Mississippi Writers and Musicians

Neil White III 1960

Major WorksAuthor Neil White by Nancy Jacobs

  • Lepers and Cons
  • Paper Symmetry
  • Clandestine
  • In the Sanctuary of Outcasts: A Memoir 2009


Photo at right: Neil White. Photo by Nancy Jacobs


Born December 5, 1960, in Gulfport, Mississippi, author Neil White currently lives in Oxford, Mississippi. Neil is the oldest child of Neil W. White, Jr., and Jane Stanley, and he has four siblings: Harry Kinross White, a classical saxophonist living in Zurich; Liz White, a legal office manager living in Meridian, Mississippi; Jamie White, a development officer at the Ole Miss Law School; and Johnny White, a student living in Alexandria, Louisiana. White has written plays entitled Lepers & Cons, Paper, Symmetry, Clandestine, You’re Getting Very Sleepy, Mates and Deviant. In addition, he edited the anthology Ten-Minute Plays from Oxford. He has been a newspaper editor, magazine publisher, advertising executive, and federal prisoner. The latter resulted from his desire to keep his magazine business afloat. He began transferring funds he didn’t actually have between bank accounts (a practice known as check kiting) and ended up in federal prison in 1993 on charges of fraud. He served almost eighteen months of his sentence in Carville, Louisiana, at a federal prison that also housed the last leper colony in the United States. In his memoir, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts, published by William Morrow in 2009, White tells about his experiences and the people he met there.

Sanctuary of Outcast by Neil WhiteWhen he was released from prison, Neil White found that he had lost his reputation, his marriage, and very important time with his two young children (who are now college age). However, while he was imprisoned at Carville, he learned some lessons about living which he has written about in his recently-published memoir.

Today White operates a small publishing company, writes plays and essays, and currently travels talking about his memoir. Before his incarceration, White served as editor of The Oxford Times newspaper, Coast magazine, and Coast Business Journal, as well as publisher of New Orleans magazine and Louisiana Life magazine. He currently publishes Samir Husni’s Guide to New Magazines, an annual review of magazine launches as well as several other magazines. He is also the editor of the anthology Ten-Minute Plays from Oxford. His essay “A Journey in Journalism: From Idealism to Bankruptcy” was published in Joseph B. Atkins’s book The Mission: Journalism, Ethics and the World.

Neil White is now married to Deborah Hodges Bell, a law professor at The University of Mississippi. They have three children: Lindsay Bell, Neil White IV, and Maggie White.


  • 1960--Neil White born in Gulfport, MS
  • 1979-1984 University of Mississippi (English major)
  • 1982-1984 Editor, Progressive Forensics Magazine
  • 1984-1985 Graduate Study at Ole Miss. Advertising Manager, PC Opportunities Magazines
  • 1985-1988 After studying journalism and English at Ole Miss, White founded and published The Oxford Times newspaper in Oxford.
  • September1988: White began publishing Coast magazine, later began publishing Coast Business Journal.
  • July 1991: White brought Louisiana Life magazine
  • 1992-1993 Publisher, New Orleans Magazine
  • 1993-Sentenced to prison for 18 months for bank fraud. White served his sentence in Carville, Louisiana, at a federal prison that also housed the last leper colony about which he later writes a memoir
  • April 30, 1998:White’s play Lepers and Cons, premiered in Oxford
  • 1998-1999 Publisher and editor, Oxford Health & Fitness
  • 1994-2000 President, The Nautilus Publishing Company
  • 1998-2000 Creative Director and publisher, Health 101 Magazine
  • 1998-2001 Creative Director and Publisher, Life 101 Magazine, the magazine for high school seniors
  • 2009--his memoir In the Sanctuary of Outcasts published

Neil White todayHonors and Awards

1976-1985 Competitive Speaking Awards
1988--Golden Quill Award
1988--Ozzy Award for Magazine Design
1990--New Orleans Press Club Award
1988-1997 Advertising Federation Award 
1998 Guest Lecturer, Southern Writers, Southern Writing Graduate Conference
1998 Finalist in Play Lab at Prince William Sound Theatre Conference
1999 Silver Medal, Mississippi Broadcasting Association, Copy writing
1999 Finalist, Chesterfield Film Company Screenwriter’s Competition 


Related Websites

Neil White's web site provides information about his book and his life.

Harper Collins's web page for author Neil White.

A Conversation with Neil White.

Harper Collins' Reading Guide for In the Sanctuary of Outcasts.



Photo right: Neil White, III


Author Neil White's web page at http://www.neilwhite.com/author/






March 2002
Updated November 22, 2009

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