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“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; make it hot by striking.”    —WB Yeats

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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Granddad

Mitchell Toews lives and writes lakeside in Manitoba. His work appears in print and online, in places near and far—shown in detail, below. He is working on a novel. You may follow him on the trails or out on the water or ice, or more conveniently here at Mitchellaneous.com, and also on Twitter and Facebook.

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Coming Soon, W-I-P News & Mitchellanea:

1.10.21 — One of Mitch’s most popular short stories will soon be available on the United Kingdom literary site Fiction on the Web. Active since 1996, FotW is one of the first English language literary journals to publish fiction online. “Fast and Steep” will appear here on March 29, 2021. This story first appeared in the Canadian print publication Riddle Fence.

12.25.20 — The satisfying crunch of “The Grittiness of Mango Chiffon” and its poetically-just ending will appear on March 9, 2021 in the U.K. joint, Literally Stories. This tale first appeared in the Canadian market Agnes and True, and these two lit mags and their impeccable editorial squads are certainly two the author is proud to have in his catalog.

11.26.20 — Mitchell’s second Pushcart Prize nomination was announced today. “The Margin of the River,” set near the Fraser River in Chilliwack, BC is a story about how we treat those over whom we hold sway. 


Lots on the go these days, including:

  • a funded project (* see more below),
  • ongoing story submissions and acceptances,
  • new stories to write and edit,
  • readings,
  • Mitch’s Sunday Writing Group in Lac du Bonnet,
  • the Victoria Writing Group (Although, due to the current heavy workload, Mitch has taken a brief leave here but hopes to this interesting and diverse group of great writers.) 
  • Manitoba Writers’ Guild activities,
  • Consultations with both Winnipeg Public Library Writer in Residence Lauren Carter, and University of Manitoba Writer in Residence Lindsay Wong.
  • and a writing project of the 800-tonne truculent gorilla variety: He has finished the third edit of his novel MS, “Mulholland and Hardbar”, following a month-long, consecutive day editing enduro-race that had Grammarly so hot it smoked. (But only menthols…) Now he and editor James Mcknight are in the midst of the fourth iterative edit and Beta readers will follow.

Mitch has begun the online Coursera Research course, Indigenous Canada. 

A sci-fi novella, a futuristic AI children’s book, the screenplay adaptation of Mitch’s epic seaside trilogy, “The Bottom of the Sky,” and windsurf (regular, foil, and winter/ice varietals), rowing, hiking and wintertime cross-country skiing must all wait their turn. (Or occasionally buck in line, especially when the wind is just right…)

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Mitchell Toews is recognized as a “New/Early Career Artist” by CCA and as an “Emerging Artist” by the MAC | CAM.

*Mitchell and photographer/collaborator Phil Hossack will be producing an ekphrastic Manitoba artbook in the near (post-covid) future. This venture is funded in part by a MAC | CAM “Create” grant.

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“Good writers, at heart, ought to be as dangerous as a riled cat with thumbs and the keys to both the liquor and gun cabinet.” —Leila Allison

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Mitchell Toews’s contributions to books on Goodreads and other sites, such as Amazon. (A partial list.)

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“There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.” —Jack London

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PUBLISHED, in roughly chronological order, since June 2016:


🍁 CommuterLit.com has run nine of Mitchell’s short fictions. In June 2016 the e-zine published “The Red River Valley Trilogy“:  “Encountered on the Shore” (Appeared twice: Rerun October 2017 – see below), “A Vile Insinuation”, and “Without Reason”. The linked stories concern, respectively: the aftermath of a violent encounter on a city street; a young American leaving the ball fields of North Dakota for the killing fields of Vietnam; and a devout Mennonite man grappling with cancer and faith.

“Gather By the River” ran Dec 2016. It appeared in two parts on consecutive days. The second piece, “The Margin of the River”, has run a few times now, in various markets. January 2017, “The Rothmans Job”, a wintery, noir-comedy-caper story set in the seventies in downtown Winnipeg ran on CommuterLit.com. “Winter Eve in Walker Creek Park”, a flash fiction, was presented February 2017.

CommuterLit presented a reprint of “South of Oromocto Depths”, one of Mitch’s most true north stories, soon after Canada’s 150th birthday celebration.

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“The greatest art in the world is the art of storytelling.” —Cecil B. DeMille

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Two more of his stories appear in :unionjack:  Fiction on the Web“Nothing to Lose”, a short, vivid story where the main character relives regrets and long-buried memories and “Heavy Artillery”, in which a local runs the count full on the summer streets of a small town.

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“A Fisherman’s Story”, tells the story of sorrow as it visits a simple family on the shores of “pre-tourista” Puerta Vallarta in 🍁 Rhubarb Magazine Issue 39. Mitchell has since crafted two stories—a prequel and a sequel—to the original story.  See below for the publication note for the trilogy, “The Bottom of the Sky”.

