NC State Fair Charli Kerns
Me on reporter duty at the 2015 NC Mountain State Fair in Henderson County, NC.

I’m a Tennessee mountain girl by heart. I make my living as a contractor and pursue my passion as a writer.

Growing Up

I grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, a dream location for every child naturalist. My father and I would explore the Cumberland Plateau to the west and especially the Great Smoky Mountains to the east. We’d climb Rainbow Falls and around the Little River, identify magnolias draping over Tremont Creek and mountain laurel lining the trail to Mt. Leconte. We would crouch low near the deer and stand tall in front of black bears in Cades Cove. I’d hurry home and write in my journal everything my father and I saw.


Fast forward 15 years, I turned my passion for writing and exploring nature into degrees and a career as a science and outdoor recreation journalist. During my years of study in undergrad and graduate school, I completed science-writing internships at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Harvard Medical School. I also began dabbling in multimedia storytelling as a freelancer for Boston University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Science. These experiences honed the skills required for effective and engaging storytelling.

Going Digital

My storytelling adapted to a whole new medium when I took the web editor position for Canoe & Kayak magazine in San Clemente, California. I planned, coordinated, and tracked event and outreach strategies in all aspects of C&K’s work from posting daily content onto the website to writing and filming the stories to developing and posting contests for social media. This position taught me the importance of outreach and digital marketing. I learned that the best content—news, features, events, photos, film, etc.—deserve the best platforms, which today are social networks and the web. The mountains were calling, though, and last March I returned to east Tennessee.


You can find my work featured in various outdoor and travel publications across the country. I also have had articles published in science publications at Harvard Medical School and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, among others. In the 21st century where backpack journalism is a must, I also have photos and videos published on websites and print publications. I currently work as online editor for The Hendersonville Times-News in Henderson County, North Carolina and live in Asheville.

Learn more about my work

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