MITCHELL TOEWS: A big list…
Author pages on Facebook, Goodreads, and LinkedIn
Updated February 17, 2023
HEADINGS: EDUCATION, ASSOCIATIONS/MEMBERSHIPS, PUBLISHED WORKS, CONTESTS-PRIZES-AWARDS, FUNDING, READINGS, WORK IN PROGRESS, FRIENDS & FOLLOWERS, PANELS, ARTIST’S STATEMENT
University of Victoria (1974-75)
University of Winnipeg (1975-77, dangerously close to a B.A. in Sociology)
Masters Certificate in Marketing Communication Management, York University (2001)
“So You Want To Write Indigenous Characters…” Manitoba Writers’ Guild (2019)
Member — Manitoba Writers’ Guild
Professional Artist — as designated by Manitoba Arts Council
New/Early Career Artist — as designated by Canada Council for the Arts
Past Member — Winnipeg Public Library’s Prose Writing Circle, led by Winnipeg Public Library Writer in Residence Carolyn Gray (2019-2020)
Past Member — The Sunday Writers Group, led by Donna Besel (Lac du Bonnet, MB)
Member — WriteRamble, led by Lauren Carter, Winnipeg Public Library Writer in Residence, 2020-2021
Member — Write Clicks, a Winnipeg River/Winnipeg city alliance: a critique circle formed in 2021
Member — Winnipeg River Arts Council
Member — The Writers’ Union of Canada
- 111 short stories and flash fiction published in periodicals, anthologies, and contests. Approximately 700 submissions overall.
- 40 pieces accepted in Canada, 34 US, 25 UK, and 12 in other countries (India, Australia, etc.)
- Two stories translated into Spanish.
- A collection of short stories, “Pinching Zwieback” will be launched in the fall of 2023. (At Bay Press, Winnipeg). The collection was accepted by the first publisher to which it was submitted.
- A debut novel, and several other WIP literary projects, including a second collection of short stories, are also underway.
2016: 16 short stories | 15 online, 2 paid print, 9 Canada, 6 UK, 1 US
2017: 20 short stories | all online, 4 Ca, 1 India, 7 UK, 8 US.
Note: 2017 short stories Include: Best of Fiction on the Web: 1996-2017 ISBN: 9780992693916 (ISBN10: 9780992693, ISBN13:9780992693) and The Machinery: Fauna ISBN: 9781544723266.
2018: 14 short stories, 1 interview, 1 podcast (audio) | 1 paid print, 3 unpaid print, 6 Ca, 4 UK, 1 Ireland, 5 US
“I am Otter” — short story, CommuterLit (Ca)
“Fall From Grace”, short story, Literally Stories (UK) (“Pinching Zwieback” 2023)
“Of a Forest Silent” — short story, Alsina Publishing LingoBites (UK – English and Spanish)
“City Lights” — short story, Literally Stories (UK)
“The Bottom of the Sky” — short story, Fiction on the Web (UK)
“In the Dim Light Beyond the Fence” — short story, riverbabble (US) (“Pinching Zwieback” 2023)
“Nothing to Lose” — short story, riverbabble (US) (“Pinching Zwieback” 2023)
“Shade Tree Haven” — short story, Doorknobs & Bodypaint (US)
“Sweet Caporal at Dawn” — short story, Blank Spaces (Ca), paid print
“Sweet Caporal at Dawn” — short story, Just Words, Volume 2 Anthology (Ca), print ISBN: 9781775279273 (ISBN10:1775279278)
“Away Game” — short story, Pulp Literature (Ca), paid print
“Groota Pieter” — short story, River Poets Journal, Special Themed Edition, “The Immigrants” Anthology (US), print (“Pinching Zwieback” 2023)
