Merritt Tierce was born and raised in Texas, graduated from college at 19, and waited tables for ten years before attending the Iowa Writers' Workshop. A 2019 Whiting Foundation Award winner, she was a 2013 National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" Author and received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award in 2011. Merritt currently writes for the Netflix show Orange is the New Black and lives in Los Angeles.
Her first book, the novel LOVE ME BACK, was shortlisted for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham prize for debut fiction and won the 2014 Texas Institute of Letters' Steven Turner Award for Best Work of First Fiction. LOVE ME BACK was named a best book of 2014 by The Chicago Tribune and Electric Literature and was also published in the UK, Italy, and Spain.
Tierce's writing has appeared in The New York Times, Oxford American, New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, Southwest Review, and online at The Paris Review, Electric Literature, Marie-Claire, and Cosmopolitan, among other magazines and publications.
She has been a fellow at the Yaddo, MacDowell, Willapa Bay, and Can Cab artists' colonies, and at Writers Omi at Ledig House. She slaughtered the field at Literary Death Match.
Merritt served as the Executive Director of the Texas Equal Access Fund, a nonprofit abortion fund based in Dallas, from 2011 to 2014. She volunteered and worked for the TEA Fund from its founding in 2004, and co-wrote the abortion play One in 3 with screenwriter and activist Gretchen Dyer and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Victoria Loe Hicks. One in 3 played to sold out houses for most of its three-week run, and stimulated a local conversation about the reality of abortion in women's lives.