Below in no particular order are the 9 semi-finalists for 2016

Barbara Baker Barbara baker
Calgary Alberta

Barbara Wackerle Baker 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 time with her grandchildren (the most beautiful grandchildren 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 querying agents and publishers for her YA novel entitled No Reception. She is both pleased and excited to be a semi-finalist in the John Kenneth Galbraith Short Fiction competition. Email:

eggy BrakenPeggy Bracken
Caledon Ontario

Peggy’s love of words started in the Inglewood library and S.S. #4 Inglewood Public School. However it was not until much later in life that she set aside other creative avenues to explore writing more fully. She has been involved in Brian Henry’s writing groups and seminars for almost five years. She has completed a novel and a collection of short stories. Besides being her favorite thing, writing “teaches me trust and patience”. Peggy is retired and lives in Caledon with her husband.

Susan BurdettSusan Burdett
Dutton Ontario

Susan always dabbled in storytelling, starting with jumbo doodle pads filled with picture stories of horses, dogs, and cats. Now she loves to write memoirs, fantasy, science fiction, children’s stories, and whatever ripples her imagination. Retired from the business world, she is pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a published author. Susan continues to improve her craft through courses, workshops, and is a proud member of the Dutton Writers Group and the London Writers Society. She is honoured and excited to be named as a semi-finalist for the 2016 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award. Susan spent most of her life on a farm in southwestern Ontario, first in Essex County and now in beautiful Elgin County where she and her husband raised their two sons. She captures snippets of country life, past and present, on her website . You can reach her at .

Laurie FlynnLaurie Flynn
London Ontario

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn writes contemporary fiction for young adults. Her debut, Firsts, is out now with Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Press and was nominated as a YALSA Best Fiction For Young Adults pick. She is also the author of a series of short stories, The Boys Tell All, which is a featured series on Wattpad and has reached nearly 300,000 views. Laurie went to school for Journalism, where the most important thing she learned was that she would rather write made-up stories than report the news. She also worked as a model, a job that took her overseas to Tokyo, Athens, and Paris. Laurie now lives in London, Ontario with her husband Steve. She can mostly be found writing happily at her desk, with the world’s most spoiled Chihuahua on her lap. Laurie drinks way too much coffee, snorts when she laughs, and times herself when she does crossword puzzles. Laurie is represented by Kathleen Rushall of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Website URL:

Alyssa FoulkesAlyssa Foulkes
Guelph Ontario

Alyssa Foulkes does not have super powers. At least, not yet. Her imagination is close enough. She writes picture books that make her laugh out loud, short stories with quirky characters, and novels where anything is possible. Her work has been described as Saturday morning cartoons meet the X-Men. She won the John Kenneth Galbraith Short Fiction competition in 2012 and has been a semi-finalist five times. Alyssa has also placed second in the Dorothy Shoemaker Literary Award Contest numerous times. She is currently seeking representation for Weaponless, an urban fantasy novel for Middle Grade readers with spin-off potential. Alyssa’s writing, creative and scientific, can be found in Off The Shelf; The Changing Image; Fire and Light, An Anthology of Verse; The AWI Quarterly; and Nutritionist’s Corner at She creates in Guelph, Ontario, where she lives with her partner, their 16-year-old BFF (best feline friend), and a puppy, named Magic. Contact Alyssa at

Ken McBeathKen McBeath
Courtenay British Columbia

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.

Denise NoddenDenise Noddin
West Elgin Ontario

This is my second time making the list of semi-finalists, the first being in 2012. Born in Elgin county, I have travelled across North America and always find my way back home. I’m a graduate of West Elgin Secondary School. While there, I wrote an essay about ‘Why I love the theatre’ and was chosen one of 26 students in the province to spend a week immersed in all that makes up Stratford Festival. I studied at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario and I’ve taken dozens of writing workshops over the years, in Canada and the U.S. The challenge of writing contests keeps me motivated and focused. Some of my poetry, short stories and children’s stories have earned me success in a variety of contests. I enjoy a life of artistic pursuits, from painting to gardening, creating in my kitchen and of course, my main passion of writing. Ideas emerge in living. Often I’m jotting down a bit of conversation or something that has piqued my interest. My partner is currently in the south and I travel there often. I have a son and daughter, grown and on to productive lives, but never too busy for family. I’m fortunate to have a life so rich in blessings. Not everyone gets to do the things that make them happy while spending time with the people they care about. Lucky me!

Anya Prohaszka Tursa Anya Prohaszka
Belmont Ontario

Anya Prohaszka Tursa has been interested in creative writing since she was 10 years old. Since that time she has tried her hand at a number of formats, including short stories, poetry, songwriting, serials, stage plays, screenwriting, and novels. She is currently working on her first novel entitled “Backpack: Jesse's Story”. Although Anya has had a number of poems and short stories published in anthologies, newspapers, and online; her dream is to have her novel published and sold in bookstores. Anya is a part-time NHS for the Thames Valley District School Board and a Certified DanceMixx Jazzercise Instructor. She resides in Belmont, Ontario with her husband and three daughters. Email:

Mary SteerSteer
Waterdown Ontario

Mary Steer Waterdown, Ontario has been many things to many people over her almost-fifty years: daughter and sister and mother and wife, student and teacher, theatre-goer and box office clerk, journalist and reader, model, telemarketer (please don’t hold this against her!), indoor rock climber, Brownie leader, knitter, baker, professional dog walker… . All these occupations and hobbies have provided ample material for her lifelong addiction to writing. For many years she worked as a journalist and “advertorial” freelancer; then she moved into full-time wife-and-mother mode, moved from one end of Lake Ontario to the other, and moved from writing about facts to writing fiction. She concentrates on flash and short stories, from 50 words to 5,000 and more, and is working on a novel. Mary’s published fiction may be found at

Winners to be announced at our JKGLA ceremony October 15

I am inviting you to join us for our celebration - Saturday October 15 2016 at 7p.m. The event is held in the West Elgin Performing Arts Center 199 Currie Rd. Dutton Ontario. Free to all. All Welcome. Stand up reception.

We are inviting past authors and new entrants past judges dignitaries the public and of course the Galbraith family. Hope you will come and party with us