Courtney is a writer, professor, editor, and essay coach. She holds graduate degrees from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Arizona, and a BA cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. The former managing editor of The Earth Times, she’s published fiction and nonfiction in The Rumpus, Indiana Review, Washington Square Review, Tampa Review, the international Fish Anthology, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. She’s received fellowships or awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Dorot Foundation, among others, and was a 2013 writing fellow at the Center for Fiction. She also ghostwrote an autobiography for a 55-year-old Syrian Jewish man who, in 1971, escaped from an anti-Semitic regime in Aleppo with help from the Israeli Navy.
Courtney has taught at Yale University, the College of New Jersey, the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, the Smithsonian Institution, Allegheny College, and the University of Freiburg in Germany, where she was a writer-in-residence. Currently she teaches creative writing at Drew University and lives in Brooklyn with her husband, small sons, and a Siamese fighting fish named Fast.
She believes in the serial comma.