career descriptions

query letter

Ms. Dale V. Salvaggio Bradshaw & Ms. Kelly E.B. Beatty
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Submissions Contact Person, Publishing Company
Dear Submissions,

How many times have you heard the phrase, "You can be anything you want when you grow up?”  It’s a great concept, but the reality is that most young women don’t know the multitude of opportunities available to them.  Imagine the possibilities, however, if teenage girls had an informational, inspiring reference that described many interesting professions and opened their eyes to fascinating new careers they might not have considered.

Our book, Firestarters: 100 Job Profiles to Inspire Young Women is that reference.  Today, more than 60% of American college freshmen are women, and there’s a vast array of career opportunities available to them.  We’d like to reach these girls while they’re in high school and their early years of college, where we can motivate and help them to think about careers that would be fulfilling.  Success, we think, is not defined by how much money a person can make, but by finding happiness in what she does.

Over the past year, Kelly Beatty and I have been interviewing women and compiling their job profiles for Firestarters.  Among the profiles are an Emmy award-winning costume designer, a landscape architect, a photojournalist, a breast cancer researcher, a children's book illustrator, a general contractor and many others.  We describe these profiles as “mini career days.”  Each profile is organized in the same format and each gives important personal advice from the participant.  For example, Angela Brown, a renowned opera singer, says, “Keep your legs closed,” and focus on the goal.  Kirstie Tice, a Dance Teacher and former Broadway dancer, says “Your friends are not going to walk through the Broadway stage door with you, so you cannot think like your friends think.” The book is also peppered with inspirational quotes that reinforce what our interview subjects say.

Many of the women we’ve interviewed said they wished a reference tool like Firestarters had been available when they were teens. “I would certainly be interested in my 13 yr old daughter reading some positive profiles about females in today’s world.  Teenage girls need as much reinforcement about self image as we can give
them!,” says
Anna Joiner, an accomplished violist and professor and an interviewee.  Terri Gruca, a television anchorwoman and an interviewee, wants to do a feature story about Firestarters.

Our investigation shows an open market for Firestarters, and we think that it has the potential to become a series.  While we have found a few books with similar subject matter, they contain relatively few career profiles and feature only exotic, hard-to-obtain jobs.  Our book stands alone as far as the format, diversity and amount of job profiles compiled.  Not just young women, but parents, teachers and anyone else concerned about the future of a certain young woman or women, will be drawn to this book.

Kelly and I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1992, Kelly with a degree in journalism and I with a communications degree.  Kelly has years of experience in advertising, and my own work has been in marketing.  As young, professional women, we have gained the experience, skills and contacts needed to co-author this book.  We are an excellent combination for success because we are disciplined, organized, creative and motivated.

We hope that we’ve sparked your interest in Firestarters. We would appreciate the opportunity of presenting our project to you.  Thank you very much for your time and consideration for this project.  We hope to hear from you soon.



Dale V. Salvaggio Bradshaw

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