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About the Agency

The Seymour Agency strives to offer aspiring and established authors the representation and resources they need to succeed in the ever-evolving publishing industry.

Our literary agents 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.

Get to Know Our Founder

Mary Sue Seymour

Mary Sue Seymour was listed by Publishers Marketplace as one of the top dealmakers in the country. She was formerly a member of the Author's Guild, the AAR, ACFW, WGA, and RWA** and was named as 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 15 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, we carry on her legacy and vision.


Nicole Resciniti

Nicole Resciniti has been listed by Publishers Marketplace as a top dealmaker in the country and named as ACFW's 2012 Agent of the Year. She loves discovering new talent and helping established authors to take their career to the next level.


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.

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?

A proponent for authentic, diverse voices in fiction, Nicole is actively seeking those stories that have to be told

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.

"I have the best job in the world. I read for a living and make authors’ dreams come true."

- Nicole Resciniti


Twitter: @NicLitAgent

Vice President and Agent

Julie Gwinn 

Julie Gwinn has a background in editorial, launching the Pure Enjoyment line at B&H Publishing Group where she served as Fiction Publisher and was awarded Editor of the Year and Agent of the Year finalist by the American Christian Fiction Writers.

Julie also has more than 25 years of public relations and marketing experience and has worked in marketing for several Nashville nonprofit organizations, including the Tennessee Association for the Education of Young Children, the Nashville Area Red Cross, and the YWCA. She puts that marketing expertise to use in working with her authors.

Julie is actively looking for diverse voices in both fiction and non-fiction and is currently looking for romance, mystery/true crime, historical  and speculative/fantasy novels. In non-fiction she is looking for self-help, lifestyle, motivational and sports related books.

As of January, Julie's query process has changed. She is no longer accepting email queries and has started using Query Manager to manage this part of the business. Please visit her Query Manager portal at the link below where you will find instructions on the process and how to upload your materials. 



Twitter: @JulieGwinn

Executive Director and Agent

Marisa Cleveland, Ed.D.

Marisa Cleveland joined The Seymour Agency as an author in 2009. With more than two decades in the education and publishing industries, she is adamant about supporting the efforts toward the betterment of the human condition. In June 2020, she started signing her own authors who write in the children's, general fiction, and nonfiction spaces. 

Marisa has been featured, participated, and moderated at book festivals, panels, and workshops on branding, communication, cultural agility, diversity, leadership development, and the state of the industry. 

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 40” honoree. In June 2015, her young adult novel hit the New York Times as part of an anthology, and her other publications include academic peer-reviewed articles, an academic book chapter, and fiction and nonfiction books. 



Instagram: @thereisnobox

Director of Kid Lit and Agent

Joyce Sweeney

Joyce Sweeney has been working in the Kidlit industry for four decades. First as an award-winning novelist, and soon after, leading invitation-only workshops for aspiring writers. Within the first two years, seven of Joyce’s students had obtained traditional publishing contracts and a second career was born. Joyce and her students decided that everyone who could secure a contract should get a special “Magic Bean” to mark the achievement.

Continuing to publish her own work, Joyce expanded into weekend writing retreats, conducted with Jamie Morris, under name NEXT LEVEL WORKHOPS. That led to ten years of online classes, taught by Joyce and produced by Cathy Castelli and CAFÉ CLASSES conducted in Fort Lauderdale.

 Using her contacts as an active SCBWI volunteer, Joyce continued to promote her students and help them find agents. The Magic Bean count continued to rise.

By 2020, Nicole Resciniti, who is also Joyce’s agent, offered them the chance to take this lifetime of mentoring to the next level and become a literary agent. Joyce finally found their dream job as a kidlit agent and the Magic Bean count is currently 83 and hoping for 100! At the agency, Joyce began to help and coach other agents who wanted to move into the kidlit space, and continues to represent authors and illustrators of picture books, middle grades and graphic novels.  

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What they're looking for:


In Picture Books: Fiction or non-fiction. I am drawn to lyrical voices, fun syntax and offbeat concepts. I like unusual characters, and plots that make me cry or laugh out loud. Illustrator/authors welcome and rhyme (if you REALLY know how to do it) is fine. Diversity, please. Most of all, be unique. 


In Middle Grade: I am especially drawn to humor, fantasy and sci-fi, but a realistic novel that makes me cry will work too. Advocate of books for boys. Would love to see more LGBTQ as well.



