Book Prizes

In partnership with The Ohio University State Press and the MFA program in Creative Writing at The Ohio State University, The Journal offers two annual full-length book prizes, The Journal/Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize, which runs from September 1 – September 30, and the Non/Fiction Collection Prize, formerly known as the Sandstone Prize and The Ohio State University Prize in Short Fiction, which runs from December 20 to February 20. In addition to publication, each award carries with it a cash prize.

Please direct all inquiries to:


The 2016 judge for The Journal/Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize is Kathy Fagan.


Kathy Fagan’s fifth collection of poetry, Sycamore, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in 2016. Her previous collections include Lip (Eastern Washington University Press, 2009); The Charm (Zoo Press, 2002); Moving & St. Rage (University of North Texas Press, 1999), winner of the 1998 Vassar Miller Prize for Poetry; and The Raft (Dutton Press, 1985), winner of the National Poetry Series.

Fagan is the recipient of fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ohio Arts Council. She is currently a professor of English and Director of the MFA in Creative Writing at The Ohio State University, poetry editor of OSU Press, and advisor to The Journal. 


The 2017 judge for the Non/Fiction Prize is Michael Kardos.

Michael Kardos - MSU Professor of Creative Writing (photo by Megan Bean / Mississippi State University)

Michael Kardos is the author of the novels Before He Finds Her (2015) and The Three-Day Affair, an Esquire best book of 2012, as well as the story collection One Last Good Time, which won the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award for fiction, and the textbook The Art and Craft of Fiction: A Writer’s Guide. His short stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse,  Harvard Review, and many other magazines and anthologies, have won a 2015 Pushcart Prize, and were cited several times as notable stories in BestAmerican Short Stories.

Michael grew up on the Jersey Shore, received a degree in music from Princeton University, and played the drums professionally for a number of years. He has an M.F.A. in fiction from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. He lives in Starkville, Mississippi, where he is an associate professor of English and co-director of the creative writing program at Mississippi State University. He is at work on a new novel.