by Joshua C. Pelletier
If you’ve ever shared a class with Charlie Hickerson, odds are he’s busted into the room seven minutes after the hour—probably more than once. Usually a simple apology is all he’ll offer, if anything. But more often than not, there’s an acceptable reason for Mr. Hickerson’s disheveled countenance and occasional tardiness. Outside of the classroom, the senior English Literature major is doing more than composing analytical papers or reading award-winning novels; he’s working for free—well, not anymore. After an internship of just over half a year with Native Magazine, Mr. Hickerson has accepted a paid editorial position with the Nashville publication. On a bitterly cold January morning, I had the opportunity to sit down with the soon-to-be-graduate and hear his thoughts on Native, and what English students can do if their dreams involve running in the black.
J. Pelletier: Tell us how your relationship with Native began? How did you find out about it?
C. Hickerson: It was mostly through Twitter and Facebook. I just applied online, not through Belmont. I actually submitted my stuff at 12:02AM, just past the midnight deadline. I had no formal journalism experience whatsoever—except the literary journal here at Belmont and the yearbook in high school. I didn’t have any relevant writing samples to give them other than my ethnography from Dr. Lovvorn’s class—which was twenty-five pages long. But I sent that in anyway and eventually got the internship.
J. Pelletier: So you ended up digging around on your own instead of doing an internship through the school.
C. Hickerson: Well, I had seen the magazine around Nashville before. What had caught my attention was an issue featuring a guy (Daniel Pujol) from my hometown who had made the cover. He’s a hick like me so he pronounces the “J.” It’s like “Ver-sales” Kentucky (Versailles, KY). Since then I kept Native on my radar. And up until that point I hadn’t been looking for a writing internship whatsoever. I was actually thinking about getting a law internship until I became interested in the magazine.
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