Courtney McDermott

Just another site


First Review of My Book!

ForeWord Reviews was kind enough to review my first book, How They Spend Their Sundays.

You can read the review here.  I must say, I’m pretty delighted with the comparison to a box of chocolates!


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My First Book is Published

Yesterday, the fruits of my labor–which is very fitting, considering it was Labor Day–were finally realized. My first book, a collection of short stories, was finally published.

The book was conceived almost six years ago, when I returned from my stint as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho. The stories are all rooted in southern Africa, but I like to think–and I hope I accomplished this–that the stories still manage to be universal and accessible, while also challenging readers to step outside of themselves for a moment, and to embrace that truly human quality–empathy.

However, perhaps you should just read it for yourself…

Buy it Here: How They Spend Their Sundays (Whitepoint Press 2013)



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Debut Collection of Short Stories–September 2013!

My first book will be published early this fall. I don’t think I will get tired of passing along this news.


The collection of short stories, entitled How They Spend Their Sundays, is a mix of traditional length and flash fiction pieces, all set in the countries of Lesotho and South Africa. When I returned from serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the country of Lesotho, I couldn’t get the place out of my brain. Whenever anyone asked me, “How was Africa?” in that friendly, not-so-curious, naive way, I couldn’t quite answer. And so I wrote my answers instead, and after a few years of writing, revising, workshopping, and publishing two of the pieces, the collection is complete and on its way to publication.

For someone who told stories as a kid into tape recorders, and drew picture books, and sent my first piece of writing to a publisher when I was just 11 (a rewrite of The Three Little Pigs set in… Africa!… and I sent it to Scholastic in an envelope, thinking that this is how one got published), I am delighted to see my life-long dream of publishing a book finally come true.

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Book reviews and such

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with writing book reviews; they seem to be the only thing I can regularly publish, and at this precarious point in my literary career–a year out of graduate school, teaching writing to freshmen, struggling to find a full time job and still write–I will take the publications I can get.

Also, book reviews are wonderful, because you can say what you think about books, and for many English majors, once out of school, few people ask or care (unless they are avid readers, themselves) about our literary opinions. Not to mention, the pay. You keep the books you read, and this is the greatest award I could receive for my work.

Besides, if I was handed a check, I would probably spend it on books anyway.

Finally, writing book reviews allows you to encounter books you may have overlooked on the shelves of your favorite library or bookstore, and to get a better sense of what is getting published out in the chaos of the literary world, which in itself is invaluable information to a young writer.

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I have added a new page displaying copy, publicity materials and design projects that I’ve completed (mainly for the University of Notre Dame).

Also, check out new additions to my publications, including a creative nonfiction essay published at the Lyon Review.