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

PUBLISHED, in roughly chronological order, since June 2016:

CommuterLit.com has run seven of Mitchell’s short fictions. In June 2016 the e-zine published “The Red River Valley Trilogy“:  “Encountered on the Shore”, “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.

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“Gather By the River” ran the week of Dec 5. It appeared in two parts on consecutive days. “Zero to Sixty”, the lead segment, introduces the chief character and his circumstances; sparking some poignant memories of Hartplatz, his childhood home. In the second piece, “The Margin of the River”, the protagonist returns to the scene of the previous day’s incident with troubling results. On January 30, 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 on February 17.

FICTION ON THE WEB

Two more of his stories appear on Fiction on the Web (UK): “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.

“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 crafted two stories – a prequel and a sequel – to the original story and they will be submitted for publication soon.)

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”; the contemporary tale, “Frozen Tag”; and the story of teenage friendship, drink and folly, “South of Oromocto Depths”.

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LS presented Mitch’s satiric imaginings of Big Church in, “The Business of Saving Souls”, on January 10, 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) and then Most Viewed fiction in Issue 96 of Root Metz

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Mitch’s writing returned to Fiction on the Web on January 23 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.

Sick Lit Magazine will publish a reprint of “The Rothmans Job” on Thursday, March 30, 2017.

The Machinery – A Literary Collection has chosen “I am Otter” for their website and print collection. You can buy the print edition of this Otterite story of disenfranchisement, here:

The Machinery Fauna is now available on Amazon in print.  It features 10 amazing poems and 5 pieces of flash fiction from writers around the world set in the magical kingdom of Fauna.

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 will be re-published on May 15, 2017, on SickLit Magazine.

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Fiction on the Web (just named a TOP 20 short story blog) published “The Beefeater and the Donnybrook” on May 19, 2017.

Meanwhile, the tragic tale, “The Log Boom”, appears on Storgy.com May 19, 2107. @morestorgy had this to say:

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

The UK-based language learner literary site, Alsina Publishing will present the gritty realism flash fiction, “The Light Pool”.  (Details, TBA.) 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.

The MOON magazine will present the short story, “The Peacemongers”. This 4,800-word fiction will be in the June 2017, “Swords into plowshares: Transitioning to a world without war,” issue and the author is pleased to be included! Exact date and publication details, TBA.

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CONTESTS

“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.

Childhood ideals about honour, courage and loyalty come under fire as the Cuban Missile Crisis grips the world.

“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.

Mitch’s entry (Feb-Mar, 2017) in the NYC Midnight Short Story Contest can be found on Mitchellaneous.com “The Watering of Nations” – a 2,500-word historical fiction about a mediator’s search for strength as she faces a world on the brink of war. (Heat 91) Update: This story was well-received (with some hiccups) but was officially deemed to be a “Did Not Qualify” because it was not close enough to the historical fiction genre. So now, it’s history.

Also on Mitchellaneous, read about Mitchell’s inglorious defeat as 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.

Listed at Duotrope

MANY more are ready for the slush pile. I wrote over 100,000 words in 2016! In Jan-Feb of 2017, I have been writing a lot and also subbing to a variety of lit journals and contests – both familiar sites and new ones.

Some of the vignettes and anecdotes on this blog may morph into postcard pieces or flash fiction or even full-size stories — there are themes that I’d like to wander around with some more.

I also have a 17K-word sci-fi thriller “Tafelberg” for which I have fondness – not a little. But it needs elbow grease – not a little.

#

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We’re listening…

mtoews55@gmail.com

P.O. Box 146
Rennie, Manitoba R0E 1R0
https://www.facebook.com/mitch.toews  ~  @mitchell_toews on twitter

Pages on Niume, StumbleUpon, FlipBoard, Reddit, Tumblr, LinkedIN, and Google+ as well.

Copyright Mitchell Toews ©2016

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