NOTE: Rhubarb has ceased to be and Manitoba can only hope that a phoenix will rise. Best wishes to the groot people of the late, great Rhubarb!

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“I think part of the reason that ageism is allowed to flourish — and continues to flourish — is because there is nobody out there saying,  ‘Old people are people too’ above all. Older people have a certain benefit in thinking about the world because we have had long lives. You should all be paying attention and not writing us off simply because our balance is poor or we don’t look so gorgeous as we maybe once did.” —Sharon Butala

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:unionjack: Literally Stories (UK) published Mitch’s twisted yarn, “Breezy and the Six-Pack Sneaker”; as well as his nostalgic walk down a dangerous alley in 1932 Winnipeg, “The Fifty Dollar Sewing Machine”; and the story of teenage friendship, drink and folly, “South of Oromocto Depths”.

A faded alley sign, much as it might have appeared in 1932 Winnipeg —  “The Fifty Dollar Sewing Machine”

Feb 17, 2019: :unionjack: Literally Stories (UK) Re-Run of “The Fifty Dollar Sewing Machine”

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“…writing is of you, but it’s not YOU.” —George Saunders

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LS presented Mitch’s satiric imaginings of Big Church in, “The Business of Saving Souls” January 2017. “They neither labour nor spin…”


“Our German Relative,” tells a fictionalized tale of Mennonite lore from the early days of communist Russia. This story is found on 🍁 Red Fez, a literary/art site online, where “our German Relative” became the Story of the Week and followed that distinction with the second Most Viewed Story of the Month Dec 2016 and then Most Viewed fiction in Issue 96 of Root Metz

Mitch’s writing returned to :unionjack:  Fiction on the Web January 2017, when “The Preacher and His Wife” was published on the site. This short fiction tells the comical tale of misinformation and gives readers an inside peek into (real) pure Mennonite life, circa 1963.

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:starsandstripes: Sick Lit Magazine published a reprint of “The Rothmans Job” March 2017.

“Are you ready to go, Waxman?”

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“Travel widely, experiment boldly, love deeply.”  —Winslow Homer

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India on WhatsApp 2.17  The Machinery – A Literary Collection has chosen “I am Otter” March 2017 for their website and print collection. You can buy the issue containing this Otterite story of disenfranchisement, here: https://themachineryindia.com/2017/03/24/the-machinery-fauna-paperback/

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“The Business of Saving Souls”, a prickly satire about the conflation of business, big church and politics was reprinted May 2017, i:starsandstripes:  SickLit Magazine.


:unionjack: Fiction on the Web (named a TOP 20 short story blog) published “The Beefeater and the Donnybrook” May 2017. A Halifax tourist runs into entanglements on the streets of London.

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Meanwhile, the tragic tale, “The Log Boom”, appeared on :unionjack: Storgy.com May 2017. @morestorgy had this to say:

The impressive ‘The Log Boom’ by a brilliant author and voice which we are proud to be bringing you!—Storgy Magazine

Mitchell thinks Storgy is brilliant too.

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“The sentences in a book must quiver like the leaves in a forest, all dissimilar in their similarity.” —Gustave Flaubert

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A reprint of “Encountered on the Shore”, a short story set alongside a rushing stream in Winnipeg, arrived on Fair Folk Journal June 2017 This piece first appeared in CommuterLit.com June 2016.

(P.S. – All the better to C you with, Fair Folk has changed their publication name to  :starsandstripes:  OCCULUM, effective 6.20.17)

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“Shut up and write.” —Cory Hughes

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:starsandstripes: The MOON magazine ran the short story, “The Peacemongers” June 2017This 4,800-word fiction was in the June 2017, “Swords into plowshares: Transitioning to a world without war,” issue and the author was—and is—pleased to be included!


UK-based language learner literary site*, :unionjack: Alsina Publishing will present the gritty realism flash fiction, “The Light Pool” July 2017. It is interesting to note that the publisher and the author collaborated to edit the piece to contain simple language and short sentences — the best material for new language learners to absorb on the publisher’s “LingoBites” site* where stories are presented in English & Spanish; print & audio. A three-part serial by Mitchell, “The Old Guardsmen”, was presented to LingoBites audiences Nov 2017.

“The Light Pool” was described by one reader as; “a very genuine flash fiction piece.” This story was one of ten included in a secondary school unit featuring LingoBites stories.

NOTE: *Unfortunately, Lingobites and Alsina Publishing are no longer in existence.

Mitchell, reflecting, near the Sea of Cortez.

