Rookie: LaParis Hawkins
Meet LaParis Hawkins a Rookie with a long writing resume and she’s just getting started.
Always loving words and growing up in a family focused on education nurtured LaParis’s love for writing. As a child when her grandmother cooked in the kitchen she wasn’t allowed to touch anything unless she could spell it. She always kept a journal and when people would talk her imagination would run wild. And so her continued love of reading and words grew into adulthood.
In college she took an alternative route from the famed University of Missouri-Columbia journalism school and majored in English. The summer of 2011, before her senior year, LaParis interned at Essence magazine. While there she contributed to stories and formed relationships with the editors to learn and network with them. She was able to build valuable relationships with the editors at Essence so that during her senior year she was still able to write and contribute to the magazine.
Upon completing her senior year she knew she wanted to move to NYC but she had no jobs lined up. As a graduation gift she told her mom to book her a 4-day trip to NYC, which she intended to use to hit the pavement and find work. Every day of her NYC trip she went out with resumes and met with people to tell them she was looking for work. LaParis was starting to become discouraged, then she received a call that Ebony magazine was looking for a temporary beauty assistant for their September issue. On her last day in the city she went to the Ebony interview and after took her flight back home. During her layover she got the message that she received the job and was expected to start Tuesday, it was the Friday before Memorial weekend she got the call. As many do, she didn’t tell Ebony she didn’t live in NY. With that call she had three days to pack her college apartment, pack for NYC and find a place to stay in the city. She flew out Monday morning and has been in NYC ever since.
Since then she has written for many publications and interviewed some of your favorite celebrities. LaParis has worked for Essence, Ebony, InStyle and the popular blog Stuff Fly People Like. Her most memorable moment was seeing her byline for the first time in Essence.
Now, she’s working on her first novel. She can’t reveal too much about her book but she did share that it is in the works and she’s excited about the process. “That’s the new journey that I’m on. I really just want to become an author and take it and run with it and see where it leads me.”
And we can’t wait to see, and read, where she goes next.