2019.

Eligibility: Open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university at least part-time for the academic year Fall 2018–Spring 2019. Students need not be enrolled in MFA programs or creative writing programs to participate.

How to Submit:  Interested applicants must submit a creative manuscript and a “Statement of Interest,” which includes the creative manuscript title, author’s enrollment status and the name of the college or university attended, and an email address and telephone number for the department head of the student’s program of study or academic advisor. Prose manuscripts may consist of one short story, a novel excerpt or a work of creative nonfiction not to exceed 25 double-spaced pages using a 12-point font. Poetry manuscripts may include up to five poems, formatted in accordance with standard poetry conventions using a 12-point font. The author’s name should not appear on the creative manuscript. Please number all pages of the manuscript and include the manuscript title. Submit all entries via Submittable (

Cost: A $10 entry fee subsidizes administrative costs related to application review.

Who: The Authors Guild Foundation is the charitable and educational arm of the Authors Guild. It educates, supports, and protects American writers to ensure that a rich, diverse body of literature can flourish. It does this by advocating for authors’ rights, educating authors across the country in the business of writing, and promoting an understanding of the value of writers.

Epiphany is a nonprofit literary journal published in print twice per year. Its editors are interested in risk-taking work, and though they’ve published well-established or fast-rising writers like Elena Ferrante, Rae Armantrout, Ed Hirsch, Lydia Davis, and Jamel Brinkley, they are especially open to writers whose explorations of new territory may not yet have found validation elsewhere. Two stories published by Epiphany, Ruth Serven’s “The Message” and Pingmei Lan’s “Cicadas and the Dead Chairman,” have received the PEN/Robert J. Dau Prize for Debut Fiction.