Below in no particular order are the 12 semi-finalists for 2011

Greg Beer

Gregory Beer
- Toronto ON

Greg is a screenwriter working in film and television. In 2008, he wrote the pilot for the Cineflix series Cold Blood which was broadcast on Channel Five in Britain and Global Television in Canada. Greg also wrote two episodes for Season IV of CTV’s Forensic Factor. Greg wrote eleven episodes over two seasons of the hit Frantic Films series, Masterminds. This groundbreaking true-crime show airs regularly on History Television and has been sold into syndication in the United States. Greg’s Masterminds Season II episode, Stealing History, won a 2005 Telly award. Currently, Greg is on the writing staff for the National Geographic series, Mayday, which is broadcast around the world and can be seen in Canada on the Discovery Channel. Greg has a Bachelor of Arts in History from McGill University and maintains a lifelong fascination with the past. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Tania, and two young sons, all of whom love stories.

Chuck Lovett 2011

Chuck Lovatt
- Carroll, MB

I’ve often been described, perhaps with some accuracy, as either a hermit, or ‘that old hippie’, living in a little house on the vast prairie, under the infinite skies of southwestern Manitoba. A construction supervisor by trade – where day in and day out, I’m privileged to oversee various levels of competence – I find solace in writing, where there’s only my own imagination to contend with on any given project.
More than a few of my stories have been recognized and/or published, both nationally and internationally, among which are a second place finish in the 2009 Galbraith Award, and another, a semi-finalist, in 2010.

Judy MillarJudith (Judy) Millar
- Nanaimo, BC

Judy Millar is a writer of short stories, essays, poems and song lyrics. She has won a number of awards for her writing, including the 2009 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award for her short story “The Insomniac.” She also earned finalist standing in the Writers’ Union of Canada Short Prose Competition for her story “Cerulean.”
Judy writes both serious and humorous material. She will be publishing a collection of her short stories, tentatively titled Last Tango in Tangier. Her individual stories have been published in magazines, literary journals, periodicals and anthologies.
A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University and a former corporate communications manager in Waterloo, Ontario, Judy moved to Vancouver Island in 2007. She has since studied short fiction-writing and novel-writing at Vancouver Island University—and is a frequent presenter at spoken word events on the Island. For more information, please visit www.judymillar.ca.

Maria PassMaria Pass - Tavistock, ON

My name is Maria Pass and I currently live in the small town of Tavistock, Ontario, which was a bit of an adjustment after moving from a large multi-cultural city a couple of miles right outside Minneapolis, Minnesota and so many miles away from my drama filled extra large Italian family. As fate had it, in a bizarre way, (which you may find me writing about someday) I met my husband, Louis, who is a Stratford, Ontario native; we fell in love, had a wonderful small wedding on the lake my parents live on, just one of many of Minnesota’s magical lakes. Then we packed up my 2 children and off to Canada we moved. I am currently the co-owner of P-S Drywall & Insulation Services, doing the bookwork and accounting, I even know how to get my hands dirty as I have helped my husband drywall and tape houses and business around the Stratford area. Now that my son is well into adulthood and on his way to opening his own Reiki business and my daughter is almost an adult with a life of her own, I finally decided to take the time I have to spread my bursting passion and actively pursue multiple projects. I have started writing short stories, I’m also well on my way to completing my first novel and along with assisting my husband with our Drywall business I have also decided to start my own metaphysical business. Yikes! I know! As I fiddle with herbs, beads, nature photography, woods and pyrography for my business; writing has become my much needed and loved little safe place to express it all.

Heather RathHeather Rath
- Burlington, ON

Since winning a writing contest at the age of 11, Heather Rath knew writing would be a major part of her life. When she grew up, she was sequentially a reporter, editor of a weekly newspaper and a monthly business magazine before becoming head of communications for a multi-national company. During this time she edited, and contributed to, two anthologies of south western Ontario writers. Her writing has been published widely over the years in various publications and some of her work for children has been translated into Braille. She is a member of CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators & Performers), AWAI (American Writers & Artists Inc.), and ITWPA (International Travel Writers & Photographers Alliance).
Heather and her husband, Norm, live in Burlington ON. In addition to family, her passion is writing.

