Brad Vice

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Brad Vice
Born (1973-11-14) November 14, 1973 (age 43)
Tuscaloosa, AL, U.S.
Occupation English Language Professor
Education University of Alabama
Notable awards Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction *Rescinded for plagiarism
Years active 2001–2004

Brad Vice (born November 14, 1973) is an English language and composition professor at the University of West Bohemia. He grew up in Alabama. He is notable for an academic scandal within the Southern literary community. His short story collection The Bear Bryant Funeral Train won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction from the University of Georgia Press, but the award was later rescinded and the book recalled after portions of the story were alleged to be plagiarized from an earlier work by Carl Carmer.


Vice was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1973 and raised in nearby Northport. Vice's father, Leon Vice, was a high school history teacher and a farmer while his mother Dorothy was a radiology technician.[1]

He received his master's degree from the University of Tennessee and Ph.D. from The University of Cincinnati. During a brief stint working at Mississippi State University as a professor, Vice published his doctoral thesis as a standalone work. Shortly after it won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, a librarian at the Tuscaloosa Public Library noted that "plot, language and even the title of his first short story" had been lifted from a story by Carl Carmer titled "Stars Fell on Alabama".[2] Vice lost his job at Mississippi State, as well as his award from the University of Georgia, and his Ph.D. from Cincinnati was called into question.[2]

Vice is currently serving as an instructor at the University of West Bohemia, in Pilsen, in the Czech Republic.[3][4]

The Bear Bryant Funeral Train[edit]

In late 2004 Vice's short story collection, The Bear Bryant Funeral Train, won the Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Award from the University of Georgia Press. The Press published the collection in late 2005. Kirkus Reviews, in a starred review, called it "distinguished and disturbing work, from a lavishly gifted new writer."[5] Publishers Weekly agreed: "Vice has a gift for making the extraordinary plausible, for rendering complex motivations in spare but metaphoric language and searing details."[6]

When the University of Georgia Press discovered that one of the stories in The Bear Bryant Funeral Train incorporated material from a short story by Carl Carmer, the Press accused Vice of plagiarism, revoked the Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Award, and destroyed unsold copies of the book.

Science fiction author Jason Sanford defended Vice[7] in the quarterly journal storySouth, describing the affair as a "literary lynching".[8] A number of other writers and editors came to Vice's defense. Jake Adam York, a founding editor of storySouth, noted that Vice had allowed his short story and the four-page section of Carmer's original book to be published side by side in Thicket, a journal edited by York. To York, this action by Vice "implicitly acknowledges the relationship (and) allows the evidence to be made public". York added that doing this allowed the readers to enter the "intertextual space in which (Vice) has worked" and that what Vice was doing with his story was allusion, not plagiarism. York also stated that, according to his own analysis of Vice's story and Carmer's source material, Vice did not break copyright law.[9]

After Vice's book was destroyed, remaining used copies on and other booksellers were selling for hundreds of dollars.[10]

In late March 2007, a new edition of the collection was published by River City Publishing. According to a report in The Oxford American, "The revised version will more closely mirror Vice's 2001 dissertation from the University of Cincinnati, which contained many of the stories that ended up being published as The Bear Bryant Funeral Train. Unlike the UGA Press edition, it will be divided into two sections, the latter of which is set entirely in Tuscaloosa".[11]

Qworty victim[edit]

In May 2013, reporter Andrew Leonard revealed that Brad Vice had been the victim of a "ferocious assault" by Robert Clark Young, a writer who spent years anonymously attacking his literary enemies by inserting "revenge edits" into Wikipedia. Editing under the user name "Qworty," Young "devoted a significant amount of intellectual and emotional energy to attacking not only Vice, but the entire community of writers centered around the Sewanee Writers' Conference that had nurtured Vice."[12]


  1. ^ "Brad Vice". The Mississippi Writers and Musicians Project of Starkville High School. Archived from the original on 2005-10-29. 
  2. ^ a b Milofsky, David. "Plagiarism charge clouds a new writer's future". The Denver Post. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "Mississippi Writers > Brad Vice". Mississippi Writers and Musicians. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "Brad Vice". University of West Bohemia. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "Kirkus Review: The Bear Bryant Funeral Train". Kirkus. August 15, 2005. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  6. ^ "PW Review: The Bear Bryant Funeral Train". Publishers Weekly. September 5, 2005. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Brad Vice Fans Shoot the Messenger". Ad Week. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  8. ^ Sanford, Jason (November 4, 2005). "The literary lynching of Brad Vice". storySouth. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  9. ^ York, Jake Adam. "Fell In Alabama: Brad Vice's Tuscaloosa Night". storySouth. Retrieved November 6, 2005. 
  10. ^ Ward, Robbie (November 10, 2005). "MSU prof's book demands big bucks on Internet". Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. Retrieved May 11, 2006. 
  11. ^ Richmond, Michelle (2006). "The Strange Case of Brad Vice: In Defense of a Destroyed Treasure". The Oxford American. No. 55. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. 
  12. ^ Leonard, Andrew (May 17, 2013). "Revenge, ego and the corruption of Wikipedia". Salon. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 

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