“Five Questions for Mitchell Toews” — interview, Mennotoba (Ca)
“The Narrowing” — short story, Scarlet Leaf Review (Ca) (“Pinching Zwieback” 2023)
“Wide Winter River” — podcast, Not Ready for Prime Time (US)
2019: 14 short stories, 1 interview, 1 CNF essay | 1 paid online, 1 paid print, 2 unpaid print, 3 Ca, 2 UK, 1 Australia, 3 Iran, 8 US
“The Fifty Dollar Sewing Machine” — short story, Literally Stories (UK)
“The Toboggan Run” — short story, The MOON magazine (US) (“Pinching Zwieback” 2023)
“Peacemongers” — short story, The MOON magazine: “Out of This World” Anthology The Best Short Stories from the MOON (US), Volume 1, print ISBN: 9781078315326 (ISBN10: 1078315329, ISBN13: 978-1078315326) (“Pinching Zwieback” 2023)
“Cave on a Cul-de-sac” — short story, The Hayward Fault Line, Doorknobs & Bodypaint (US) Issue 93
“Din and the Wash Bear” — short story, The Hayward Fault Line, Doorknobs & Bodypaint (US) Issue 95
“Died Rich” — short story, Fabula Argentea (US), Issue #27, paid (“Pinching Zwieback” 2023)
“I am Otter” — short story, Short Tales – Flash Fiction Stories (Iran)
“Away Game” — short story, Short Tales – Flash Fiction Stories (Iran)
“4Q Interview with Author Mitchell Toews” — interview and excerpt from WIP novel, “Mulholland and Hardbar”, South Branch Scribbler (Ca)
“Concealment” — short story, Me First Magazine (US)
“Groota Pieter” — short story, Pact Press (Australia), “We Refugees” Anthology, print
“Fast and Steep” — short story, Riddle Fence (Ca), Issue 34, paid print
“Holthacka’s Quandary” — short story, Lunate Fiction (UK)
“Shade Tree Haven” — short story, (mac)ro(mic) (US)
“My Writing Day” — CNF essay, my (small press) writing day (Ca)
“Our German Relative” — short story, Xmas Stories (Iran)
2020: 11 short stories, 2 CNF essays, 1 interview | 6 print, 1 paid online, 2 paid print, 5 Canada, 3 UK, 4 US
“The Business of Saving Souls” — short story, Literally Stories (UK)
“The Log Boom” — short story, in “A Fork in the Road,” 2019 Special Theme Edition Anthology of River Poets Journal (US), print
“Encampment” — short story, Tiny Seed Journal (US)
“Regrets de Foie Gras”— short story, Literally Stories (UK), May 2020
“The Grittiness of Mango Chiffon” — short story, Agnes and True (Ca), paid online, Summer 2020 (“Pinching Zwieback” 2023)
“My Life as a Corkscrew” — a CNF essay “On Writing” in Blank Spaces (Ca), June 2020, print
“Piece of My Heart” — short story, Pulp Literature, (Ca), paid print
“Away Game” — short story, Quail Bell Magazine, (US), paid print
Interview — Maysam Kandej Talks (Iran), https://maysam.id.ir/talks online, August 2020
“My Life as a Corkscrew” — a CNF essay “On Writing” in the Just Voices anthology (Ca), September 2020, print ISBN: 9781999290375 (ISBN10: 1999290372)
“The Sunshine Girl” — short story, Cowboy Jamboree Magazine (US), Fall 2020 (John Prine Tribute issue), print and online (“Pinching Zwieback” 2023)
“Died Rich” — short story, Fiction on the Web (UK), September 2020
“Baloney, Hot Mustard and Metal Filings” — short story, WordCity Monthly (Ca-Intl), September 2020 (“Pinching Zwieback” 2023)
“Our German Relative” — short story, WordCity Monthly (Ca-Intl), December 2020
2021: 8 short stories, 2 interviews | 1 paid print, 4 Canada, 4 UK, 2 US