Margaret CioffiMargaret Cioffi
- Toronto, ON

I have spent most of my career as a Creative Director for advertising agencies, before opening my own agency. My discipline is art direction, and I have written and art directed tons of print, TV and radio campaigns over my career. I have received dozens of awards for my campaigns, and have always enjoyed the challenge of selling the consuming public cures for colds, solutions for wrinkles, and the promise of owning the rode in a new car, all the while keeping in mind that they have more than heat rash and hemorrhoids, they all have brains. Working on my own has allowed me more time to write, and I am currently working on my third novel.I have spent most of my career as a Creative Director for advertising agencies, before opening my own agency.
My discipline is art direction, and I have written and art directed tons of print, TV and radio campaigns over my career. I have received dozens of awards for my campaigns, and have always enjoyed the challenge of selling the consuming public cures for colds, solutions for wrinkles, and the promise of owning the rode in a new car, all the while keeping in mind that they have more than heat rash and hemorrhoids, they all have brains. Working on my own has allowed me more time to write, and I am currently working on my third novel.
I love to write, paint and cook although not all at once. My favourite thing to do is laugh, which I try to do as often as possible.
I have been married for twenty years, and have two stepchildren and five step grand children. I come from a large Italian, Irish family and enjoy family get togethers where laughter and jokes are the main course at dinner.
I love to write, paint and cook although not all at once. My favourite thing to do is laugh, which I try to do as often as possible.
I have been married for twenty years, and have two stepchildren and five step grand children. I come from a large Italian, Irish family and enjoy family get togethers where laughter and jokes are the main course at dinner.

Janice AgnewJanice Agnew - London, ON

Janice Agnew first started writing for business reasons. On one occasion, she was asked to write program specifications for a project that she was working on at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia. One of the bosses took the specs home for some ‘bedtime reading’. The next day he told Janice that he was expecting to drop off to sleep as soon as he opened the document. Instead he stayed up late reading because he said it was just too interesting. He was the first to suggest to Janice that she take up writing. Several years past before that notion became an interest. Janice is honoured to have been selected as a semi finalist for the John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award in both 2010 and 2011. Janice has written a memoir, several short stories and is currently working on a play.

Tudor Robins Tudor Robins
- Ottawa, ON

Tudor Robins is a freelance writer working in Ottawa, Ontario. She has extensive experience in publishing, both print and online and her work has appeared in a variety of local and national magazines, newspapers and websites. Fiction is Tudor’s first love and she writes it whenever she can. Several of her short stories have been published and / or accepted for publication, and she has won a number of prizes in writing contests across the country. Please visit Tudor's blog, Pen to Paper, at www.tudorrobins.ca.

Jocelyn ShipleyJocelyn Shipley
- Toronto, ON

Jocelyn Shipley's story "Arrangements" was runner-up for the 2010 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award. Born and raised in London, Ontario, she graduated from York University and has attended the Humber School for Writers. She writes for both children and adults. Her award-winning stories have appeared in anthologies, newspapers and magazines. Her books for teens include Getting a Life, Cross My Heart and Seraphina’s Circle. She's also co-editor of Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls. Her new YA novel, How to Tend a Grave, will be published in Spring 2012. Jocelyn now divides her time between Toronto and Vancouver Island. Please visit her website at: www.jocelynshipley.com

Susan CrossmanSusan Crossman
- Oakville, ON

Susan Crossman is a freelance writer with several decades of experience in the fields of journalism, government communications, PR and marketing and her focus these days lies in the creation of business documents that build reputations and inspire commitment.
Although the work is intriguing and satisfying, she’s found that inside the heart of her professional approach to words beats the jungle drum of a creative writer.
What’s a gal to do?
Widowed three years ago, Susan currently juggles her freelance writing work with the care and harassment of two young children and in the rare moments when she is sure no-one is looking, she sneaks off to wrestle with the untidy task of writing for fun. The result has been the publication this year of several essays in the Globe and Mail and the release scheduled for later this fall of her novel about a woman’s journey through marriage to divorce.
Skating along the theory that what she doesn’t know might hurt, Susan has worked hard to become a Master Practitioner of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), an expert in social media marketing and search engine optimization, and an awfully strong supporter of the value of chocolate as a medicinal agent. She is fluent in French and Spanish, completely comfortable with possibility and imperfection and absolutely useless with a vacuum.
You can find out more about Susan’s business writing at www.crossmancommunications.com

June Payne Flath June Payne-Flath
- Woodstock, ON

June writes both fiction and non-fiction. Her fiction has received recognition and been published by the Canadian Writer’s Journal and through the University of Maine’s Binnacle writing contest. Her non-fiction is published regularly on the community and rural currents pages of the farm trade newspaper Ontario Farmer. Her articles on rural history, events and personalities have a loyal following spanning over twenty years. She recently researched and published an anecdotal history on the village of Eastwood entitled At the Crossroads. All of her writing reflects and promotes the issues and value of rural community life.

Allison BrownA.G. Brown
- Norwood, ON

    Allison Brown has always enjoyed writing short stories and poems. Friends and family have encouraged her to seek publication. She graduated as an Animal Care Technologist in 1981 which led to a lifetime in animal husbandry. Allison lives on a farm and has for years been involved in raising angora goats and wool sheep. Many characters and story settings have been drawn from her farm life experiences.    Allison's articles pertaining to raising sheep and goats for fibre, livestock predator control, and rural life, have been published in various newsletters for several farm organizations and local papers.        In 2006, she completed “Breaking into Print” with the Longridge Writer's Group. She won the inaugural short story contest in her local paper in August 2007.     Now with an empty nest, and having raised two sons on a family farm, there is more time to write. Allison is currently working on a novel for young adults.