Professor’s Winning Words

Director of Creative Writing Courtney Zoffness triumphs over writers from 40 countries to claim the world’s richest short story prize.

Zoffness was honored for “Peanuts Aren’t Nuts,” becoming just the second woman to earn The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and the first to do so before publishing a book.

“We’re so proud of Courtney. She’s a terrifically talented writer and a wonderful member of the Drew community,” said Drew President MaryAnn Baenninger. “Not only is she a dedicated mentor to her students, she runs Writers@Drew, which brings high-profile authors to campus to discuss their craft with our students. This prize is a well-earned honor for her.”

Zoffness’ story describes the confusion that a high school student feels after her biology tutor is arrested in a child predator sting operation.

“There was something about ‘Peanuts Aren’t Nuts’ that spoke to all of us,” said judge Sebastian Faulks. “The narrative arc was beset by dangers and required immaculate judgment of tone. It was a high-tariff endeavor, exactly brought off.”

More from the spring 2018 issue

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