Courtney is a writer, professor, and editor. 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, Los Angeles Review of Books, Redivider, and elsewhere, and won the 2016 American Literary Review Prize in Fiction. She’s received fellowships or awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Dorot Foundation, and was a 2013 Emerging Writing Fellow at the Center for Fiction. She will be a MacDowell Colony Fellow in spring 2017, and a Fiction Fellow at Writing Workshops in Greece this summer. Lesser known: she got to know Aleppo, Syria, long before the city’s devastation grabbed headlines. Ten years ago, she ghostwrote an autobiography for a Syrian Jewish man who, in 1971, escaped from an anti-Semitic regime in Aleppo with help from the Israeli Navy.
Courtney has taught writing and literature at Yale University, the Smithsonian Institution, the College of New Jersey, the University of Pennsylvania, Allegheny College, and the University of Freiburg in Germany, where she was a writer-in-residence. Currently she co-directs the Creative Writing Program at Drew University, where she’s a Visiting Assistant Professor. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, small sons, and a Siamese fighting fish named Fast.
She believes in the serial comma.