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Dear Amy,

Hi! I'm a sixteen-year-old girl hailing from New Jersey who is proud to call herself a feminist. I've been thinking about compiling a non-fiction book about teenaged girls' struggles (and triumphs!) with body image and eating disorders. I don't want it to analyze girls' problems from a distanced point of view, but I'd rather it include personal journal entries, poems, etc. written by the girls. However, I don't know where to start with this project. I don't know where to find a female-friendly publisher who would take my idea seriously and work with me to polish it. Could you direct me to any resources that might help me in my search? Thanks!

Gabrielle

   

Dear Gabrielle,

Thanks for your totally inspiring note for feminist.com and for sharing your idea with us. Your idea made me think of two things immediately. First, Ophira Edut's anthology, Body Outlaws (formerly called Adios Barbie), which is a collection of essays all related to body image. Second, Ophelia Speaks, which is a collection of girls/young women writing about self-esteem and really responding to all of the books that have been written about their self-esteem. Your book proposal seems to have elements of both.

The first place for you to start is by writing an outline of your project and maybe even include some sample essays or a sample essay. A potential publisher will want to see these to get a flavor for the book. You will need to get a book agent who can help you navigate the publishing world -- they know best what publishers are appropriate and what is a "good sell" right now.

Thanks for your initiative, you inspired me and you will certainly inspire and inform others.

- Amy

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