“Interview with Contributor Mitchell Toews” — Blank Spaces (Ca), January 8, 2020
“So Are They All” — short story and interview, Literally Stories (UK), February 14, 2021(“Pinching Zwieback” 2023)
“Fast and Steep” — short story, CommuterLit “Love Stories,” (Ca), February 14, 2021
“The Grittiness of Mango Chiffon” — short story, Literally Stories (UK), March 9, 2021
“Fast and Steep” — short story, Fiction on the Web (UK), March 29, 2021
“Featured Artist — Mitch Toews” Winnipeg River Arts Council, the interview was written by Donna Besel (Ca), June 2021
“The Log Boom” — short story, WordCity Monthly (Ca-Intl), July 2021
“In the Dim Light Beyond the Fence” — short story, The Twin Bill (US), July 13, 2021
“Sweet Caporal” — short story, Rivanna Review (US), September, paid print
“Fast and Steep” — short story, Fenechty Anthology (UK), print
2022: 12 flash/short stories, 1 poem | 5 paid print, 3 royalty agreements, 4 US, 8 Canada, 1 Intl
“Hundred Miles an Hour” — short story, Rivanna Review, (US), paid print, March 2022
“Piece of My Heart” — short story, Miramichi Flash, (Ca), Spring/Summer 2022
“Downtown Diner” — short story, Cowboy Jamboree, (US), Bruce D’J Pancake Issue
“Winter Eve at Walker Creek Park” and “Shade Tree Haven” — Guernica Editions’ “This Will Only Take a Minute: 100 Canadian Flashes,” (Intl), a collective anthology edited by Bruce Meyer and Michael Mirolla, August 2022 ISBN: 9781771837514 (softcover) Identifiers: Canadiana (print) 20220195986
“I am Otter” — short story, Lintusen Press “Small Shifts: Short Stories of Fantastical Transformation” edited by Shawn L. Bird, (Ca), anthology, royalties print, July 2022 https://books2read.com/Prose-by-Toews ISBN: 9781989642351 (ISBN10: 1989642357 ISBN13 9781989642351)
“Sanctuary Quandary” — short story, WordCity Monthly (Ca-Intl), July 2022
“New War — Old Technology” — flash fiction, The Fieldstone Review (Ca), Fall 2022.
“No Strings” — short story, Bell Press “Framework of the Human Body” edited by Catherine Mwitta, (Ca), anthology, paid advance/royalties print, 2022. ISBN: TBA
“The Spring Kid” — short story, Macrina Magazine, (US, Intl), Summer 2022
“A Cultivated Halloween” — short story, CommuterLit (Ca), October 2022
“Sweet Caporal” — poem, WordCity Literary Journal (Intl) November 2022
“The Sewing Machine” — short story, Rivanna Review (US), paid print, December 2022
2023: 6 flash/short stories | 1 royalty agreement, 1 UK, 2 Aus, 1 Canada. 2 US
“The Margin of the River” and “I Am Otter” — short stories (2), D.A. Cairns “I Used to be an Animal Lover: An extraordinary and eclectic collection of short stories.” (Au), anthology, royalties print, 2023. ISBN AU: TBA
“Piece of My Heart” — short story, Literally Stories (UK), January 26, 2023
“All Our Swains Commend Her” — short story, PULP Literature (Ca). Spring, 2023
“Pass It to Freddie” — short story, The Other Journal (US), Spring, 2023
“Angel Delorme and the Craigflower Bus” — short story, Hawkshaw Press, “Hardboiled and Loaded with Sin Volume 1” edited by Dianne Pearce (US), anthology, print. Fall 2023. ISBN: TBA
TOTAL: 111 short stories/flash fiction/interviews/essays/poems/podcasts in total out of approximately 650 submissions.
