Meet the author: Anna Maltbie

2021-02-20

When interviewed about her YSW article “‘Stories for Reproductive Freedom:’ A Rhetorical Analysis of Storytelling on NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Website,” Anna Maltbie (she/her), took us behind-the-scenes of her writing process. When she submitted this article to YSW, Maltbie was an undergraduate at Miami University of Ohio, majoring in English Literature, Professional Writing, and Economics. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Business Management, hoping to enter the business side of publishing or work for a nonprofit organization. 

For this YSW article, Maltbie researched thirty-three different stories about womens’ experiences with abortion access. She chose to research this topic for her paper because abortion rights are a “heavily discussed debate in American politics for years” and a social movement she is passionate about.Maltbie focused on the NARAL Pro Choice America website (https://www.prochoiceamerica.org) “because of its prominence in the movement.” The website also provided Maltbie with the thirty-three stories that she then analyzed. 

When reflecting on her research process, she explained that it was a “difficult process to read about, because of the traumatic experiences the women had experienced.” But since her topic was about the effectiveness of storytelling to generate pathos in the pro-choice movement, she knew her emotional reaction was a sign that her article had merit and needed to be written. What Maltbie found most enjoyable about writing was creating her own explanatory scheme based on her dataset and color-coding for each article.

As an undergraduate, Maltbie wanted to feel “the joy of being published before [she] graduate[d].”  One of her professors is currently a faculty advisory editor with  Young Scholars in Writing and encouraged his students to submit their research to YSW. She explained, “I’ve been a reader, business manager, and editor-in-chief for an undergraduate literary magazine for four years, so I had a lot of experience on the other side of publishing but [have not had] any of my own work published. I was a Senior and figured since I spent four years writing in my literature and professional writing classes, I might as well try to get something I was proud of published.”

Maltbie’s faculty advisory editor, the person who coaches each author through the YSW revision process,was Dr. Sarah E. Polo, assistant professor of English at Cottey College. They collaborated through Google Docs and email. They also used a video call to introduce themselves and go through the initial edits of her article. “I appreciated her clear communication about what needed to be done and when as well as her quick responses,” Maltbie noted. 

Maltbie advises undergraduate students who may be interested in submitting work to Young Scholars in Writing to “Just Do It [please don’t sue me, Nike]. The best outcome is you get your work published, and the worst is your article is rejected and you don’t need to do any extra work.”

Edited by: Beck Liberatore, YSW Intern and Senior at York College of PA, expected to graduate in May 2021. Liberatore has a major in Professional Writing and a minor in Women's and Gender Studies.