The Seymour Agency strives to offer aspiring and established authors the representation and resources they need to succeed in the ever-evolving publishing industry.
We firmly believe in exploring every opportunity for our authors. From foreign and audio rights to film, television, and other multimedia and digital prospects such as gaming and apps, we strive to provide hands-on emotional, professional, promotional, and editorial counsel to each one of our authors.
OUR FOUNDER -- MARY SUE SEYMOUR
Mary Sue Seymour was listed by Publishers Marketplace as one of the top dealmakers in the country.
Mary Sue founded The Seymour Agency in 1992.
Mary Sue Seymour was a member of the Author's Guild, the AAR, ACFW, WGA, and RWA**.
She was named ACFW's AGENT OF THE YEAR in 2015.
After graduating from the State University of New York, Mary Sue taught in a public school system for almost fifteen years. While teaching, she completed graduate work at The State University of New York. At the same time, she wrote for national publications such as Junior Scholastic, The Artist's Magazine, The American Artist, and teaching magazines.
Mary Sue believed in the Bible verse in Romans 10:12
that states, "For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile - the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him..."
Always in our hearts, her agents carry on her legacy and vision.
PRESIDENT -- NICOLE RESCINITI
Nicole has been listed by Publisher's Marketplace as a top dealmaker in the country, and named ACFW's 2012 Agent of the Year.
She loves discovering new talent and helping established authors to take their career to the next level.
Do you have the next project to feed her book addiction? A smart, tight read she won’t be able to put down? A signature voice she’ll fight to represent?
HEA’s are a must for romance. Mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, YA and inspirational novels are welcome. A consummate science geek and card-carrying Mensa member, Nicole would love to find the next great science fiction/fantasy novel or action/adventure masterpiece.
Currently on her wish list: high concept middle grade, any kind of romance, and really fresh voices in YA.
Nicole is a member of AAR, ACFW, RWA, and Mensa. She holds degrees in biology, psychology, and behavioral neuroscience. Like Mary Sue, Nicole taught in the public school system and has worn many hats before heeding her calling to become a literary agent--for which she will forever be indebted to Mary Sue Seymour.
"I have the best job in the world. I read for a living and make author's dreams come true."
VICE PRESIDENT & AGENT -- JULIE GWINN
Julie Gwinn most recently served as Marketing Manager for the Christian Living line at Abingdon Press and before that served as Trade Book Marketing Manager and then Fiction Publisher for the Pure Enjoyment line at B&H Publishing Group, a Division of LifeWay Christian Resources. Last year she was awarded Editor of the Year from the American Christian Fiction Writers and won B&H’s first Christy award for Ginny Yttrup’s debut novel Words.
She has more than 25 years public relations and marketing experience and has also worked in marketing for several Nashville non-profit organizations including the TN Assoc. for the Education of Young Children, the Nashville Area Red Cross and the YWCA. She is married and has two children.
She is a member of AAR, RWA, and President of her local chapter of ACFW. You can contact her at Julie@TheSeymourAgency.com and follow her at https://www.facebook.com/julie.gwinn.5 or on Twitter @JulieGwinn
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & AGENT -- MARISA CLEVELAND
Marisa oversees publishing innovations and initiatives by implementing the Agency’s communication strategies and developing the enterprise media strategy. She is responsible for spearheading the Agency’s efforts to identify, inform, and involve the literary community in outreach and advocacy programs. Marisa has been featured at various book festivals and participated on panels and workshops on diversity, inclusion, the importance of oral communication skills, and the state of the book publishing industry. Her efforts to support literacy include establishing the Agency’s literacy fundraiser, supporting authors in their writing endeavors with motivational events, and teaching writing workshops. She is ridiculously adamant about supporting the cultural and performing arts, and she regularly donates critiques, phone chats, and coffee meet-and-greets in auctions and fundraisers.
With more than two decades in the education and publishing industry, Marisa is adamant about supporting efforts toward the betterment of the human condition. Gulfshore Business and D’Latinos magazines honored Marisa with the Arts and Culture 2015 FACE Award, and in 2014, Gulfshore Business selected her as a “40 Under Forty” honoree. As an author, she has five academic peer-reviewed publications, over twenty published book remarks in a regional newspaper, and eight published novels. She is completing her doctorate in organizational leadership from Northeastern University, earned her master’s in educational administration and a bachelor’s in speech communications from George Mason University, and is a 2015 Leadership Marco graduate.
