Mitchell Toews is a Manitoba fiction writer. Over 120 literary journals and anthologies have published his work since 2016. He is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee with numerous strong showings in national and US story contests, including the 2023 Nona Macdonald Heaslip $15,000 “Best Canadian Short Story” Competition and Award. The shortlisted story, "Saskatchewan" will be published in Exile Quarterly in 2024.
Mitch's debut short story collection, “Pinching Zwieback” (At Bay Press) launched October 2023. The collection comprises loosely related stories focused on life experiences in the fictional Mennonite prairie town of “Hartplatz” and places like it. Strong reviews, several local bestseller list appearances, book club participation, and growing critical recognition for the book are early hallmarks. See details: https://bit.ly/PZReviewsMJTInterviews
Work in progress—all well underway—includes a second collection of short stories, a novel, and an ekphrastic prose/photographic art book with collaborator Phil Hossack.
Mitch maintains a busy reading schedule at libraries, bookstores, and open mics and also engages his audience with the workshop subject: "Writing Your Culture" in which he examines the use of culture in fiction. Mitch draws examples from his work and that of other Western Canadian authors and also provides generative prompts. One session is geared for classroom presentations to younger writers while a similar but distinct iteration is adapted to focus on adult attendees. The youth piece is supported by the Manitoba Writers' Guild and their Youth Program Director Carrie Hatland, with one specific 2024 offering sponsored by Creative Manitoba.
Mitch and Janice live at Jessica Lake in the Manitoba Whiteshell Provincial Park where they enjoy painting, windsurfing, cross-country skiing, rowing, and gardening. Their home is on Treaty 1 and 3 land in the boreal shield ecozone just north of the Fiftieth latitude in eastern Manitoba, situated in the traditional homeland of the Métis Nation in the Winnipeg River basin, near the historic Tie Creek site.
Writing your culture. A usable framework is presented and discussion is encouraged as the topic is covered. The source material might use examples from the author's Mennonite background and writing, or that of other cultures or writers.
A forthcoming workshop in Manitoba at the Millennium Library in Winnipeg. Organized through Creative Manitoba and the Manitoba Writers' Guild's Director of Youth Programming, Carrie Hatland, Mitch's April 17 noon-hour hybrid-Zoom session will focus on Writing Your Culture, within the larger program: Embracing Your Identity.
"Writing Your Culture" Information on culture, examples of culture in writing, generative sessions based on prompts. 30-90 minutes, youth (classroom), adult or mixed groups.