Selected Short Stories
When This Plane Lands
As All Wars Do
"heroes fallen as Achilles fell shot through not the head or the heart but the ankle—not a life-preserving organ, but that in the extremities, that which moves you along, that which propels you forward—and unable to move forward and so trapped in the war, you die, you die, and you die"
"Some were quiet. Others screamed in agony, writhing around violently, the tendons of severed limbs flapping about with gravity like pennants in the wind. The blood was dark. And they came. And they went, trio after trio. Some were maimed for life. Others, like me, would walk again and return to action or return to peace, but there was none among our number who would not be marred by that room every bit as much as we were marred by the battlefield forty miles south."
Little Sorrento by the Sea
Was the sky ever this blue at home? The sun seemed to beam here, and out across the glittering bay I could see Mount Vesuvius poking its summit through the skirt of morning fog that hung around its slopes. The blossoms in the bushes were beginning to uncurl their petals with the light. Birds twittered tranquilly in the trees. She seemed as if she was about to cry.
Born and raised in the Hill Country of central Texas, Warren Stoddard II attended Texas State University and received a BA in English. Following his graduation in 2018, he traveled to Syria to fight as a member of the Kurdish YPG in the war against the Islamic State. He was later wounded in action liberating the city of Ash Sha'fah from ISIS control. After three years in the US, he participated in the international response to Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine and the defense of the city of Mykolaiv.
An avid vintage motorcycle and car enthusiast, he has worked as a staff writer for Hotcars and Vehicle History. Stoddard is the author of the novella No Birds in Yesterday and the short story collection A Good Place on the Banks of the Euphrates. His work has been featured in numerous literary publications around the globe; Stoddard's short story "The Way of the World" was the winner of the 2018 Gates-Thomas Prize for Fiction, and "When This Plane Lands" was listed as Notable Literary Nonfiction in Best American Essays: 2021.
In the Press
"While with the YPG, he was wounded, returned to the states, and recently volunteered to train the Ukrainian military. Additionally, Warren has published two books: A Good Place on the Banks of the Euphrates, and No Birds in Yesterday. We talk about fighting in Syria and interaction with the US military after being wounded, work in Ukraine, time as a writer, our current cultural shift, and living life as an RPG."
Coffee or Die Magazine
"A Texan's Long Road to War: Fighting ISIS with the YPG in Syria"
"In the summer of 2016, Stoddard learned of Levi Shirley, an American YPG member from Colorado killed fighting ISIS in Syria. The story resonated with Stoddard. He and the Coloradan shared similar paths. Both yearned to serve, and both were not medically qualified for US military service. Stoddard then took the opportunity to reach out via Facebook to the international recruiting arm of the YPG."
Hot Off the Press
No Birds in Yesterday
"Warren Stoddard II is the author of a new work of motorcycle fiction. His novella, No Birds in Yesterday, is his first book and comes out March 30, 2021, from Pine Needle Floor."
The Washington Post
"The FBI warned about far-right attacks. Agents arrested a leftist ex-soldier."
"The Westerners who ventured to Syria as YPG volunteers usually were military veterans looking to continue the fight or idealists committed to the political project, said Stoddard, a Texas native and writer who joined the YPG in 2018."
The New York Times
"American Volunteers Fighting ISIS in Syria Worry About a U.S. Pullout"
"Mr. Stoddard graduated from college in 2018 with a degree in creative writing and the cover illustration from Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Sun Also Rises” tattooed on his forearm. He said he weighed two options for what to do next: a cross-country motorcycle trip, or taking up arms in Syria."
“Oh, Atlanta.” Choppers Magazine Issue 10. Forthcoming. Print.
"The Farrier." Terrain.org Letters to America. February 2022. Web.
“The Devil in Baja.” Dice Magazine Vol. 93. September 2021: 68-73. Print.
"Little Sorrento by the Sea." The Antonym. September 2021. Web.
"After Troy: On Returning Home from War." The Renegade Conflict Journal. July 2021. Web.
“Won’t You Hear My Song Among the Pines?” Freaky Fiction. Vol 3. December 2020: 11-16. Print.
“A Return Home.” Samfiftyfour. September 2020: 24-27. Print.
“When This Plane Lands.” Into the Void. August 1, 2020: 46-50. Print & web.
“Through All That Angry Air.” The Barely South Review. Spring 2020. Web.
“Ghanima.” As You Were: The Military Review. Vol. 12. May 25, 2020. Web.
“Something’s Missing.” As You Were: The Military Review. Vol. 12. May 25, 2020. Web.
“As All Wars Do.” Griffel. Vol. 3. April 2020. Web.
“A Far-Off Place.” Beyond Words Literary Magazine. April 1, 2020: 20-21. Print.
“Dad’s Old ’68.” Dice Magazine. Vol. 85. September 2019: 57-61. Print.
“A Good Place on the Banks of the Euphrates.” Persona Literary Magazine. May 2019: 76-78. Print.
“The Way of the World.” Persona Literary Magazine. May 2018: 8-9. Print.
“Initiation Rites.” The Cost of Paper: Volume Four. April 3, 2017: 39-40. Print.