Wheeler Prize

The Journal/Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize

Each year, manuscripts by emerging and established poets are screened, in accordance with CLMP guidelines, by volunteer readers associated with The Journal and The Ohio State University English Department. Marcus Jackson will select one full-length manuscript for publication by Mad Creek Books, the trade imprint of The Ohio State University Press. In addition to publication under a standard book contract, the winning author receives the Charles B. Wheeler prize of $2,500.

Submissions open September 1st and close October 10th for the annual The Journal/Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize.

  • Entries of at least 48 typed pages of original poetry must be submitted electronically during the month of September. The submitter’s name or other identifying information should appear only on a separate cover page and not within the document. All manuscripts will be read and judged anonymously.
  • Manuscripts must be previously unpublished. Some or all of the poems in the collection may have appeared in periodicals, chapbooks, or anthologies, but these must be identified in an acknowledgments page.
  • A nonrefundable handling fee of $23.00 or $11.50 for BIPOC poets will be charged for each entry. All entrants receive a one-year subscription to The Journal.
    • If it is a hardship to meet the submission fee, please contact our editor to discuss options for a fee waiver at prize@thejournalmag.org

Please direct all inquiries to prize@thejournalmag.org

Submit via Submittable starting September 1st: https://thejournal.submittable.com/submit


About the 2021 Judge:

Kathy Fagan’s latest collection is Sycamore (Milkweed Editions, 2017), a finalist for the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. She is also the author of the National Poetry Series selection The Raft (Dutton, 1985), the Vassar Miller Prize winner MOVING & ST RAGE (Univ of North Texas, 1999), The Charm (Zoo, 2002), and Lip (Carnegie Mellon UP, 2009). Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, Slate, FIELD, Narrative, The New Republic, The Nation, and Poetry, among other literary magazines, and is widely anthologized. Fagan was named Ohio Poet of the Year for 2017, and is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Frost Place, Ohioana, Greater Columbus Arts Council, and the Ohio Arts Council. The Director of Creative Writing and the MFA Program at The Ohio State University, she is currently Professor of English, Co-editor of the OSU Press Wheeler Prize for Poetry series, and Advisor to The Journal.

About the 2020 Judge:

Marcus Jackson was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. After earning his BA at the University of Toledo, he continued his poetry studies in NYU’s graduate creative writing program and as a Cave Canem fellow.

​His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, and Tin House, among other publications. His chapbook, Rundown, was published by Aureole Press in 2009. His debut full-length collection of poems, entitled Neighborhood Register, was released in 2011, and his second book-length collection, Pardon My Heart, was published by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press in 2018.
​Marcus lives with his wife and daughter in Columbus, Ohio and teaches in the MFA programs at Ohio State and Queens University of Charlotte.


About the 2020 Winner:

Quintin Collins (he/him) is a writer, editor, and the Solstice MFA Program’s assistant director. His writing appears in many print and online publications, and it includes his first full-length collection of poems, The Dandelion Speaks of Survival. Claim Tickets for Stolen People, this year’s winning manuscript, will be published by Mad Creek Books.


2020 Finalists:
Plat by Lindsey Webb
The House That Grief Built by Ronda Piszk Broatch
Dear Selection Committee by Melissa Studdard
Happy Everything by Caitlin Cowan
The Season of Our Addictions by Nancy Miller Gomez
Pending Light by Cate Lycurgus
2020 Semi-Finalists:
Killed Your Darling by Ayesha Raees
Talking to Yourself Is Fine by Sally Dawidoff
Earth : Space : The Sea : The City by Reyes Ramirez
The Symmetry of Fish by Su Cho
Ducks are for by Amanda Auerbach
Semaphore by Hazem Fahmy
Good Grief, the Ground by Margaret Ray
Love Letters to My Creditors by Jen DeGregorio
Corpora Syllabary by Lily Kosmicki
Where the Depths Reach Up by Jessica Tanck
Against Poetry by Suzanne Wise
Twang by Ben Kline
Ghost Family by Suzanne Manizza Roszak
Planet Hospital by Nicole Walker
In Kind by Maggie Queeney
Blocks World by Emma Catherine Perry
The Smaller the Window the Bigger the Night by Weston Cutter
Domestica by Samuel Piccone
Ode to Everything by Amie Whittemore
The Return from Calvary by Mary Ann Samyn
Lullaby with Incendiary Device by Dante Di Stefano
The Curve of the Earth by Freya Rohn
Boats in the Attic by Alison Powell
Wolf Trees by Katie Hartsock
No Spare People by Erin Hoover
The Shape of Other Lives in You by Todd Smith
Career Suicide by Charles Jensen
Fake Noose by Benjamin Aleshire
Wars Within by Ashley Bridges
Fat Heart by Sara Watson
Mothman Apocrypha by Robert Lynn
/Three/ /Movements/ by Curtis Crisler
One Hundred Hearses: Elegy for the Forgotten by Richard Jespers
The Bright Cockatiel by Paul Martin
Born Again by Michael Hardin
Dirty Words by Sarah Lilius
Dual by Matthew Minicucci
Concentration by Arne Weingart
Double Bind by Caroline Crew
An Insomniac’s Slumber Party with Marilyn Monroe by Heidi Seaborn
Assembly Cut by Anthony Sutton
A Gray Realm The Ocean by Jennifer Atkinson

About the 2019 Winner:

Teri Ellen Cross Davis is the author of Haint, (Gival Press, 2016) winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. She is a Cave Canem fellow and a member of the Black Ladies Brunch Collective. She has received fellowships to attend the Soul Mountain Writer’s Retreat, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Hedgebrook, the Community of Writers Poetry Workshop, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is on the Advisory Council of Split This Rock Festival, a semi-finalist and finalist judge for the NEA’s Poetry Out Loud. She has received the Meret grant from the Freya Project and is an awardee of a 2019 Sustainable Arts Grant. Her work can be read online and in journals including: Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Delaware Poetry Review, Figure 1, Gargoyle, Harvard Review, Kestrel, Little Patuxent Review, Love’s Executive Order, Natural Bridge, North American Review, Mom Egg Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Poet Lore, and Tin House. She lives in Maryland with her husband, poet Hayes Davis and their two children.

2019 Finalists:
Self-Portrait with Cephalopod by Kathryn Smith
about:blank by Tracy Fuad
Self Portrait as Girl, Only Part Miracle by Vandana Khanna
Birds of Prey by M Soledad Caballero
Estate by Samn Stockwell
The Symmetry of Fish by Su Cho
The Right Blue Dream Home by Claire McQuerry
The Lantern Room by Chloe Honum
Sweet Beast by Gabriella R. Tallmadge
Requeening by Amanda Moore
Exceeds Us by Leah Osowski
2019 Semi-Finalists:
50 Things Kate Bush Taught Me About the Multiverse by Karyna McGlynn
A Pony Called Loneliness by Sonia Greenfield
After Mating for Life by Melissa Stephenson
Dead Language Hymnals by Brandon Thurman
Empires by Elizabeth Clark Wessel
Encyclopedia Dystopiapocalyptica by Steve Schroeder
hinge by Madeline Wattenberg
In Her Black Boundaries by Sarah Sousa
Ode to Earth in Translation by George Looney
Pending Light by Cate Lycurgus
Romantic Comedy by James Allen Hall
Seeing Things by Marjorie Maddox
The House That Grief Built by Rhonda Broatch
The Man Grave by Chris Salerno
The pressure of all that light by Holly Painter
The Propagation of Light by Jennifer Barber
Ticker by Mark Neely
West of the Dead by Chelsea Dingman