Will Mackin is a 23-year veteran of the US Navy. He has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, first as a navigator aboard a carrier-based jet, then as a joint terminal attack controller attached to a SEAL team. His first book, Bring Out the Dog (Random House, 2018), won the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection.
During his fellowship, Mackin is working on “Animals,” a collection of short stories based on his experiences as a special operations soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mackin’s writing has appeared in the Atlantic, GQ, the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, and Tin House. His short story “Kattekoppen” was included in The Best American Short Stories 2014 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014), and his essay about being an extra on Breaking Bad, published in GQ, was nominated for an American Society of Magazine Editors Ellie Award. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal (with valor), the Combat Action Ribbon, and five Strike/Flight Air Medals.
Animal Encounters on the Battlefield (Harvard Gazette, 4/7/21)