Merritt Tierce a 2019 Whiting Award Winner

Merritt Tierce | Photo credit Kent Barker

Merritt Tierce | Photo credit Kent Barker

March 25, 2019

Workshop alumna Merritt Tierce (MFA, 2011) was one of the ten emerging writers to win a 2019 Whiting Award.

Whiting Awards of $50,000 are given annually to writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama, based on accomplishment and promise. They are awarded with the goal of supporting writers early in their careers so they can focus on their work.

Merritt Tierce received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award in 2011 and was a 2013 National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Author. Her first book, the novel Love Me Back (Doubleday, 2014), was shortlisted for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham prize for debut fiction and won the Texas Institute of Letters’ Steven Turner Award for Best Work of First Fiction. Tierce’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Oxford American, Southwest Review, and other publications.

Merritt currently writes for the Netflix show Orange Is the New Black. Born and raised in Texas, she lives in Los Angeles and is at work on a book of autofiction about men, sex, writing, the internet, depression, being a woman, physicality, and television.

From the Selection Committee:

"Merritt Tierce’s novel Love Me Back is marked by extraordinary daring and restraint, boldly refusing epiphany at the end. Hers is a sui generis presence in fiction, one that approaches economically marginalized lives with an unflinching and off-kilter gaze. There is a coldness to the writing that exhilarates; Tierce’s work chafes against the notion that female protagonists need be relatable. This is clear-eyed, dark-hearted, and mordantly funny writing about getting stuck inside your own mistakes. Once read it can’t be forgotten."

For more information:
2019 Whiting Awards
"Writers' Workshop alum receives Whiting award" (The Gazette)