Congratulations to our 2018 Story Starters Semi-Finalists!


For the seventh time, The Ontario Writers’ Conference has partnered with visual artists of all sorts in the form of our Story Starters Contest – run October, November and December 2017 as well as January and February of 2018. On the first of each month, our website featured an extraordinary work by a local artist and we invite writers from everywhere and of all ages to enter a piece of writing inspired by that work (entry-free).


By taking inspiration from the art, writing a short piece (100 words maximum) and posting it in the comment section of our entry page, more than 150 writers created works of poetry, prose, dialogue, haiku, etc. for a chance to impress that artist and win a prize for that month.


Semi-Finalists for each month will be reduced to the Top Three Finalists by our our final-round judge, Canadian Poet James Dewar and voting for the winner by attendees will take place from displayed entries at the 2018 Festival of Author (tickets available on the website) hosted by Ontario Writers’ Conference (April 6th in Pickering, Ontario). Artist-related prizes are awarded for each month.


Many thanks to John Rueben of Moose Factory, ON; Jean Pierre Schoss of Uxbridge, ON; James Mishibinijima of Manitoulan Island, ON; Vivian Tserotas of London, ON and Anja Bungay of Oshawa, ON for sharing their talents. The longlist of semi-finalists for our 2018 competition is as follows:



Ray Williams

Beth L.

Michelle Dinnick

Denise Kemp

Jenny Lamothe

Maureen Curry



Robin Martin

Agnes Burroughs

James Lumbers

Jan Wood

Tammy M. O’Doherty

Wendy Barrick Rhead

Dora Lafleur

Kim McCutcheon

Ann Rocchi



Brenda Martin

Kevin Craig

Wendy Bloesel

Jeanette Winsor

Karen L. Bowen



Meg Freer

Michael James

Janet Trull

Bill Fehlner

Jenny Lamothe

Wendy Barrick Rhead

Ruth E. Walker

Bernadette van Duyvendyk

Karli Cowden

Jeanned’Arc Labelle



Herb Ware

Silk Goh

Michelle Dinnick

Joyce George-Knight

Silk Goh

Denise Kemp

Jeanne d’Arc Labelle

Elsie Bee

Cathy Unruh

Jennifer Marx

T.R. Biggar

Wendy Barrick Rhead


Congratulations to all who entered!


  • Wendy Barrick Rhead April 4, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Just wondering, I was very happy to be long listed for three entries, with the months attached, but I also have learned I am a finalist. How do I know which article/month I am long listed for? Please advise.

    • Hi, Wendy. Congratulations on being a finalist. I think that’s part of the big reveal this Friday (exactly which entries were chosen to be finalists), and Naomi (our President) has confirmed that for me. Good luck!

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