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“A unique writers voice is what attracts me at first. Popular, stylistic, poetry/prose rarely captures my attention. Sometimes writing is over-learned in classes, or representative of the teacher’s or studied subject’s body of work. I like the rawness of the pure untarnished colloquial voice in the reading. Having something to say is essential to me. That is to say, I’m not impressed with a great volume of rarely used words thrown together to impress the reader with the vast knowledge of the writer on command of English, tricks of writing, ancient history, or the places they’ve travelled.”—An excerpt from an interview by writer, editor, publisher Judith Lawrence in, “Six Questions For…”   

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NOTE:  I am sorry to report that Editor Leila Rae, the caring, skillful force behind :starsandstripes: riverbabble, Doorknobs and Bodypaint, The Hayward Fault Line and more, has passed away. The links have been removed as these pages no longer exist online.

My personal condolences to Ms. Rae’s friends and family and to the countless many she influenced positively in the literary world.—Mitchell Toews, March 25, 2020.

:starsandstripes: riverbabble, one of three literary journals published by Pandemonium Press of Berkeley, CA, published “The Margin of the River” June 2017. A story of unintended violence. (An earlier version first appeared in CommuterLit in Dec 2016.)


Recurrent character Matt Zehen learns important life lessons about respect, honesty and the need for caution out in the wide world in, “Fairchild, McGowan and the Detective”. This short story published in :starsandstripes:  WORK Literary Magazine  June 2017.

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:starsandstripes: OCCULUM published “Graperoo” – a whimsical perspective with some telling observations about life in the “animate sphere” August 2017. Do you ken me?

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:unionjack: Literally Storiesa UK-based literary journal dedicated to the short story, ran “So Are They All” August 2017. This story takes place in the year following the Cuban Missle Crisis of 1962 and asks questions about loyalty, mutually assured destruction (M.A.D.) and Saskatoon pie.

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[…] “Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds she can’t, and then tries the short story, which is the most demanding form after poetry.” —William Faulkner

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Image result for irish flag emoji :unionjack:  Fictive Dream (“…very excited about short stories in the UK & Ireland!”) published “The Seven Songs” November 2017. This story tracks a superficial relationship between two men who are less than honest with one another and themselves. We like to receive the whole truth – we just don’t often provide it to others.

:starsandstripes: Digging Through the Fat published two LINKS to prose by Toews on Fiction on the Web: “Nothing to Lose” and “Heavy Artillery”. August 2017


🍁 CommuterLit published “Encountered on the Shore” October 2017, on their Rerun Friday feature.

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“Creative nonfiction is not making something up but making the most of what you have.” —Gail Wilson Kenna

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:unionjack: Fiction on the Web published the short story, “Fall From Grace”on December 18. It’s a tale of Hartplatz misadventure and lessons learned.

Written in a kind of ‘raconteurial high vernacular’, at least, that’s how Mitchell’s editor, James McKnight, has termed it…

The story recounts the unexpected complexity of a summer day within the context of “sepia-toned nostalgia”.

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“Taste a foreign planet with a novelette from Kristene Perron and small-town Canada with short fiction from Mitchell Toews and Dave Beynon…” – 🍁 Pulp Literature Editor Mel Anastasiou An original drawing by Steinbach artist John Henry Friesen is featured in the magazine. JHF was and is a hometown hero of author Toews. John is still active in the creative economy today after a lifetime of sign painting, sculpting, fabricating and making magic out of old Wonder Oil bottles and rusty checkerplate and just about everything in between.

Mitchell reads, “Away Game”, on Dec 16, 2018, at the Pulp Literature fundraiser in Vancouver’s Gastown: https://youtu.be/qlxSxTxjWe0

Two CANUCK acceptances came in the week of Nov 22, 2017:

🍁 Pulp Literature said Jo to “Away Game” while 🍁 Blank Spaces followed a few days later with an affirmative for “Sweet Caporal at Dawn”. Both stories are set near the water, near the 50th parallel and in one case, nearly heaven.  “Away Game” is in Pulp Literature Issue 20, Autumn 2018. “Sweet Caps” is available in Volume 2 Issue 4, June 2018at newsstands or by subscription. 


The author is once again honoured to represent his personal slice of literary heaven (just north of the 50th parallel on Jessica Lake) in :starsandstripes:  riverbabble. Issue 32 follows the theme “unfolding” and Mitchell’s surreal story of birds flapping and trapper mitts slapping is in it. “In the Dim Light Beyond the Fence” February 2018.


The Image result for irish flag emoji Cabinet of Heed, a literary journal edited by Irish writer Simon Webster has accepted this story of sacrifice and guilt, “The Doeling”, in Issue Eight, May 2018.

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“I respond to character-driven material, regardless of its origin. I fall in love with the characters and generally respond to stories featuring ordinary people who succeed in overcoming extraordinary challenges.” —Producer Gale Anne Hurd

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“City Lights” is in :unionjack:  Fiction on the Web May 2018. An earlier version of the story appeared as “The Light Pool” on LingoBites* in 2017. Mitchell: “I often write sympathetic characters. Not here. I’ve scraped the bottom of the pit. They are a loathsome bunch.”

