University of Pittsburgh
October 24, 2011

Pitt’s Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series Features Wells Tower Nov. 3

Tower is this year’s Fred R. Brown Literary Award winner
Contact:  412-624-4147


PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Writing Program’s Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series will host a reading by journalist and fiction writer Wells Tower, this year’s Fred R. Brown Literary Award winner, at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 3 in G-24 of the Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The event is free and open to the public.

Tower’s first short story collection, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2009), was reviewed twice by The New York Times and was selected by Times critic Michiko Kakutani as one of her 10 best books of 2009. It was also a finalist for The Story Prize. In June 2010, Tower was named as one of The New Yorker’s “20 under 40” luminary fiction writers. That same month, Tower was presented with the Tenth Annual New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, a $10,000 prize for an American writer under 40.

Tower is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, the 2002 Plimpton (Discovery) Prize from The Paris Review, and a Henfield Foundation Award. His short stories and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, Best American Short Stories 2010, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, The Washington Post Magazine, and elsewhere.

Tower was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and grew up in North Carolina. He received a BA in anthropology and sociology from Wesleyan University and an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University. 

The Fred R. Brown Literary Award recognizes fiction writers in the early stages of their careers. It carries a financial honorarium and is underwritten by Pitt alumni Fred R. (CAS ’71) and Melanie (CGS ’86, KGSB ’90, and KGSB ’93) Brown of Bethel Park, Pa. 

The 2011-12 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season is sponsored by, in addition to Pitt’s Writing Program, the University’s Book Center.

For more information, call 412-624-6508 or visit