Below in no particular order are the 12 semi-finalists for 2013

Audrey Austin photo Audrey Austin
- Elliot Lake, ON

Creative writing is Audrey Austin’s joy.  To date she has published four novels, three novellas, two plays, one book of self-discovery and one anthology of short stories.  She has also written several other short stories that dare to stand alone.   Her work is available in both print and Kindle format and can be found on her author’s page at http://www.amazon.com/author/audreyaustin   Drawing on her background as a psychospiritual practitioner Audrey’s greatest love is to write about important current day social issues.   Born in Toronto, Audrey now makes her home in Elliot Lake, Ontario where she shares her life with Brian and their dog, Ki.

Christine Bohonos photoChristine Bohonos
- Stoney Creek, ON

Christine Bohonos, writing under the pen name C.M. Hunter, is a writer of children’s fiction, short stories and poetry. She recently had her first book for children published, Blooma and the Portal, by Sun Dragon Press and is getting ready to launch her new book and author website. A graduate of McMaster University, Christine is a member of the McMaster alumni association and SCBWI (The Society of Children’s book writers and Illustrators.) A former creative copywriter working in radio advertising, Christine is currently working on her next book for children in the Blooma series. To view her author page, please visit: http://sundragonpress.com/fiction/c-m-hunter/

Doreen McFarlane photo Doreen McFarlane
- St. Catharines, ON

Doreen M McFarlane, born in Winnipeg, writes out of a vast and varied life experience. She began as an opera singer and sang with the Canadian Opera Company. Her concert career took her throughout the world and to almost every state of the U.S.A. as well as her beloved Canada, under the auspices of the Community Concert Association, Columbia Artist Management NYC. She entered seminary and earned both a Master of Divinity (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago) and Ph.D. (Chicago Theological Seminary). She served full time as an ordained pastor for the United Church of Christ in Illinois, Florida, and Connecticut for fifteen years while also teaching both college and seminary courses (classroom and online) to a widely diverse student body. In China for four years, she was professor of Hebrew and Greek at Nanjing Seminary and then professor of American Religion and Culture at Shanghai University. She and husband Michael returned to Canada in 2010. She is currently writing, studying photography at Niagara College and, of course, still singing! Four published books arose from her years in ministry and teaching. Her current goal is to seek a publisher for her recently completed book of short stories, ‘Skeletons:Remembered Stories/Forgotten Songs’.

Mirian-Anne Cooper photo

Miriam-Anne Cooper
- Burlington, ON

Anne was born and raised in the north-west corner of Toronto, classed at that time as suburbia with the back yard sharing a farmer’s field and cows grazing at the back door.
As a young woman, after graduating from the University of Toronto, moving to Edmonton, Alberta for her first job was an experience that led her on the path she was to take for life. She has achieved success in her career and has since raised two wonderful children on her own. With her sense of humour and compassionate nature making her one of a kind, she is a down to earth person with a genuine love for what life still has to offer.  She loves to travel, experiencing many diverse countries with their culture and food; but she also likes to be a homebody, reading a good book or listening to classical music, with a glass of wine by the fireplace.

No Ordinary Day was the first short story she has ever written. It was a dash of reality, a sprinkle of hope, a cup of love, a bowl of imagination and pound of therapy.
Anne can be reached at miriam.anne.cooper@gmail.com and  any questions or comments will be addressed with appreciation and thanks.

Heather Rath PhotoHeather 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 and Performers) and Canadian Authors Association. Heather says she is a semi-successful juggler balancing family, writing, travel, fitness and reading.

Ruth Zavitz photo

Ruth Zavitz
- London, ON

Ruth Zavitz is a fifth generation Ontario farmer and gardener currently residing in London, Ontario. Over the past twenty-five years she has shared her hands-on gardening experiences in articles published in numerous Canadian and US magazines. Her book, "High On Grass: Ornamental Grasses for Northern Gardens" was published by The Chestnut Group in 2007. Short stories, her first love, have been published in Slice of Life, Country Connection, Good Old Days, Storyteller, Canadian Stories, Bygone Days, Laughter Loaf, and Fifty Something. She is currently working on a novel, set in rural Ontario and Yorkshire England during the First World War.
Laurie Harding photo

Karen Harding - Oakville, ON

Originally from Nova Scotia, Karen moved to Oakville ON nine years ago. She has a degree from Dalhousie University, Halifax and worked for a decade as a medical equipment sales executive.  After spending a number of years as a stay-at-home to two children, she has recently renewed her passion for writing.  The opportunity to travel to a mnay places around the world has provided ample background. Karen has had a number of short stories published and is currently working on a novel.  