🍁 CommuterLit is presenting a reprint of “I am Otter” May 2018. The story is a runner-up in their call for stories for their flash fiction feature and Editor Nancy Kay Clark decided to run it in the week following. Is that a lake or a swamp?

“I am Otter” first appeared in The Machinery – A Literary Collection  You can buy a print edition containing this story of cultural Otterites, here: https://themachineryindia.com/2017/03/24/the-machinery-fauna-paperback/

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:starsandstripes: riverbabble, formerly based in the Bay Area of Northern California, published a reprint of the story, “Nothing to Lose”. This story of everyday heroism, of grinding it out, is one of the author’s most heartfelt as it takes a look at characters not unlike those from his own past. The story ran from July to December 2018 and was the author’s third contribution to Editor Leila Rae’s long-running literary journal.

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“The short story must express itself clearly and instantly; a one-punch KO. The novel needs to prolong engagement, not just run the marathon, but invite the reader to run it too: give them reasons, mysteries.” — James Mcknight

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Mitchell’s story, “Nothing to Lose” first appeared in :unionjack: “Fiction on the Web” and has appeared elsewhere on the web since. The story is also in print in “The Best of Fiction on the Web”, an anthology picked from over one thousand short stories that appeared from 1996-2017. (See below to purchase.)


“Groota Pieter” has been accepted by :starsandstripes:  River Poets Journal. The story is part of the Special Themed Edition, “The Immigrants”,  http://bit.ly/GrootaPieterRPJ and is available online and in print. July 2018.

With baseball as a touchstone, “Groota Pieter” looks at immigrant experiences at opposite ends of a man’s lifetime. It all begins with a tall tale.

See Editor/Publisher (Lilly Press) Judith Lawrence’s entertaining interview here: https://sixquestionsfor.blogspot.com/2013/07/six-questions-for-judith-lawrence.html

It’s always exciting to hear prose and poetry read aloud. Mitch’s flash fiction “Wide Winter River” is read in a podcast by writer/curator/narrator Taylor Woodlands.

Access is free to :starsandstripes:  “Not Ready for Rhyme Time” and many English language stories and poems are featured in the family-friendly, one-hour+ reading.

Mitchell’s piece is the first one in the short story segment, starting at 30:37 of the “Open Submits” (5) recording.


“Wide Winter River” is an excerpt taken from the story “The Margin of the River”.

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Author Mitchell Toews‘ flash fiction, “Sweet Caporal at Dawn” was chosen by editor Alanna Rusnak (author of “The Church in the Wildwoods”, **SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 KOBO EMERGING WRITER AWARD**) for inclusion in the Blank Spaces anthology, 🍁 “Just Words, Volume 2”.

Mitchell on “Sweet Caporal at Dawn”, which started life, many years ago in Chilliwack, BC as a long poem about fishing in Manitoba: “It is as Canadian as ‘hammer handles’ (a nickname for small Northern Pikes, or ‘jackfish’), Export “A” rolling papers and wet, cold (I mean cold, eh!) Spring days.”

“Truly something more than a collection of artistic expression – a national parish of the arts.” Hannibal Lecture on and

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Here’s a link to my READING of the story (6:49) on my Goodreads author profile. Sweet Caporal at Dawn – Mitchell Toews
In 1950s Acapulco, a fateful accident alters the course of three fishermen’s lives in Mitchell Toews’ graceful epic. :unionjack: Fiction on the Web’s Charlie Fish chose, “The Bottom of the Sky”, as FotW’s Pick of the Month. October 2018.
Some comments on, “The Bottom of the Sky”:

:unionjack: “Extraordinarily fine writing that transports the reader into a particular world. Carlos’s destiny, Jose’s fate – karma – who knows?”

🍁 “I really enjoyed it. You gave the characters a real richness and the story has action and is full of intrigue! I forwarded it to two great friends that have places in Puerto Vallarta and love going to Mismaloya.”

Click on the Saint on the site and then find the “Shade Tree Haven” link on the bottom of the page.

“Shade Tree Haven” appeared in :starsandstripes: Doorknobs & Bodypaint, a Pandemonium Press site, November 2018. This is a short, wrenching flash fiction; in the business of hurting.

🍁 Scarlet Leaf Review, a fiction-poetry-CNF lit review from Toronto has published, “The Narrowing”, a tense story about mental health and the enormous impact it can have on a family, even in relatively small expressions. http://bit.ly/SLRtheNarrowing 

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One of Mitchell’s two-fisted Oma & Opa tales, “The Fifty-Dollar Sewing Machine”, was re-run Feb 17, 2019, on :unionjack:  The author extends thanks to this great pub and nominatrix Leila Allison, who has kicked up her heels from Philo Bay to Alki Beach and knows how to handle a frisky keyboard.

