Courtney writes fiction and creative nonfiction. She won the 2018 Sunday Times Short Story Award, the most valuable international prize for short fiction, besting over 1,100 entries from 38 countries. She was the second-ever woman to place first, following Yiyun Li, and joins a winners list that includes Junot Díaz, Anthony Doerr, and Adam Johnson. (Read more about this here.) Other honors include an Emerging Writers Fellowship from The Center for Fiction, the Susan Atefat Prize in Creative Nonfiction from Arts & Letters, a Bread Loaf Writers' Conference scholarship, and two residency fellowships from The MacDowell Colony. Courtney’s prose has appeared in various venues, including The Southern Review, Indiana Review, The Common, The Rumpus, and Los Angeles Review of Books, and is forthcoming in the anthology, Indelible in the Hippocampus: Writings from the Me Too Movement (McSweeney’s, Sept 2019). She was named a “notable” essayist in Best American Essays 2018, ed. Hilton Als. In earlier incarnations, she was an illustrator, a journalist, and a copy editor at Rolling Stone.
Courtney holds graduate degrees from the University of Arizona and 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, the Smithsonian Institution, 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. In the summer, you can study with her on the stunning island of Thasos through Writing Workshops in Greece. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.