Michael Lalonde photoMichael Lalonde
- Courtnay, BC

When Michael emerged from teaching French in the ‘trenches’--junior high school-- to retire, he dusted himself off and hobbled over to his writing desk. Also a veteran of two novels-in-progress, Michael turned his attention to short stories. The daunting task of what to say in those stories confronted him, like those parent sometimes at interviews. Thankfully, a writing colleague reminded Michael that he had taught for thirty years in Calgary, that surely there must be a story or two in there. And the floodgates were lifted. Michael recently moved to Vancouver Island and is embarking on a new career—still in the trenches-- in writing. He has been a member of the Alexandra Writers Society in Calgary and is currently a member of the Victoria Writers Society and the Comox Valley Writers Group. He participated in the 2013 Denman Island Writer-In-Residence program under the auspices of Jack Hodgins. Michael has previously sold fiction to Soccer Jr. Magazine of New York City.

Gordon Grisenthwaite photoGordon Grisenthwaite
- Kelowna, BC

Gord stays in Kelowna, BC. He’s a Thompson Indian, and member of the Lytton First Nation. He’d been reluctant to write most of his adult life. Even though he’s shown some potential in college, and completed the 3-Day Novel writing contest twice in the early 1980s, he wrote nothing for close to 20 years. The 2003 Okanagan Firestorm triggered something and he began writing again. Of the first four stories he wrote, three were published: his personal experience story was included in Touch the Flame, a collection of stories by people affected by the fire; one was a finalist in the 2003 Okanagan Short Story Contest; one took third prize in the 2005 Okanagan Short Story Contest; one was the winner of the 2007 Prism International Short Fiction Contest, and was nominated for the Journey Prize and a Western Magazine Award; one took second prize in the 2008 Okanagan Short Story Contest and was published in Our Stories. After completing NaNoWriMo in 2008, Gord stopped writing again, this time because he had a grueling work schedule. Also in 2007, Gord’s short video “Reservation Blues” won a MacBook Pro from the APTN Show Us Your Beat contest. Gord’s partner had been encouraging him to write full-time for close to a decade. In May 2013 he chose to give full-time writing a shot. Since committing to writing full-time, he’s been productive, producing 15 new short stories and completing a 3-Day Novel this past Labour Day weekend.

Delila Jahn Thue phoyoDelila Jahn-Thue
- Lake Alma, SK

Delila Jahn-Thue lives and writes in rural Saskatchewan. In what seems like another life time she graduated from Carleton University (B.A.), Ottawa and the University of Calgary (B.ED.) then taught school children in Northern Alberta and Saskatchewan before moving closer to home. Her first book, an ecological fairy tale called “Advice between Kingdoms” was published in 2012 by Balboa Press. Her newspaper column Living From the Farm appears in weekly and monthly Saskatchewan newspapers. She is also a mother, family historian, bus driver, organic gardener, and student of the environment. In her spare time she helps her hard-working husband on their century farm. Being named a semi-finalist has been an honour.

Greg Beer photoGreg Beer
- Toronto, ON

Greg is an award-winning author and screenwriter. Greg has written for some of Canada’s most popular factual television series including Mayday, Masterminds, Alien Mysteries and Cold Blood. He is the proud recipient of the 2011 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award. 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 sons, all of whom love stories.

Sarah Walker photoSara Walker
- Cameron, ON

Sara Walker is the author of Catching A Sorcerer. A former bookkeeper, Sara always preferred books over numbers, and finally put aside her calculator to write stories and work part-time in a library. She is the founder of ,UrbanFantasyLand.net a website established in 2008 that specializes in promoting urban fantasy and speculative fiction. Her articles and fiction have been published in anthologies and online. Find out more at www.SaraWalker.net.