John Milas grew up in Illinois and enlisted in the Marine Corps before studying creative writing at the University of Illinois and Purdue University. While at Purdue, he taught freshman composition and intro to creative writing while tutoring at the Purdue Writing Lab. His writing instructors have included Marianne Boruch, Roxane Gay, Philip Graham, Janice Harrington, Sayed Kashua, Brian Leung, Robert Lopez, Michael Madonick, Terese Marie Mailhot, S.P. McIntyre, Matthew Minicucci, Julie Price Pinkerton, Donald Platt, John Rubins, Ted Sanders, Alex Shakar, Sharon Solwitz, and Nafissa Thompson-Spires. He has judged University Laboratory High School's Iris Chang & Peter Kolodziej Writing Awards in fiction since 2015 and has read submissions for Ninth Letter, Sycamore Review, and 5x5.