Twitter: @joycegrackle

Instagram: @sweeney1217

Media Rights Manager, Communications Manager, and 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 been working for The Seymour Agency since 2014.


Starting out as an eager intern, she worked her way up to being a literary assistant and in the fall of 2017, Lesley became an agent with The Seymour Agency. In 2020, she became the communications manager, handling author relations and agency administration. And in 2022, Lesley enthusiastically accepted the position handling media rights for the agency's catalog, helping to option and place titles with numerous production companies to date. 

Lesley loves intricate and vivid world-building and character-driven plots with commercial pacing. She is currently acquiring young adult and adult fiction. She is always down to read a dark and twisty suspense/thriller featuring strong, female protagonists or mysteries where there is a large cast of characters and all the pieces slowly fall into place. She loves big, sweeping love stories that give you all the feels and she's particularly interested in voice-driven fiction for millennial women that focus on the real-life romantic, humorous, and professional experiences they go through. Always open to diversity, Lesley is actively looking for marginalized authors to bring into the literary world

To Query:


Twitter: @lesleysabga

Instagram: @literarylesley


Tina Wainscott

Tina Wainscott has published over 30 novels with houses such as St. Martin’s Press, Harper Collins, Hachette, and Random House, so she understands the business from the author’s perspective. She's been an agent with The Seymour Agency since 2016 and also gets what it takes from this angle.

She’s looking to work with a select few authors who have ideas that fit into self-help/personal transformation/spiritual growth and health initiatives space with that special something to stand out in a crowded market. If you have a provocative idea, a great platform and/or credentials and/or other clear author hook, and a compelling title and hook, she’d love to see it. Diversity is welcome!

Platform is an essential part of a successful book sale and a book launch (which impacts the next book’s chances). If you have a small or unengaged one, please consider spending your query time building that up before sending your idea out into the world.

She will consider memoirs, but note that they’re particularly difficult to place unless you are “notable” or have a truly unique experience that aims to inspire. Many people go (and grow) through extraordinary experiences, but it takes something really special to grab an editor’s eye.

Please limit queries to self-help/non-fiction books. No poetry, fiction, or children’s books.


Note: Please send religious/Christian queries to Julie Gwinn.


She only takes queries through http://QueryMe.Online/TinaWainscottTSA (unless you are directly referred). This form makes it faster for her to hone in on the pertinent facts, and it includes information you can grab from your proposal (or that should be in there). She’s looking forward to seeing your query!


Jennifer Wills

Jennifer has 5 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.

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 non-fiction side, narrative non-fiction 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.


Twitter: @WillsWork4Books


Lynnette Novak 

Prior to joining The Seymour Agency, Lynnette spent 17 years freelance editing. She worked with new writers, advanced writers, as well as the New York Times and the 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.


She loves dark and suspenseful, mysterious twists, unique worlds, light and funny, a good love story, and lots of voice. Lynnette is always looking for diverse and LGBTQ+ authors and wants to share more of these marginalized voices with the world.


Currently looking for: (Always looking for BIPOC, diversity of all kinds, and LGBTQ+!!!)

Picture books: fiction and nonfiction picture books (non-rhyming preferred). 


MG genres: horror, contemporary, mystery, magical realism, contemporary/grounded fantasy


YA genres: horror, rom-com, thriller, romantic fantasy, fantasy, magical realism


Adult fiction genres: thriller, psychological suspense, horror, mystery (traditional and amateur sleuth)


Adult nonfiction genres: memoirs, spirituality/New Age, self-help, health/fitness, parenting/family, motivational/inspirational, business, celebrity, lifestyle, pets, psychology, relationships & dating, and true crime. You must be an expert in the field and have a platform.


What kind of platform do you need for nonfiction? Are you a celebrity with a story to tell? An expert in the field (doctor, CEO, trainer, psychologist, etc.)? Do you have a direct route to the consumer? Are you a social influencer or public speaker? 




To Query:

Email for Other Concerns:

Twitter: @Lynnette_Novak


Elisa Houot

Elisa Houot is a literary agent at The Seymour Agency and author of five published Young Adult novels. Enthusiastic about discovering new voices, Elisa lives in France with her adorable and barking companion, Muffin.


She joined The Seymour Agency after a MA in publishing. Reader, reviewer, book blogger, short story writer, published author, foreign rights agent, literary agent, Elisa has had many roles in the publishing industry. Beyond anything, she thrives on helping authors build their careers. 



