We Are UNCW Telling our story, one Seahawk at a time.

Nick White

February 21, 2018

People are not one-dimensional - that’s something that Nick White ’20M has found in his writing and in his own life. As an M.F.A. candidate in fiction writing, White is somewhat of a non-traditional student within the program. A 2014 graduate of Clemson University, he earned a degree in engineering before taking a position as a structural engineer in Charlotte. However, while balancing his career and passion for writing, he found himself wanting a change.

“For years, I operated within a bubble,” said White. “Writing is a lonely passion, but it’s especially lonely when you’re an engineer. I wanted a community. And I knew there were things for me to learn, particularly about craft and story structure – things I hadn’t been exposed to before.” He hoped the right creative writing program would offer what he was searching for.

White learned about the M.F.A. program at UNCW after reading Ecotone, the university’s creative writing literary magazine. In addition, after reading works from program faculty members Rebecca Lee and Phillip Gerrard, he felt he had found the right program for him. After a semester at UNCW, White continues to find things that excite him. He is happy to name just a few: “The experience and insight of the professors, the support of the program, Ecotone and Chautauqua, the publishing lab, visiting writers, UNCW’s partnership with HarperCollins... making our M.F.A. less of a vacuum experience and more in tune with the writing/publishing world.”

In his time at UNCW, White has begun working on a novel, something he hopes to finish in 2018. White has found early success, publishing in both online and print outlets, including Necessary Fiction, Pembroke Magazine, Gravel, and Permafrost. He has also had a short story published in the January 2018 issue The Main Street Rag, a literary journal, and hopes to find homes for more of his short stories this year.

Although White no longer works as a structural engineer, he still stays active within the engineering community, working as a teaching assistant in UNCW’s engineering transfer program.

“I don’t want to completely disappear from engineering. That’s a part of me – the engineering side – and there’s certainly a possibility, if not a probability, I’ll return to the profession in some degree after graduating from UNCW,” he said. “I like to think of myself as a hybrid fiction writer/engineer. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s on my LinkedIn description.”

-- Matt Stephenson ’20M