Maria Meluso is the chief editor of LOGOS. Her memoir “Iron Snowflake” was published in volume 11 of our journal. She currently works as a consultant in the MSU Writing Center and is the head writer for Show-Me Chefs.
Briefly describe the subject and theme(s) of your submission. Why did you select this subject?
This piece explores the vivid but often spotty memory associated with childhood sexual assault and trauma and its impacts upon a person years later. Its themes are resilience, strength, family, recovery, and healing. I chose this subject because I wanted to discuss what had happened to me in a creative and therapeutic way to both tell my story and inspire others to tell theirs. I also hoped to bring more awareness to just how real #MeToo is for so many women and girls.
What motivated you to submit your work to LOGOS?
When I wrote this piece for ENG 500, I did not intend to publish it. I just wanted it on paper as a healing exercise. But the more I worked with it, the better it became and the more people told me it impacted them. After a bit of soul-searching, I realized I was ready to have it in the universe. LOGOS has been my primary organization on campus and, because it is not technically a literary journal but is trying to achieve more creative writing submissions, and because I trusted the staff to be kind with feedback even if it weren’t published, I decided to submit.
Is this the first time your work has been published?
Not the first time ever, but the first time in many years. My first publication was a student poetry anthology. I won second place in a poetry contest about the arts back in fourth grade and had a few other poems published in subsequent years.
How often do you submit your work for publication? Do you intend to submit your work again sometime soon?
I submit my work every year and intend to submit more this year. I hope to have at least one research piece published by the time I have my Master of Arts degree.
How do you hope your work will impact its respective field? In other words, how do you want your readers to reflect on what you’ve written?
I want readers of all genders who have experienced traumatic sexual assault or harassment to find comfort in this piece, and I hope it helps them to be honest and open about their own experiences. I hope those who may be abusers or harassers and read this piece may recognize the gravity and impact of their actions. And I hope those who have never experienced harassment or assault will read this piece and become advocates for those who have dealt with similar experiences and offer comfort and help to victims.
How do you hope to benefit as a published author? Do you anticipate this accomplishment will assist you along your career path?
I don’t know that I’m going to be putting this publication on resumes for certain positions as I seek a career, only because it is so graphic and I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable or discredit me as a professional should they read it. However, in most cases, I think discussing the fact that I have been published may help give me more credibility as a good writer. The experience will help as I enter the technical writing field, especially for medical writing, as employers will see I have work worth publishing and know how to write to be read by an audience.
How has this experience changed your perception of yourself and your writing?
This has been the validation I sought about my quality as a writer, especially because this piece was creative nonfiction. As creatives, we tend to doubt ourselves and our abilities. Finally having a piece published after so many years helped me recognize that I am cut out for this line of work and I do have stories worth sharing. It also made me more confident in my knowledge of the publication process, especially double-blind peer reviewing from the perspective of the submitter rather than the reviewer.
Would you encourage your colleagues to submit to LOGOS? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Submit! LOGOS is an excellent place to first publish your work, especially if you aren’t sure of the process yet. They give you revision guidance even if the piece is rejected, which can help students improve their academic and creative writing. There’s a good chance something you’ve done will resonate with others, especially if you did your best work and spent time and passion as you created it. LOGOS helps showcase your talents, gives you a platform to get your ideas into the academic community, and earns you a publication line on your resume. I would recommend submitting multiple projects to LOGOS at a time from different classes or fields. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!