To contact Marisa:
AGENT -- ELIZABETH "LIZZIE" POTEET
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Poteet attended Colby College where she majored in English and Religious Studies. While studying at St. Andrews, she realized that though she enjoyed Shakespeare and the Dead Sea Scrolls, she preferred reading stories with a little more heat and heart. Lizzie took her passion for romance and turned it into a position with RT Bookreviews as a romance reviewer. In 2011, she joined the editorial team at St. Martin's Press where she worked with romance, YA, nonfiction, and women’s fiction. Then in 2015, Lizzie became the e-book original coordinator for SMP Swerve, helping launch the digital only romance imprint.
Lizzie is always looking for a good love story. She loves classic romance tropes, strong dialogue, sassy heroines, witty banter, and good old fashion romance. She’s actively seeking inspirational romance, cozy mystery, New Adult, YA, romantic suspense, historical and contemporary romances, and loves anything with a happy ending.
Please no poetry, picture books, or literary fiction novels.
AGENT -- TINA WAINSCOTT
Tina Wainscott is the USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels with romantic thrills and suspenseful chills. She’s been published with houses such as St. Martin’s Press, Harper Collins, Hachette, and Random House since 1995, so she understands the business from the author’s perspective. As an agent, she’s looking for self-help nonfiction that inspires people to reach for their best and overcome life’s challenges.
A Note from Tina:
As I considered becoming an agent with this amazing agency, I knew what my area of interest would be as soon as Nicole mentioned “self-help” as one of the categories on which they wanted to focus. Though I continue to write fiction, I am also invested in my own soul journey. I love the feeling of reading a book that helps me transform, to see the world through a new perspective, and its challenges in a new light. The idea of helping writers share their vision with others, when it comes from their heart, is thrilling!
I’m looking to work with a select few authors who have an idea that fits into self-help/ personal transformation/spiritual growth but also has that special something to stand out in a crowded market. If you have a provocative idea, a grasp on your platform, and a fabulous title and hook, I’d love to see it! Diversity is welcome!
Please limit queries to self-help/non-fiction books. No memoirs (unless it specifically aims to use your life/experience as a teaching tool or you are someone of note), poetry, or children’s books, and please, no fiction. Even spiritual fiction.
Note: Please send religious/Christian queries to Julie Gwinn.
Send your query that includes your book’s blurb, what the book targets, clear marketing/platform info (eg. your numbers as far as followers go, subscribers, professional connections, etc.), your proposal, and sample chapters (in a Word RTF or PDF doc) to http://QueryMe.Online/TinaWainscottTSA.
Follow Tina on Twitter at @TinawainscottS.
AGENT -- JENNIFER WILLS
Jennifer has five years’ experience in some of the publishing industry’s leading literary agencies. She worked with publishers around the world as an assistant in Trident Media Group’s huge foreign rights department, and with domestic publishers as an assistant at Writers House (where, incidentally, she began her career as an intern).
She joined the Seymour Agency in April 2016, where she has quickly moved up the ranks to Literary Agent. Jennifer has always loved helping fledgling authors become NYT bestsellers and she’s ready to be a relentless champion for her own clients’ work. You can find her @WillsWork4Books on Twitter.
Jennifer is particularly interested in a wide range of picture books and cookbooks, with a soft spot for author/illustrators of sweet and wacky picture books, and cookbooks with mouth-watering recipes of the health conscious, budget friendly or celebrity chef variety. For fiction, she’s also interested in middle grade and YA with a sci fi/fantasy, horror/suspense, or contemporary bent, and upmarket women’s fiction with a sense of humor. On the nonfiction side, narrative nonfiction and memoir are also welcome. If your manuscript has a great hook, a distinct voice, and can make her laugh out loud or ugly cry (or, even better, both), she’d love to see it.
