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Creative Writer Wins Prestigious Contest 

Jiaming “Andy” Tang ’18 earns a Breakout 8 Writers Prize.

Congratulations to Jiaming “Andy” Tang ’18 (creative writing and literature). Tang is one of the winners of the Breakout 8 Writers Prize.

This inaugural contest, jointly sponsored by The Authors Guild and Epiphany, a literary journal, “seeks to recognize outstanding emerging literary voices and bring visibility to the writers of our future by honoring eight student authors.” 

Tang’s winning entry was selected from among hundreds of graduate and undergraduate writing contestants, and he credits Mehdi Okasi, professor of creative writing, for encouraging him to apply. 

Of his work, Okasi writes, “Andy’s prose is beautiful and surprising. He is vested in language and building the particulars of the worlds he renders in exacting prose. His characters are memorable; his language, fresh; his world building rich and textured. The conceits for his stories are wonderfully strange. He’s a remarkable young voice, carefully negotiating the limits of genre through experimentation and humor.  His thesis, Dog City and Other Stories is truly an achievement and demonstrates the promise of a talented young writer.”

It’s been a terrific month for Tang who earlier accepted a fellowship to complete an MFA in the distinguished creative writing program at the University of Alabama. 

“Winning the award was nuts. The notification came during a bad week, and I had to read the email a few times—you know, to make sure that I hadn’t misread anything. I felt really validated, especially since one of the judges was Alexander Chee, who’d just spoken at Purchase a semester or two ago,” Tang says.

The creative writing program at Purchase College offers motivated, talented, and committed students a dynamic context and community in which to explore all aspects of creative writing. Students work in intensive workshops and hone their craft through a sequence of foundational and elective courses, culminating in a creative thesis. 

“The creative writing program at Purchase is great: it helped me grow, both as a reader and writer, and the feedback from professors really helped me develop my craft. I don’t think I would’ve gotten into Alabama if it weren’t for my time in the program,” he says.

Read more about Tang and the other honorees here.

Epiphany Journal Covers Spring/Summer 2018