Below in no particular order are the 12 semi-finalists for 2015

Judy Millar

Judy Millar Nanaimo, BC.

is a Nanaimo-based writer and storyteller of humorous and serious short stories and essays. She is a former winner of the John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award (2009) and was a semi-finalist in 2011.She has won a number of other awards for her writing. Judy was a recent finalist (one of 15 out of 500+) in the Mark Twain House and Museum’s 2015 Royal Nonesuch National Humor Contest for her story “I’ll Tell You Mine, if You’ll Tell Me Yours” from her short story collection Beaver Bluff: The Librarian Stories (2012, Brannen). Her humorous essays frequently appear in Reader’s Digest Canada and elsewhere. Visit her online at www.judymillar.ca.

Gordon Miller

Gordon Miller
Oakville, Ontario

is a visual artist and writer living in Oakville, Ontario. He has published Kokum’s Gift: a unique publication of Cree and Ojibway culture, spirituality and tradition. It combines art, poetry and a photograph collection. His second book, Gold and Salvation, was published in September 2015. It is a noirish crime novel, a tale of murder, love and greed, in the border cities of Windsor and Detroit. His next book, The Adventures of a Boy Named Wish, is a creative non-fiction account of a boy living a carefree and idyllic life in Northern Ontario. It will appeal to young adults 12+ and will be published at the end of 2015. His short stories, award winning poetry and artwork have been published in various magazines and electronic journals. Gordon has been a recipient of two Ontario Art Council publishing grants. Email: gmiller346@cogeco.ca. Website: gordonmillerart.com.

Barbara Baker

Barbara
Wackerle Baker
Calgary, Alta

grew up in Banff, Alberta and spends her free time racing up and down the Rockies trying to keep up with an active family of outdoor enthusiasts. Her passions include writing, photography, exploring landscapes and the recent arrival of her first grandchild (the most beautiful grandchild ever). Three of her stories have found homes in Chicken Soup publications and a dozen others are in short story contest anthologies. Currently Barbara is in the editing process of her YA novel which she hopes to finish tweaking by 2016. She is both pleased and excited to be a semi-finalist in the John Kenneth Galbraith Short Fiction competition.

Ken McBeathKen McBeath
Perth, ON

Born in India, brought up in Cullen, Banffshire, Scotland. Electronics technician and part-time paratrooper. Swapped my soldering iron for a sledghammer on oil rigs offshore Abu Dhabi and in the Libyan desert. Geologist in the deep gold mines in South Africa, the bush of Rhodesia, and the rainforests of Suriname, where I slept in a hammock in a hut with no walls, on the banks of the Lawa River. Absolute Magic. After the Bre-X meltdown, worked for the local Welfare Department with a scintillating assortment of murderers, armed robbers and regular folk down on their luck. Retired now at Otty Lake near Perth, Ontario, writing stories. Member of the Perth Writers Guild.

Heather RathHeather Rath
Burlington, ON

Heather Rath Biography Since winning a writing contest at 11 years old, 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 in various publications and some children’s stories have been translated into Braille. She is a three-time bridesmaid (now four!) in the esteemed John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award contest, world traveller, and addicted to family and writing. Her novel, starring a runaway woman, is looking for a good home. She is a member of both CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators & Performers) and Canadian Authors Association. You are welcome to peruse her website at www.heatherrath.net.

John C. HobsonJ.C. Hobson
Colborne, ON

John C. Hobson likes to think of himself as a writer. But what is a writer? One who writes obviously, or is it one who writes and is published? Or is it one who occasionally wins a writing contest? Perhaps it is a matter of degree. One does need an inventory of work. In this case about sixty short stories, a few published (Canadian Stories Magazine, “Cup of Comfort for Horse Lovers”), a nonfiction book of 54 000 words, unpublished, and a selection of wins in short story contests, most recently: The Elora Writers Festival contest (“A Coyote Summer”), May 2015. John likes to write stories with a beginning, middle and ending. His stories tend to deal with real people in real situations; stories about what people do not what they think. His instructors are the great dead writers of the past: George Orwell, Joseph Conrad, Varlam Shalamov, and Flannery O’Connor to name a few. John was a school teacher for thirty-two years. He continues to break and train horses.

