15,000+ Humble Beards

For the week beginning June 12th, Devolver Digital Films and HumbleBundle offered up IndieVision featuring: 

Men With Beards (feature doc)
Cinema Six (feature comedy film)
Omega Jam (short doc by Devolver)
Cryptic Sea EP (games by Alex Austin, who is featured in Omega Jam)
A Virus Named Tom (game featured in Omega Jam)
The Quiet Girl's Guide to Violence (short film)
Cosmic DJ (interactive music game)
Ecstasy of Order (feature doc on Tetris)

Over 15,000 bundles were sold on sales of close to $100K. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Special Effect (a charity for enabling games for severely disabled gamers) and the American Red Cross (fund for Croatian/Bosnia/Serbia flood relief).

mall rat?


Fishin' for Dumbasses has now spent five weeks on the McNally Robinson Bestsellers list. In part, thanks to the following press: 

June 4th - "Manitoba Moments" segment on CTV Morning Live with Kris Laudien
June 13th - Noon hour radio spot on CJOB with Kathy Kennedy 
June 13th - Book Signing at Chapters St. Vital
June 14th - CBC Radio Weekend Morning Show with Agatha Moir
June 14th - Fishin' for Dumbasses - The Family Edition event at Fort Whyte 

dumbass press

Fishin' for Dumbasses has spent the past three weeks on McNally Robinson's Bestseller list for paperback non-fiction. This may be the start of the Dumbass Nation! Here's what the media is reporting: 

Breakfast Television - Pt. 1 
Breakfast Television - Pt. 2 
CBC Scene
The Metro
Hooked Magazine
The Freep - Outdoors
The Freep - Books

Also, you may have heard my interview on CJOB Radio with Kathy Kennedy on May 14th and 15th, and on CBC Radio with Joff Schmidt on May 19th. Stay tuned because Father's Day is next week . . . 

book launch - 5/14/14

Please join me for the launch of Fishin' for Dumbasses on Wednesday, May 14th at 8PM in the Prairie Ink Restaurant at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

April is National Poetry Month

It's National Poetry Month and Turnstone Press is celebrating by bringing you a poem for everyday of the month. We've gathered together a broad selection of our talented poets, recorded their wonderfully rich voices as well as their reflections on the poems we feature. Click BIRDY for John Toone's take on "parts unknown" from his collection From Out of Nowhere.

new non-fiction title

After spirited negotiations at the Bella Vista, the parties reached an agreement and executed a publishing contract. The working title is Fishing for Dumbasses and these are my guidelines:

- a book for hipsters & city folk
- explore the foodie angle
- ask Ted Nugget?

Well this should be interesting (I have three months to write it!). Okay, forty thousand words starting now . . . 

men with beards - now widespread

We are happy to announce a digital distribution agreement for Men with Beards with Devolver Digital Films of Austin, TX. 

Men with Beards is now available on iTunes, VHX, Distrify, Vimeo, PlayStation, Xbox, Vudu, Amazon, Google Play and U.S. Cable VOD.

Click BEARDS for more information.

a strange tale of beauty & brotherhood

Well, it turns out that I helped produce a feature-length documentary film. This is amazing considering that I haven't owned a television in over fifteen years. . . thanks to all our Indiegogo supporters!

"Men with Beards is a feature documentary that weaves a strange tale of beauty and brotherhood. Journey into the souls of countrymen to experience the triumph and heartbreak of a world-class beard. Delight in their daring stories, futuristic looks, and proud traditions. Men with Beards is a celebration of inner strength and personal growth. Man up.

Men with Beards shares the stories of everyday people whose lives have been touched by extraordinary beards. Growing a beard is like making an indie film; it requires patience, care, delusion, stubborn determination, ego, revulsion for society, confidence in the process and an appreciation for the slow things in life. This is a character-driven film where the talking heads have serious beards and fierce opinions on identity and self-expression. Are you man enough?

Are you woman? Watch Men with Beards and never look at your man the same. This challenging and emotional story lays bare the very essence of what it means to be male. Men with Beards will make women laugh and men cry. Rethink the unshaven, stare down the straight-edge, and know your man better than he knows himself."

Theatre screenings are scheduled for Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver, Oakland, Houston, and Boston.

Reading - 4/25/13

McNally Robinson Booksellers and ECW Press present Governor General's award winning poet Jacob Scheier with special guests Di Brandt & John Toone. Reading on Thursday, April 25 @ 7:30 pm.

1st Prize - Taboo Literary Contest

The Mennonite Literary Society is pleased to announce the $500 prize winners of the Taboo Literary contest. Suitably “Found Money” by John Toone was awarded the poetry prize, ”Smile” by Elizabeth Ross the fiction prize, and “The Devil’s in her Mind” by Sierra Skye Gemma the non-fiction prize. 

The judges made their selection from entries that did not include the names of the writers. Thanks to our judges Lorna Crozier (poetry), Armin Wiebe (Fiction) and Andreas Schroeder (non-fiction). The winning entries will be published this fall in Rhubarb Magazine's Power and Politics Issue.

no place like home . . .

I wrote this poem called riverboat gambler. And now it appears in the Winter issue of Contemporary Verse 2. Now that's something to smile about.

top secret

hawking wares in the bazaar, that is where you will find me.

there's something fishy about . . .


This fall, over 700 schools received free copies of Catch That Catfish! and Hope and the Walleye. And now, these posters are finding their way into teacher's mail cubbies . . . thanks to Fish Futures Inc. and the Manitoba Fisheries Enhancement Fund.

breaking news - page 5

Thank you to Anne Nesbitt, a volunteer with the Deep Bay Artist in Residence Program at Clear Lake. 

"He thinks that, nowadays, prairie culture, particularly in Manitoba, is more defined by lake life than by farm life."

new poems in TWR

The Winnipeg Review has published three poems from my new work Shot in the Woods. Click here and read the Summer Issue - This is Your Brain on Books. 

artist in residence - 8/6/12

Thanks to the Manitoba Arts Council and the Friends of Riding Mountain National Park, I will be at Clear Lake for the week of August 6th staying in a log cabin built in 1934 for RCAF pilots. I'll be working on poems from a new series called The Lake. Click here for event information.

Call/Response Show - 6/2/12

"Winnipeg musicians pay tribute to Golden State-based and related bands Operation Ivy, Screeching Weasel and The Runaways this Saturday at the Pyramid Cabaret. Dubbed Oh! California!, the summertime show serves as a fundraiser for Call*Response."

Read more of Jared Story's article Good vibes from the Golden State in the current issue of Uptown Magazine.

book signing - 5/16/12

I'll be at the trade show over the lunch hour flogging my wares. Thanks to Anita Daher and The Writer's Union of Canada.