:starsandstripes:  The Hayward Fault Line winner for Doorknobs & Bodypaint 93 (February 2019, a triannual themed flash contest) was Mitchell’s story, “Cave on a Cul-de-sac”.

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“Died Rich”: The heartfelt tale of a neophyte basketball player was included in the May 2019 Issue #27 edition of the American literary magazine :starsandstripes: Fabula Argentea

Editor Rick Taubold: “We don’t single out any pieces in an issue as being better than the others, but you might find it interesting to read and compare “Died Rich” and “Whence We Came, Whither We Go” because they both explore a similar theme, yet they are very different stories with different outcomes.”


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The title alone is compelling, even if it totally misleads the reader about the story’s content. After the first couple of paragraphs, the reader is hooked on the character and anxiously wondering where the story is headed. One mark of a great story is that opening hook and promise, and with his opening author Mitchell Toews promises a good story and does not disappoint with his different take on how to handle a bully, even if we never find out… (spoiler removed)

One thing we loved about this piece was Dr. Rempel’s story about the borderline cases in Hell. At the time, this seems like… (spoiler removed)

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May 2019, Editor Sam Kandej had this to say about, “I am Otter”, reprinted in Short Tales – Flash Fiction Stories: “I found this story both comical and tragic… [a] beautiful, universal tale.”

“I am Otter” was first published by The Machinery – A Literary Collection August 2017 https://themachineryindia.com/author/machinerylit/

Also in May 2019, Short Tales posted an updated reprint of  “Away Game”.

“Away Game” was first published by 🍁 Pulp Literature Issue No. 20 Autumn 2018 http://pulpliterature.com/

An INTERVIEW with writer-blogger-novelist Allan Hudson on his blog, 🍁 South Branch Scribbler ran May 2019. Topics include discussion of Mitchell’s story “Groota Pieter”; a favourite place to write; childhood memories; and an excerpt from the work-in-progress debut novel, “Mulholland and Hardbar”, a noir tale of Mennonite mayhem.


May 24 was the publication date for a story titled “Ifs and Butters”. It’s another in the continuing saga of life in Hartplatz, Manitoba in the Fifties and Sixties. The Vogels make an interesting cameo here and Pete Vogel is a repeat character familiar to readers of other stories from this Mennonite Twilight Zone. The exciting  lit mag, :starsandstripes: TurnPike from Ball State University ran the story.

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[…] “How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!”[…] —”Ulysses” from Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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“Concealment” was Editor J.M. Gulmire’s latest choice for :starsandstripes: Me First Magazine. (June 2019)

Me First publishes stories written in the first person. Mitchell is excited to be in the company of some of his favourite writers and thankful to the editors for accepting this many-times-edited-much-blood-shed short fiction.


Mitchell’s story, “Peacemongers” was included in this excellent anthology of work from 2013-2019 issues of The MOON Magazine. See this BLOG POST for details: https://mitchellaneous.com/2019/07/09/out-of-this-world/

The simple love story, “The Toboggan Run” swooshed along in :starsandstripes: The MOON magazine‘s August Issue. The magazine for August was a stunner! Topical pieces, essays, fiction and poetry. A movable feast spread on your summer picnic blanket.

Slide over to Mitch’s joint, at the corner of Barkman and Creek Road: http://moonmagazine.org/mitch-toews-toboggan-run-2019-08-03/

NOTE: I’m sad to say that The MOON magazine has closed its virtual online doors. The publication will continue to be available online for an undetermined period of time and the anthology—mentioned here a few stanzas ago, above—remains available for purchase on Amazon. My best to editor Leslee Goodman. She’s a good’un. —Mitchell Toews


The flash fiction, “Din and the Wash Bear” is a noir tale of seduction vs. loyalty, featuring a raccoon and two ravens. It appeared in Issue 95 of :starsandstripes: Doorknobs and Bodypaint, from Pandemonium Press, out Berkeley way. Caw!


Here’s another great site Mitch is excited to contribute to. His flash fiction, “Shade Tree Haven”, Nov 2019, first seen in Berkeley’s :starsandstripes: Doorknobs and Bodypaint (Pandemonium Press), ran in :starsandstripes: (mac)ro(mic), a Nicolas Olson pub that features, “pieces that tell a (mac)ro story in a (mic)ro word count.”

More from Editor Olson: “Tell me a story that makes me forget I’m reading a story and I won’t care what genre it is or style it’s written in!”

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About “Holthacka’s Quandary”: “We loved this soulful piece by @mitchell_toews – a deeply reflective, personal piece of storytelling that carries its socio-political savvy very lightly.”—:unionjack: Lunate Fiction

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12.11.19 Mitchell’s sassy ode to his typical writing day appears on Canadian literary icon Rob McLennan’s my (small press) writing day.