Beverly Burgess BellBeverly Burgess Bell
Oakville, ON

Bev Bell spent eleven wonderful years in a boarding school in the Himalayas where she drank gallons of tea (it was Darjeeling tea country after all) and chomped on jawbreakers made of yak’s milk. Mount Everest was a hop, skip, and a jump away; the Nathula pass from China visible if you had good eyesight, and the Tibetan monasteries with their colorful prayer flags and sensuous statuary a feast for the imagination. FIRST KISS is loosely based on her own life and is part of a novel she is currently writing. Bev lives in Oakville, Ontario where she runs creative writing classes and workshops. She gives in-depth critiques, enjoys motivating writers and helping them learn the ins and outs of the publishing world. Check out her website http://beyond-the-lamppost.com/ or tweet her @bev_bell

John C. HobsonJ.C. Hobson
Colborne, ON

John C. Hobson likes to think of himself as a writer. But what is a writer? One who writes obviously, or is it one who writes and is published? Or is it one who occasionally wins a writing contest? Perhaps it is a matter of degree. One does need an inventory of work. In this case about sixty short stories, a few published (Canadian Stories Magazine, “Cup of Comfort for Horse Lovers”), a nonfiction book of 54 000 words, unpublished, and a selection of wins in short story contests, most recently: The Elora Writers Festival contest (“A Coyote Summer”), May 2015. John likes to write stories with a beginning, middle and ending. His stories tend to deal with real people in real situations; stories about what people do not what they think. His instructors are the great dead writers of the past: George Orwell, Joseph Conrad, Varlam Shalamov, and Flannery O’Connor to name a few. John was a school teacher for thirty-two years. He continues to break and train horses.

Bruce MadoleBruce Madole
Brampton, ON

Bruce Madole is an award-winning Canadian songwriter whose devotion to story-telling began with an emphasis on poetry and short fiction. Over time he shifted into lyric, and then expanded his focus again to include longer forms. While his Twitter identity - @SongsAreStories – is evidence of Bruce's commitment to his shortest form of story-telling, he has continued to develop his fiction skills with the completion of a first novel this year, and a second novel underway. Bruce has had a variety of distinguished Canadian mentors for his poetry and fiction writing, starting with a year-long workshop with Dennis Lee (at Trent University), briefly with Judith Merril, and recently, in workshops with Brian Henry. Bruce has been a lifelong student of the suspense, thriller and crime genres. A graduate of Trent University (English Literature) and Sheridan College (Journalism), Bruce has been a practicing wordsmith since 1979, including work as a journalist, editor, and public affairs writer. He is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) with a communications practice in business and technical communication. In private life, he has been a repeat contributor to The Canadian Writer’s Guide, and Canadian Musician, and other periodicals. Bruce is the co-founder, co-producer and performing host of an acoustic songwriter’s concert series, The Source of the Song, which has featured many of Canada’s leading and emerging songwriters. He is also the author and facilitator of a songwriting workshop, Finding Your Inner Songwriter. (www.brucemadole.com)

Kevin MontgomeryKevin Montgomery
Bleinheim, ON

Kevin grew up on a farm in Elgin County and went to Southwold Public School and Parkside Collegiate Institute in St. Thomas. Upon graduating from Wilfird Laurier University with a Communication Studies degree, Kevin worked for the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority before joining the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Kevin lives in Blenheim with his wife, Ann, and has three children. Kevin has written and directed the New Scotland Sunday School annual Christmas play for the last decade. He has also written and recorded more than a hundred radio reports. The Story in Her Bones is drawn from a historical fiction novel Kevin has been developing that goes back to the beginnings of Alma College and the golden age of railway in St. Thomas’s history. Kevin has also written a middle-grade novel that will be released on-line in 2016. For more information email Kevin at kamontgomery@sympatico.ca

Alan BuchananAlan Buchanan
Brampton, ON

Alan Buchanan grew up on a farm in Mono Township, Ontario. A graduate of the University of Guelph, he practiced criminal law in Brampton for more than thirty-five years. He has attended the Humber School for Writers summer program. A long-time member of the Brampton Writers Group, Alan also benefited from the late Michael Crawley’s fabulous Georgetown sessions. Alan has completed his first novel, Trigger Falls, a murder story with a contemporary setting. Recently retired from the law, he and his wife Barbara have moved to Meaford Ontario to enjoy the serenity and beauty of the Georgian Bay area. Alan is at work on his second book, a medieval crime novel set in 14th century London.

Aldonna Kaulius-Barry Aldonna
Kaulius-Barry
Caledon, ON

Aldonna Kaulius-Barry is an award-winning corporate magazine editor, training facilitator, and executive coach. Through “Distributed Learning” on her website www.abphireandinspire.com , Aldonna has written training workbooks guiding executives and their employees to reap personal and profession rewards through outstanding performance. Aldonna, her husband Michael, their daughter Danielle and a menagerie of horses and dogs, are long-time Caledon residents. A corporate writer by profession, her greatest love besides ice cream, gardening and kayaking has been the lyrical word, the tenderness of prosaic storytelling and poetry, which she has written since her childhood. Aldonna has recently completed her debut novel, Amethyst Postcard Front and Back The Amethyst, an epic 19th century historical romance in which the protagonist travels from Yorkshire, England to India on a perilous journey by ship during the opulence of the British Raj. The second edition of her children’s book, Mikey’s Wonderful, Terrific,Upside-down Monday is available on Amazon.com.