Courtney Balestier is a writer whose work focuses on the intersection of place and identity, particularly in her native Appalachia. Her writings on these and other subjects — including Detroit's post-bankruptcy art scene, tournament pinball and David Lynch's quinoa recipe — have appeared in a variety of publications, including The New Yorker online, Lucky Peach, the New York Times, Bon Appetit online, Food & Wine online, Saveur, Oxford American, New York and Wired. Her writing has been anthologized in Cornbread Nation 7: The Best of Southern Food Writing (UGA Press, 2014) and nominated for a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award (2016). She is a board member of the Appalachian Food Summit and a writing editorial board member of Looking at Appalachia, a multimedia project examining the region 50+ years after the War on Poverty.
Courtney holds a bachelor's degree in news journalism from West Virginia University and a master's degree in magazine journalism from New York University. A native West Virginian, she is at work on a novel about identity, class and the Appalachian "Hillbilly Highway" migration to Detroit, where she is currently based.