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01.10.20—One of Toews’ recent short stories has been graciously accepted by a special Canadian lit mag from a rock near a windrous and wondrous squiggly-edged place. Yes, it’s true, he has a short story called “Fast and Steep” is in Newfoundland’s 🍁 Riddle Fence: A Journal of Arts & Culture. 

A winter’s tale from the flat, frozen front yard of Matt and Justy.

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01.26.20—“The Business of Saving Souls” was chosen for a coveted RERUN in :unionjack: Literally Stories. Two questions from nominatrix Leila Allison accompanied the rerun, along with the author’s answers to same.

Q: Your stories seem, to me, situation driven. Yet the characters aren’t under-developed paper dolls who just serve the conceit. Please describe how you arrived at the particular storyline as well as the selection of the “cast.”.

Q: Do you deliberately contrast the social mores of Canadians with those of other nationalities in your work to get a better understanding of people in the overall sense, or is that something that just happens? (My mother is Canadian. She politely refuses “Americanization.” You can almost see the big holographic “C” on her forehead.)

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Feb 8, 2020—Thanks from author Toews to the editors of :starsandstripes: TINY SEED LITERARY JOURNAL for the placement of “Encampment” in their eye-catching and soulful online platform.

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“Stay restless.” —Mitchell Toews

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Jan 2020—The Log Boom,” was selected for “A Fork in the Road,” :starsandstripes: 2019 Special Theme Edition of River Poets Journal. Based on the U.S. East Coast, River Poets Journal is edited by Judith Lawrence.

“The Log Boom” was first published by the UK website Storgy in 2017.

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April 25, 2020—A NEW version of Mitchell’s summer day waking dream, “Away Game” appeared in :starsandstripes: Quail Bell Magazine. Christine Sloan Stoddard is the founder of Brooklyn-based QBM.

“Away Game” first appeared in Pulp Literature Issue No. 20 Autumn 2018. In an event unrelated to the Quail Bell placement, a slightly condensed version of the original, Pulp Lit story was read live-online by the author during Pulp Lit’s Friday Author Reading Series, April 24.

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May 6, 2020—”You did capture us all with the weirdness of it! But it was a fun read.” This  commentary from the editorial bullpen at Literally Stories, who ran the 600-word schwienerie, “Regrets de Foie Gras”.

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June Blank Spaces cvr

Mitchell has an “On Writing” essay in 🍁 Blank Spaces magazine. This is cool and rare. A first in pedagogical history, in fact.

The article deals with the TWO things a writer must do. (Ohhh, the hook’s been set now, it has.) But you’ll have to buy a copy of Editor Alanna Rusnak’s RIPPING mag to see what the heck Toews is yapping about. Hint: subject matter includes cork piercing & extraction, rack-and-pinion gears, eagle feathers, dragonfly wings, and sommeliers. (Okay, those are obviously dead giveaways, but the author hopes you’ll buy a copy anyway.)

“My Life as a Corkscrew” in Blank Spaces, June 2020.

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bumblebee pic

“Piece of My Heart” is in 🍁 Pulp Literature magazine Issue 27, Summer 2020 as winner of the Editors’ Choice in the 2020 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest. The author’s arthroscopically miraculous rotator cuff is sore from self-shoulder-patting, so he has paused long enough to say DANKE SEEA! to the high-flying folk that populate this fine Vancouver joint.

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🍁 Canadian literary journal Agnes and True published “The Grittiness of Mango Chiffon” in August2020.

About: Agnes and True is a Canadian online literary journal. As such, we are dedicated to providing a place for the work of Canadian writers, both established and emerging. While we accept submissions from outside Canada, we do place an emphasis on works of fiction that exhibit a Canadian sensibility. As our name suggests, Agnes and True celebrates the achievement of women. In addition, we are particularly interested in discovering and publishing the work of emerging older writers (both female and male).

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Iranian writer, blogger, and interviewer Maysam Kandej’s conversation with Mitchell appears online at Maysam.id.ir/talks. August 2020

SNIP: […] I draw enormous satisfaction from live reading/open mics and find my true, inner self-confidence is most durably built through this uncomfortable but rewarding exercise. (When they are quiet — listening intently… when they laugh out loud… when they all take a big breath and shift in their seats, murmuring as the story ends.)

Finally, can you take a class to learn how to rip yourself open and spill out absolute truth and reckless honesty? If so, sign me up. […]

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“East Wind, Jessica Lake” by the author.

One of Mitchell’s earlier short stories, “The Margin of the River” has been reprinted in 🍁 Blank Spaces Sept 2020.

“The Margin of the River by Mitchell Toews moves like the tide through visceral daily experiences—some mundane, some quintessentially Canadian, some heart wrenching, each powerfully evocative.”