“So Are They All” — short story, Second Place in the Adult Fiction category of the Write on the Lake (Ca) contest, 2016, paid print ISSN: 1710-1239
“Fall from Grace” — short story, Honourable Mention in The Writers’ Workshop of Asheville (US) Memoirs Contest, 2016
“The Phage Match” — short story, Finalist in Broken Pencil’s (Ca) annual “Deathmatch contest, 2016, print
“Cave on a Cul-de-sac” — short story, Winner in The Hayward Fault Line—Doorknobs & Bodypaint Issue 93 Triannual Themed Flash contest, 2018
“I am Otter” — short story, CommuterLit (Ca), Runner-up in for Flash Fiction Feature, 2018
“Sweet Caporal at Dawn” — short story, nominated by Blank Spaces for a PUSHCART PRIZE, 2019, print
“Piece of My Heart” — a 750-word or less flash fiction was named “Editors’ Choice” in the 2020 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest from Pulp Literature Press, paid print
“The Margin of the River” — short story, nominated by Blank Spaces for a PUSHCART PRIZE, 2020, print
“Fetch” — short story, one of 11 finalists in a national field of over 800 entries: The Writers’ Union of Canada’s Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers (“Pinching Zwieback” 2023)
“Sweet Caporal” has been nominated by Rivanna Review, Charlottesville, Va. for a PUSHCART PRIZE, 2021, print
“The Rabid,” finalist in the 2022 PULP Literature Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest. (750-word max.)
The 2022 J. F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction. This Open competition drew over 400 submissions from around the world from writers in all stages of career development. “The Spring Kid,” was one of 28 longlist finalists and later advanced to the shortlist.
“The Mighty Hartski”: 2022 longlist for the Humber Literary Review/Creative Nonfiction Collective Society (CNFC) Canada-wide CNF contest (“Pinching Zwieback” 2023)
“Winter in the Sandilands” was named to the longlist for the 2022 PULP Literature Hummingbird Flash Fiction Contest. Mitch’s story, “Luck!” was on the shortlist in this same contest.
“All Our Swains Commend Her” 2nd Runner-Up in the 2022 PULP Literature Raven Short Story Contest.
“What I thought the most while reading this one for the first time was: ‘This must have taken so long to write!’ Every sentence is packed with detail and not a word is spared. A highly skilled piece of writing with a lot to say about the way we live and how we treat one another. Can’t believe such a short piece of writing left me with such memorable characters and so much to think about!” -Judge Leo X Robertson
Manitoba Arts Council, June 30, 2020. Financial support for the creation of a unique Manitoba artbook, ekphrastic in nature and featuring artistic photography and short fictional stories. The theme is “People, Places, and Light”. Photography by collaborator, Phil Hossack. Project extended due to Covid 19 to July 1, 2022. Complete.
February 2022. Mitchell has been partnered with veteran, award-winning author Armin Wiebe, a mentor in The Writers’ Union of Canada Mentorship Microgrant program. Armin and Mitch will be reviewing Mitchell’s debut novel: “Mulholland and Hardbar” (“Fargo with Mennonite accents.”)
- Voices Launch, McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, MB, 2016
- PULP Literature Issue Launch, Vancouver, BC, 2017
- Manitoba Writers’ Guild, Artspace, Winnipeg, MB, 2019
- Prosetry, Jessica Lake, MB, 2019
- Driedger Readings, Winnipeg, MB, 2019
- Victoria Writers’ Society, AGM—Open mic, 2020
- PULP Literature Reading Series, live internet April 24, 2020
- PULP Literature Issue 27 launch, live internet July 19, 2020
- Mechanics’ Institute, San Francisco, Cal, COVID-19 open mic, Zoom August 19, 2020
- Just Voices Volume 4 virtual launch, recorded for September 26, 2020
- PULP Literature Issue28 launch, live internet November 7, 2020
- Rivanna Review editor Robert Boucheron reads an excerpt from the short story “Hundred Miles an Hour” on Charlottesville (VA) Cable Access TV, May 2022 https://bit.ly/100MPHat12min18
- “Sweet Caporal” and “Winter Eve at Walker Creek Park” for an international Zoom audience organized by poet Fizza A. Rabbani (Fizza Abbas) https://www.facebook.com/fizzah.abas.9, May 2022
- Prosetry, Jessica Lake, MB, 2022
- Excerpts from “No Strings” at the Zoom launch for the “Framework of the Human Body” anthology from Bell Press Books. February 11, 2023
- Excerpts from “All Our Swains Commend Her” at the live launch of PULP Literature’s Winter 2023 at the Fabrique St. George Winery in Vancouver, February 20, 2023. (My story is forthcoming in PL Issue 38, Spring 2023.)
