Novelist and screenwriter Merritt Tierce is the author of the novel Love Me Back (a finalist for the 2015 PEN/Bingham award), and the recipient of a 2019 Whiting Foundation award. She wrote for the last two seasons of the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black, and in recent years has been developing various television projects about abortion.
She has a background in reproductive justice activism in Texas, and has published numerous essays about abortion, including a 2021 cover story for The New York Times Magazine titled "The Abortion I Didn't Have." This story of her unplanned pregnancy became the pilot episode of First Person, a new podcast hosted by Lulu Garcia-Navarro for The New York Times.
During her first MacDowell residency in 2017, Tierce completed a screenplay for the feature film Backlash, continued work on a series of essays for The Paris Review, and worked on a hybrid surrealist fiction/memoir project called The Blue Doe. She also began drafting pilot and pitch documents for a television show set in an abortion clinic.
At MacDowell in 2022 she wrote an essay for Astra Magazine called "An Interpolation-cum-Interpretation of My Experience with Online Dating vis-à-vis 'The End of Love' by Eva Illouz." She also continued development on an original feature film and an original television series, and drafted an opinion about a Pentagon memo protecting access to reproductive healthcare in the armed services.