Member: Manitoba Writers’ Guild, The Writers’ Union of Canada
Mitchell Toews lives and writes lakeside in Manitoba. His short fiction and creative nonfiction appears in print and online, in places near and far. You may follow him on the trails or out on the water or ice, or more conveniently here at Mitchellaneous.com, or on Twitter or Facebook.
Mitch is an emerging writer. A lifelong love of books and storytelling put him on this path long ago and his career in advertising and communications provided writing basics and a feel for the reality of writing: deadlines, criticism, and publishing. Formal instruction has come from university and public library Writers in Residence like Carolyn Gray, Lauren Carter, Lindsay Wong, Katherena Vermette, Duncan Mercredi, Frances Koncan, Ariel Gordon, and Anna Leventhal. He is also active with the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and its many programs. Less formal, but highly rewarding and inspiring is his critique circle which features a strong and diverse group of writers.
What’s bright in the headlights these days? A collection of MennoGrit short stories — ‘Pinching Zwieback — Prairie Stories’ that I’m just beginning to query.
In addition and now that Covid rules offer more freedom to travel, I am hard at it on my long-delayed Manitoba Arts Council sponsored project for an ekphrastic artbook about Manitoba subjects. My photographer-collaborator Phil Hossack and I are tracking down stories for the book.
I’m also full-up with piles of regular stuff: short stories, CNF, blog posts, readings, critique circles, courses, and consultations — the full pot of writer’s soup.
My debut novel, ‘Mulholland and Hardbar’ is now many times edited, including the recent expert evaluation of author Armin Wiebe, courtesy of The Writers’ Union of Canada and their Mentorship Microgrants program, it is a few beta readers away from being ready to be queried.
It’s a gritty coming-of-age story driven by its ambiguous characters. “A story wound tight as a noose.“
How would I describe it as a movie? I’d say, ‘Fargo, with Mennonite accents…‘ (As a book? Shades of ‘On the Road,’ the woodsy flavour of ‘Never Cry Wolf,’ a youthful protagonist in the manner of ‘The Nick Adams Stories,’ the desire, temptation, and surrender of ‘Heart of Darkness.’
—Mitchell Toews, Jessica Lake