- Regular appearances on Manitoba Writers’ Guild monthly Zoom critique circle
- “Winter in the Sandilands” and “I Am Otter” at the inaugural Open Mic Sessions in Lac du Bonnet, MB in the historic St. John’s Anglican Church. March 22, 2023.
- Several readings are recorded here: https://bit.ly/proseBYtoewsYouTube
WORK IN PROGRESS
A short story collection, “Pinching Zwieback” is underway (At Bay Press) and a FALL 2023 release is expected.
Pinching Zwieback: Made-up Stories from the Darp focuses on recurrent, related
characters with a common reality: small-town Mennonite life. It’s socially engaged autofiction
based heavily on the author’s own background and experiences. The loosely linked stories read,
“almost like a novel,” with characters whose lives are given form by the past but undergo change
as the world reshapes beliefs and circumstances.
Author Mitchell Toews’, who grew up in his parents’ Mennonite bakery in Steinbach
Manitoba employs a sinewy style with ample psychological depth. Toews’ stories reveal the truth
behind the fiction. This collection is a blend of memory, fable, and trauma that examines
profound moments in which the conflict might be subtle or camouflaged but the consequences
are real. A Keatsian, “mansion of many apartments,” the stories combine to offer a broad
narrative on how the people once known as the quiet in the land have evolved, and are evolving.
(NOTE: In the story listings above, those pieces selected for inclusion in “Pinching Zwieback” are, in their first appearance on the list, shown in blue.)
“Mulholland and Hardbar” — a WIP novel (“Fargo, with a Mennonite accent”).
“Myths and Troubadours” — a WIP collection of short stories. A wider range of topics, places, people, and circumstances than “Pinching Zwieback.”
“People, Places, Light” — an ekphrastic Manitoba artbook including original photography and short stories (Funded in part by The Manitoba Arts Council | Le conseil des arts du Manitoba.)
A number of new short stories are always on the go, being submitted to literary journals, contests, and anthologies.
“The Mismaloya”— a proposed novelette screenplay adaptation. Seeking a collaborator.
FRIENDS & FOLLOWERS
- Twitter 5,574
- Facebook 5,000+
- Goodreads 274 friends, 22 followers
- LinkedIn 923
- WordPress 218
1.15.21 Mitchell Toews participated as an Artist Testifier for the Commission on Basic Income. This Ontario/Canadian (Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts) jointly-sponsored commission requested Mitch to “share your experience and thoughts with our commissioners and to inform their future report on the issue of Basic Income for Artists.”
As a storyteller, I’m often driven to tell my own “Mennonite story.” Partly fact, partly fable. Within that fictional framework, my writing comes from three places: Family, history, and love of storytelling. My most popular and critically acclaimed stories come out of this tradition.
Family is the inspiration for most of my writing. These stories are meant as a lasting message to my family.
History is elusive, cloudy, and is sometimes the subverted domain of those who seek to control the broadly written record. I concern myself with providing a coherent feel for the underlying sentiment of the times and the people. This is the living history I want the reader to experience—one that is visceral and personally felt.
Storytelling is served by the creation of a place and its people both remembered and imagined. I tend towards scenes that hang on action sequences which place the characters in a moral dilemma. The vibrancy of the natural world is always well-represented. Physical harm is often a threat or a consequence. Characters make both good and bad decisions and their relationships contextualize each outcome. If there is trauma, there must also be hope.
A fourth core element might be to “observe my culture” as a Mennonite author. Others have done this extremely well, but I have my own perspective and address issues not yet widely developed by others, or not available in the same time frame/location in which I might write. Important themes include:
(ii.) violence within the pacifist doctrine of Mennonites
(iii.) patriarchy and misogyny
At all times, I am guided by the tenets of CULTURAL INTEGRITY IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS.
In general, I strive to provide open and accurate artistic observation—even when it is critical—and also to articulate the joy I have seen and felt, and to “stuff my eyes full of wonder” as author Ray Bradbury put it.