Please send all queries to: email@example.com
AGENT -- LYNNETTE NOVAK
Prior to joining The Seymour Agency, Lynnette spent seventeen years freelance editing. She worked with new writers, advanced writers, as well as New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Lynnette earned a bachelor of education degree from the University of Manitoba, where she specialized in English and French. She excelled in Advanced Creative Writing in university and studied writing for children and teens through the Institute of Children’s Literature. She was a Pitch Wars mentor in 2015 and 2016. Both her mentees acquired an agent.
Although Lynnette was born and raised in Manitoba, Canada, she now lives in Minnesota with her husband, twin girls, and many pets. Her personal interests include reading, writing, exercising at the gym (okay, that’s a love/hate relationship), working on an assortment of crafts, all things having to do with animals (if she could own a farm, zoo, and animal shelter, she would), and enjoying time with family and friends.
In adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and mysteries (traditional, amateur sleuth, and cozy).
In young adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, and contemporary.
In middle grade fiction: fantasy, sci-fi, action/adventure, mystery, contemporary, horror, and humor.
In children’s fiction: picture books (non-rhyming preferred).
To Contact Lynnette Novak:
Other: firstname.lastname@example.org (No queries to this address, please.)
Follow Lynnette on Twitter: @Lynnette_Novak
AGENT -- LESLEY SABGA
Lesley has worked as an editorial assistant and freelancer for multiple publishing houses such as Entangled, Jolly Fish Press and Flux Books, as well as Sourcebooks. She's also been working for The Seymour Agency since 2014. Starting out as an eager intern, she worked her way up to a literary assistant, and in the fall of 2017, Lesley became an agent with The Seymour Agency. Lesley is a member of RWA and an associate member of AAR.
Lesley loves intricate and vivid world-building and character driven plots. She is acquiring MG, YA, and Adult fantasy and she is always down to read a dark and twisty suspense or thriller featuring strong, female protagonists. She also loves a classic happily-ever-after romance or curling up with a good mystery. She also has her eye out for book club fiction and women's fiction.
When she is not rescuing animals or searching for her next debut author, Lesley is a constant occupant at local bookstores in Colorado Springs and is a self-proclaimed coffee aficionado.
To contact Lesley Sabga:
AGENT -- MICHAEL L JOY
Michael L Joy is a graduate of the Stonecoast MFA Creative Writing program and a board member of the Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, where he is the co-chair of their annual mystery writing conference, SleuthFest. (SleuthFest.com). He is a professor of English, musician and recovering programmer living in Southwest Florida.
I’m looking for character-driven commercial fiction in mystery/crime/suspense/thriller – including graphic novel script format. Stories that transcend genre and have the potential to attract a wider audience (aka: Upmarket fiction). I’m excited to read new perspectives – #OwnVoices, race, gender, LGBTQ, or sub-culture - different POVs, obstacles and outcomes. Situational humor is good, but not required. Cozies will be a tough sell unless the “community” is something extremely different. No talking or communicative animals. No Romance, but romantic elements are good if done well. Don't force it.
Before you submit… give your book a rest - then edit for plot and polish for word choice, spelling & grammar. Let it rest again.
Submit the first 50 pages as a Word attachment. Include a synopsis. Don’t stress over the format, but make sure you include the inciting incident, obstacles to the main character’s goals, the climax, and the conclusion – yes, I need to know how the story ends.
I’m looking for art, music, pop-culture or sub-culture topics, including positive mental and physical health for artist. True crime. Business Self-Help: How to survive and keep positive while starting a business, running a business or working a high-pressure job. I’d be excited to look at graphic novel formats for non-fiction also. No politics or religion.
The key to selling non-fiction is having an existing platform – first-hand expertise or experience – no arm-chair quarterbacking. If you’re going to write about winning the World Beard and Moustache Championship, you better be a competitor or a barber…or better yet, be both.
When sending your query please include a book blurb, what topic the book targets, clear marketing/platform information (eg. Social media followers, subscribers, professional connections, etc.), your proposal, a comparison in the market, sample index page and three sample chapters.
To contact Michael L Joy:
We believe that an organization such as Romance Writers of America must work for ALL of its constituents and do so honestly, positively, and proactively.
RWA proclaims a mission of inclusion and equality, yet that has not been evidenced in recent events. As such, we are withdrawing from the organization and will not participate in RWA Nationals or other events until such time as real and actionable changes are implemented.