Courtney writes fiction and nonfiction. She won the 2018 Sunday Times Short Story Award, the largest international prize for short fiction, besting entries from over 40 countries. She was the second-ever woman to win, after Yiyun Li. (Read a recent interview about the event here.) Other honors include an Emerging Writers Fellowship from The Center for Fiction, the Arts & Letters Prize in Creative Nonfiction, a Bread Loaf Writers' Conference scholarship, and two residency fellowships—one in fiction and one in nonfiction—from The MacDowell Colony. Courtney’s prose has appeared in various publications and anthologies including The Southern Review, Indiana Review, The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of Books, and McSweeney’s. She was named a “notable” essayist in Best American Essays 2018. In an earlier life, she was managing editor of The Earth Times and a copy editor at Rolling Stone.
Courtney holds an M.F.A. from the University of Arizona, an M.A. from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught at nearly a dozen institutions, including Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Allegheny College, and the University of Freiburg in Germany. Currently she directs the Creative Writing Program at Drew University, where she's an Assistant Professor of English, and coordinates the Writers@Drew reading series. She is also the 2019 Prose Fellow with Writing Workshops in Greece. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.