This prize was established in 1998 by Ann Neitzel Yackel, a 1978 Ohio Wesleyan University alumnus and former student in Professor Flanagan's poetry workshop, in grateful appreciation of the many contributions he has made to the University's English Department and Creative Writing program and in recognition of his exceptional teaching and student mentoring. Ann Neitzel Yackel continues to write poetry, publishing under the pen name Ann Heath.

Robert Flanagan, who joined the Ohio Wesleyan University faculty in 1969, created and directed the English department's Creative Writing program, conducting workshops in Writing Fiction, Writing Poetry, Playwriting and Screenwriting. He received his B.A. at the University of Toledo, where he double-majored in Philosophy and Literature, and his M.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. A widely published fiction writer and poet, he has had two stage plays and a screenplay professionally produced, and has received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and three Ohio Arts Council fellowships for his writing.

The Robert Flanagan Prize in Creative Writing is awarded annually to the student who submits the best original work in both fiction and poetry in open competition.  Please find the last five (5) years' award winners listed below.  For an exhaustive list of past recipients, please email the department at

Year Recipient
2024 Rylee Reese-Stanley
2023 Savannah Brantley
2022 Jenna Nahhas '24
2021 Dmitri Ashakih '22
2020 Meghan Edwards '22