A surefire way to determine an agent is the best fit for your manuscript/writing career is by learning everything you can about them. Such information is great when choosing who to query and deciding who you’d love to work long term with. As a site dedicated to guiding writers through the publication journey, we’ve put together awesome agent interviews for you!
Today we’re introducing Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary Agency!
Path2pub: How did you become an agent?
I had been a fiction publisher and when the publishing house stopped publishing fiction, an agent I had worked with, Nicole Resciniti at The Seymour Agency, approached me about becoming an agent.
Path2pub: What genres do you represent and why did you decide ‘these are what I want to help bring to the world’?
I represent adult fiction and nonfiction. For fiction I mostly represent women’s fiction, romance, spec/scify/fantasy, mystery and suspense, historical. For nonfiction I gravitate toward self-help, lifestyle, cookbooks, sports and decor. As an agent, we “sell” the project to an editor and I usually acquire what I would read. It is easier to sell something that you like and would, yourself, buy.
Path2pub: What instantly catches your eye in a query letter/manuscript?
A new concept, approach, plot. Something I haven’t seen before or something that has been done but is being approached in a new way.
Path2pub: What is that element that makes you know at once that a story is not for you?
Horror, erotica, harm against children or women.
Path2pub: How hands-on are you editorially?
I am an editing agent in that I will do a macro and line edit of the project before we go out on submission.
Path2pub: Do you have goals for how many clients you want to acquire in a year?
Not a goal per year, but I do want to keep growing as an agent and growing my list. But without sacrificing time or attention to current authors. I usually add one or two new authors a year.
Path2pub: What is your favorite trope?
I like culture clash or fish out of water. As a northerner now living in the south I think there are lots of opportunities for humor with this trope.
Path2pub: What are some books you think everyone should read?
For authors I would say Save the Cat.
Path2pub: If a writer could write a book specifically for you, what would you want it to be about?
Great question! I would say a few different books: One that has the subtle romance of the movie French Kiss or Notting Hill, a heist book like the Ocean’s franchise, Regency with Alchemy or mystery, an historical about a part of our history that is little known, true crime.
Path2pub: What advice do you have for querying writers?
Nail the hook and synopsis or brief description. We get so many queries a day that you need to capture my attention immediately to draw me into to reading the first pages. Also be prolific. Sometimes the first book doesn’t sell so have lots of projects or ideas percolating.
Path2pub: What are your non-publishing related hobbies?
Crafting, camping, repurposing or renovating furniture, baking.
Thank you so much for stopping by and for a smooth interview!
Julie Gwinn, currently Vice President and literary agent with The Seymour Agency, has more than a decade in publishing including serving as marketing manager then Fiction Publisher for B&H Publishing Group and Marketing Manager for Abingdon Press. Prior to joining the publishing industry, Gwinn has more than 25 years’ experience in Advertising, marketing and public relations. She uses her previous experience to aid her authors at every phase of their publishing plan.She lives in Nashville, TN, with her husband and two children and also enjoys freelance editing, and DIY projects around the house.
You can submit to Julie at her email or find her on Query Manager
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