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mic mechanics inst san fran

Reading: :starsandstripes: Mechanics’ Institute, San Francisco, August 19, 6-7:30 PM Pacific. (8-9:30 PM Central.) Mitch presented his short creative non-fiction, “Freight Trains and Jet Planes” in this virtual open mic event focused on the COVID pandemic.

His presentation at the 34:50 mark, here:


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Sept 2020 A family saga short story, stretching from Manitoba to B.C.’s Fraser Valley over five decades will run online in the new, highly energetic international lit mag, 🍁 WordCity Monthly. Featuring a stellar cast of contributing editors, WCM is helmed by the audacious Ms. Darcie Friesen Hossack.

“Sometimes true stories are the most fictional,” Editor DFH has observed and this is certainly the case for my September short story contribution, “Baloney, Hot Mustard and Metal Filings.” This short fiction climbs a metaphoric peak and as French surrealist René Daumal wrote, “Alpinism is the art of climbing mountains by confronting the greatest dangers with the greatest prudence.” I hope I have employed proper mountaineering skills in my story, set in Aldergrove, BC in the shadow of Mount Baker.   —Mitchell Toews, on “Baloney, Hot Mustard and Metal Filings.”

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:unionjack: FICTION on the WEB has been online since 1996, which makes it the oldest short story website on the Internet. Hundreds of stories have been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of readers.

Sept 2020 Mitchell’s small-town intrigue, “Died Rich,” based in part on the life and times of an old friend and basketball teammate is in the Sept 25 edition of Fiction on the Web. The story first ran online in Fabula Argentea, May 2019.

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Reading: Sept 26 2020 for the launch of 🍁 Blank Spaces’ anthology, Just Voices Vol. 4. Mitch reads “My Life as a Corkscrew.”

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The atmospheric short story, “The Sunshine Girl” has shown up on the side of the road in Cowboy Jamboree Magazine’s Fall Issue.  CJM is a grit lit journal that features rural stories and rough stuff from all over.

The issue has a John Prine tribute theme and this story of pick-up trucks is, “an interesting little slice of life vignette,” according to Editor Adam Van Winkle. More here: 90-sec VIDEO 

Star-shaped holiday sugar cookies sprinkled with red and green sugar.

December Mitch’s Christmas story from the banks of the Milk River in Ukraine, “Our German Relative,” is a part of WordCity Monthly‘s holiday edition. In related culinary news: See the bottom of this page for a recipe for Christmas Cookies.


“Fast and Steep” is a story that was first read aloud at the 2019 “Prosetry” event at Jessica Lake in Manitoba, then appeared in the U.S. online journal MOON magazine (now defunct, sorry to say) as “The Toboggan Run”, and subsequent to that first ran in print in the great Canadian (Nfld) lit mag, Riddle Fence. The story appeared the week of Feb 14 as part of CommuterLit’ s “LOVE STORY” homage to the heart.

“Another outstanding story from Mitchell Toews, beautifully phrased and polished of tone. Just enough detail to see the scene without too much to clog and slow the narrative. Such a simple story but a richly woven tapestry in the telling. My vote for the best story of the past twelve months.” —from a CommuterLit reader Feb 15, 2021


One of Mitchell’s early short stories, “So Are They All” was featured as a rerun on the U.K. site, Literally Stories, Feb 14, 2021. In addition to the story, a Q&A with writer-editor-interviewer Leila Anderson’s is included. “So Are They All” (and “Fast and Steep,” above) is one of approximately 30 stories in a collection that the author is querying in 2021! The collection is themed around stories based in the fictional Mennonite town of Hartplatz and the characterful Zehen family. 

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Kits mitch zoom bw
Toews, high (in elevation) above a B.C. creek.

🍁 “So Are They All” won second place in the Adult Fiction category of the 2016 “Write on the Lake” writing contest and appears in the Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group’s semi-annual journal, Voices, Volume 16, No. 2. Mitchell presented excerpts from the story during the Voices launch at McNally Robinson Book Sellers in Winnipeg, on November 20, 2016.

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:starsandstripes: “Fall from Grace” received an honourable mention (not published) in The Writers’ Workshop of Asheville  Memoirs Contest, 2016. TWWOA has been active in the North Carolina literary scene since 1985. A young boy’s fears come to life – danger hides in plain sight on a quiet, small-town day.

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🍁 Mitchell’s offbeat (!) story, “The Phage Match” was one of 16 finalists in Deathmatch 2017 – a writing contest for independent creative fiction in Canada, from the special people at Broken Pencil mega-zine.

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bofotw best of fiction

:unionjack: The story “Nothing to Lose”, which is part memoir-part imagination about Chuck Toews, as a young man in Steinbach, MB (“Hartplatz”) was chosen for a print anthology in England. Writer/Editor/Scrabble Genius Charlie Fish of London has published the online literary zine, Fiction on the Web, since 1996. In that time he has published more than one thousand short stories by writers from around the world. Charlie is publishing a print collection of his favourite stories from FotW‘s 21-year history. The proceeds of this literary collection’s sale will go to a London hospital charity: Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation Trust.

