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, and Frances Koncan. He is also active with the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and its many programs. Less formal, but highly rewarding and inspiring is his critique circle. It features a strong and diverse group of writers including rising star Zilla Jones and Manitoba great: Donna Besel.
“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 plan to work hard on my long-delayed Manitoba Arts Council sponsored project for an ekphrastic artbook about Manitoba subjects. My photographer-collaborator Phil Hossack and I will be tracking down stories for the book this fall and winter and into 2022.
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 past its fourth full edit and stands ready to be queried sometime in the not too distant future. It’s a gritty coming of age story driven by its ambiguous characters; a Bildungsroman dramedy that takes place in a small town and on the road and in the Manitoba boreal…” Less verbose:
A story wound tight as a noose.
How would I describe it as a movie? I’d say, ‘Fargo, but with Mennonite accents…‘ As a book? Shades of ‘On the Road,’ along with the woodsy flavour of ‘Never Cry Wolf‘ and several of the ‘The Nick Adams Stories‘ but with something unsettling to it that might remind readers of the “desire, temptation, and surrender” of ‘Heart of Darkness.’
—Mitchell Toews, Jessica Lake