STORIES FOR EMMA
Lily Mercer grew up a cross between Honey Boo-Boo and Kate Middleton. Her father, one of 12 children from a humble family in Kentucky, went on to become a successful politician. As a result Lily straddled two different worlds – one week she would be visiting her cousins and using the outhouse; the next she’d be meeting the governor. She was very close to three of her “spinster” aunts, who lived life on their own terms, and broke a few rules while they were at it.
Determined to break a few rules of her own, Lily opted to skip law school and move to New York, where she attended the prestigious Playwrights Horizons Theatre School. There she studied acting, directing, and playwriting. After completing the program she worked extensively as an actor and theatre director, then added teaching to her resume. While working as an adjunct professor at Northern Arizona University, she founded a small professional theatre in Sedona, where she dove into story-telling from every angle. Ultimately Lily embraced her love of words and applied to the graduate program in Dramatic Writing at NYU/Tisch. She received her MFA in 2012, as well as the Charles Pupura Award for excellence.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2013, Lily dove into her writing, and as a result was fortunate enough to have won the ISA (International Screenwriting Association) Fast Track Fellowship, the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival Best Screenplay, and advanced in twelve other competitions including the Nicholl Fellowship, the Page Awards, Austin Film Festival, CineStory Fellowship, and the Creative World Awards. Lily was also selected as one of the “Top 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2018.”
In 2016, after a painful divorce, Lily bought a bike as a way of helping her get out of her apartment, and out of her slump. The first thing she discovered in her new life of adventure was that it's not true what they say - you CAN forget how to ride a bike. That first day she nearly fell off twice, and a half mile felt like a marathon. Slowly but surely she inched her way forward, sometimes literally, and now she rides about 20 - 30 miles a week. She sees people, places, and things she would never see in her car, and credits her bike, which she named Emma, for getting her back on the right path.
From Lily - "Growing up in Kentucky I had a aunt who didn't have a lot of money, but she had a lot of heart. For Christmas she would go to the dollar store and buy a lot of small items. Then she would wrap each individually and put them in a box. I loved that she would take the time to do that, because it meant she was really thinking of me. She made me feel special.
That's the same feeling we want from our gift boxes. We hope the people who receive them know that we took the time to make the boxes special. We also hope everyone will take the time to fill out the questionnaire. We don't know yet what we will do with the stories we receive, but we hope the information will be helpful in tackling this ever growing problem."