The Best of Fiction on the Web press release

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john henry art Sweert Caporal mackinaw plaid jhf sm
Art by Winnipeg artist extraordinaire, John Henry Friesen. (Faux Mackinaw plaid “shopped in” by the author.)

🍁 Mitchell’s Canadiana flash fiction, “Sweet Caporal at Dawn”, earned a place in Blank Spaces second literary collection, “Just Words Volume 2”.  (Mitch: “Read the story and then tell me that picture by John Henry is not a masterpiece! It is!”)

“Sweet Caporal at Dawn” has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize XLIII by Blank Spaces Magazine.

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pact press sm

 “lovely and evocative local colour,”—Dr Emma Larking (lead editor for the Pact Press anthology, We Refugees)

we refugees

Mitchell’s story of immigration, social stigma, and longing, “Groota Pieter”, appears in the Pact Press anthology, “We Refugees”. :starsandstripes: The story first appeared in print and online in the Lilly Press publication “The Immigrants”, by The River Poets Journal in 2018.

[…] The problems of the world have become so urgent that it seems we have finally moved beyond tired arguments about whether literature should be political or apolitical. Literature and activism now go hand in glove, as evidenced by literary responses to the refugee crisis… We Refugees, edited by the refugee activist Emma Larking for the activist publisher Pact Press, is a short but striking anthology of writing about the refugee crisis around the world. […] —Poet Maria Takolander

Pact Press publishes short stories, poetry, and literary fiction that speak to our particular themes of social justice, racism, discrimination, gender equality, LGBTQ concerns, immigration, poverty, and homelessness. A Regal House imprint.

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:starsandstripes: The story, “Peacemongers” is included in this excellent anthology of work from 2013-2019 issues of The MOON Magazine. See this BLOG POST for details: https://mitchellaneous.com/2019/07/09/out-of-this-world/

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🍁 “Piece of My Heart” was named by Pulp Literature magazine as the Editors’ Choice in the 2020 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest.

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🍁 Mitch’s On Writing essay from Blank Spaces June 2020 will be included in the 2020 anthology, “Just Words Volume 4”. “My Life as a Corkscrew.”

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“The Margin of the River” looks at how we treat all those over whom we hold sway.

The story appeared in Blank Spaces Sept 2020. Editor Alanna Rusnak has nominated it for a Pushcart Prize, the author’s second nomination to this prestigious anthology of the year’s best from small presses.

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Adapting “The Bottom of the Sky” (aka “The Mismaloya”) into a screenplay.

Some of the criteria the film industry looks at when appraising literary work for screen adaptation:

  • Classic three-part story structure;
  • appealing story and characters;
  • a 10-second logline that concisely-but-fully describes the story; “A fateful accident forever alters the course of three fishermen’s lives.” 
  • a relatable character (someone to cheer for);
  • visual excitement, action;
  • a two-hour, or less, cinematic maximum;
  • a realistic budget (cast size, locations—a film shot in one location is the ideal, special effects, etc.);
  • four-quadrant appeal (demographic segments—young male, older male, young female, older female); and last,
  • merchandising potential.

“The Bottom of the Sky” is a winner in all of these tell-tales except the last one. (No gadgets, guns, cute robots, vampires, zombies or animated critters.) In addition, the story is one that has key echoes of personal experience at its core. I see this as a positive factor because it enables me to recall feelings, not imagine them.

You see… In real life, I was the tourist in the boat with the handline fisherman and I was also the one who handed the pliers to the marlin boat skipper. Violeta, Jose, Carlos, and Avelino are real to me.”—Mitchell Toews


■     ■    ■    ■    ■

“Storytellers broaden our minds: engage, provoke, inspire, and ultimately, connect us.” —Robert Redford

■     ■    ■    ■    ■

MANY more short stories & flash pieces are ready for the slush pile.  

A novel, “Mulholland & Hardbar”, is well on the way! The first-second-third draft are complete and the fourth is underway.

“A back-country road trip into the secret, lethal places in the Canadian boreal forest, covering all four seasons: friendship, loss, guilt, and violence.”

As I tell editor James, I have leapt from the burning building and I am tying the bedsheets together as I fall.

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fuck you wordpress


P.O. Box 146
Rennie, Manitoba R0E 1R0

The author is active on LinkedIN, Facebook, and Twitter as well.

“Yeah, my gramps owns the copyright on alla dis STUFF!”    — Hurricane Hazel

12 thoughts on “Publications

    1. Not bad! Writing, working, enjoying the presence of (barely/half)-adult children.
      Got acceptances from Forge Lit mag, Fjords Review and Grain (9 months after submission) these past couple of months (along with 7 or 8 rejections).

      Liked by 1 person

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