To query:




Cole Lanahan

As an agent, Cole Lanahan possesses a wide range of skills to offer her authors. Aside from being a published author of eight novels, Cole holds a degree in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State. Her past experiences include lobbying the United States congress for better mental health initiatives, leading a multimillion-dollar mental health nonprofit, creating strategic corporate partnerships, and implementing large-scale marketing campaigns.


When she’s not traveling, Cole lives in the Midwest with her husband, daughter, four dogs, and twenty chickens. Her personal interests include reading, quilting, and performing with her acoustic band.

Cole is actively looking for all genres of YA, all genres of adult romance, psychological suspense in the vein of The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine, and thrillers in the vein of Verity by Colleen Hoover and I’m thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid. In nonfiction she is looking for humor, business, self-help, lifestyle, and arts and crafts books.

To Query:

Twitter: @LanahanCole


Georgana (Nina) Grinstead

Georgana Grinstead began her career as a corporate and nonprofit media specialist. She studied at the University of Texas in Austin before earning a degree in public relations and advertising from Georgia College State & University. Romance books, although not on the official curriculum, were her favorite subject then and continue to be long after graduation.


Her professional and personal lives inevitably came together in 2012, when she began blogging as a new wave of romantic fiction swept the literary world. Her knowledge of social media and her passion for promoting authors led her to a boutique public relations firm as a publicist, where she learned the industry from the inside out. Now, Georgana heads her own firm, Valentine PR & Literary Management.

Georgana joined The Seymour Agency/Alliance Rights Agency in July of 2021 and is thrilled to utilize the full force of her knowledge and contacts to bring HEA’s to wider audiences everywhere. Georgana is particularly interested in Romance - Contemporary, Dark, New Adult and Mature YA. No historical or paranormal/fantasy please.


A true southern girl, Georgana grew up in Texas and is currently living her happily ever after in Georgia with her handsome husband Charlie, two beautiful adult children Grey and Valentine, an amazing daughter-in-law Emmy and three rescue dogs.

Assistant Agent

Gaby Cabezut

Gaby Cabezut is a bilingual author with a substantial following of over half a million individuals. With two published works in the Philippines and an audiobook released by Hachette, Gaby’s accomplishments extend across diverse literary platforms.


Her passion for online and traditional writing is reflected in her varied roles, including editor, acquisition manager, and social media manager. She’s currently completing her MBA in Digital Strategies at a prestigious university in Puebla, Mexico, where she resides.


Presently serving as an Assistant Agent at The Seymour Agency, Gaby is enthusiastic about collaborating with authors in the KidLit space who have an original voice, are passionate about diversity, and have unique ideas to share with the KidLit world.


Gaby is currently not open to queries.


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Assistant Agent

Rosa Frazier

Rosa Frazier began her agenting journey as a Summer 2023 mentee under Marisa Cleveland, Literary Agent at The Seymour Agency. Rosa is the writer of over a dozen Adult Romance novels since 2012, self-publishing since 2014. In 2021, she was selected to participate as a mentee in the last class of Pitch Wars for her contemporary romance. As a recovering attorney, Rosa spent four years as a clinical law professor. An essay she wrote was published in a non-fiction legal publication. As an Afro-Latinx author, her goal is to share stories of Caribbean and South American heritage, folklore, and other languages and dialects. She is drawn to underrepresented BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and disabled creatives, hoping to help them reach their authorial dreams. Rosa is seeking picture, middle-grade, and YA contemporary romance, mystery, and thrillers with inclusive and diverse perspectives.

Assistant Agent

Lissa Woodson

Lissa Woodson has been an industry professional as a publishing and marketing consultant, developmental editor, and  literary event planner for nearly 25 years. In addition to successfully cracking the code of landing a deal for herself and many others with traditional publishing houses, she continues to "pay it forward" by organizing the annual Cavalcade of Authors which gives readers intimate access to the most accomplished writing talent today.


Writing under the pen name of Naleighna Kai, she is a contributor to a New York Times bestseller, the USA TODAY, Essence®, and national bestselling and award-winning author of several controversial novels. She is also one of AALBC's 100 Top Authors, a member of the Chicago Vocational School Hall of Fame (CVS), Mercedes Benz Mentor Award Nominee, and the E. Lynn Harris Author of Distinction.


She is looking for unique and engaging stories in thrillers, romantic suspense, romantic comedies, cozy mysteries, inspirational, and body, mind & spirit.  She is an advocate for diverse voices in fiction and is actively seeking stories from unique and dynamic perspectives.  










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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.

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