Thursday, July 30, 2020

Receiving the “Email” From The Seymour Agency

Once I noticed an agent’s message in my email, I pre-judged it. My first reaction assumed the worst. Ok, who can I query next? To my surprise, Marisa’s response was better than I anticipated. Not only did she ask if my manuscript was still available—it brought a smile to her face, she wanted to know more, and wished her mother could have read it to her when she was a child. Not many more details needed, she had me at “it brought a smile to my face!”

After celebrating the news with my family, I informed Marisa that my manuscript was definitely still available. Subsequent emails with Marisa demonstrated that her personality matched mine. Her outlook on the world mirrored mine and we had even tackled similar topics in our earlier writings. One of the sayings that rings true with me is to think outside the box. Marisa counters with the idea of ‘no box.” Forget about the box. Initially, without context, I didn’t understand what that meant. Now I support her version of that idea, and I am onboard—literally and figuratively. I appreciate how Marisa and Nicole are receptive to the variety of “no box” ideas and suggestions I offer regarding my manuscripts. 

A friendly Zoom meeting with Marisa and Nicole finally sealed the deal. The more I interact with Marisa, Nicole, and various other agency members, like Joyce and Julie, the more I am convinced that The Seymour Agency is the right agency for my manuscripts. The personnel and clients are a kind, congenial group who work as a team for the best outcomes. 

I am honored to be represented by The Seymour Agency, and if you become a Seymour client— 
celebrate! You’ll be in great hands!

About Bethanie Baker Henderson
Bethanie writes cozy fictional and biographical picture books. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and works with youth in her church and school district. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and a concentration in English from Columbia University and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. She enjoys learning about new underwater discoveries, especially the mysteries in the deep sea. Bethanie lives with her husband, two remarkable daughters and their cat in eastern PA. 

Connect with her on her website at, on Twitter @bbakerhenderson and on Facebook at Bethanie Baker Henderson Author.                             

Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Call with Jill Watson

I met Joyce Sweeney at Florida SCBWI meetings and through a writing course of hers I'd taken. In 2019, she edited THE MAGNIFICENT ROLLING ROXIE before I sent it out to agents. Afterwards, she always checked in to offer encouragement and ask how my submissions were going. She really loved my book, and was rooting for me! Joyce was the first one I hugged after I won my SCBWI Rising Kite Award in January 2020, and I ran across the ballroom to do it. I felt like she was in it with me 100%, and I wanted to share that moment with her. 

At 7:15 one morning, Joyce sent me a text. "Could you please send me the full again, along with your query?" The address she gave was at The Seymour Agency. She was their newest agent!

Needless to say, I woke up fast. I laughed, I cried, I danced around on my roller skates. There is no better agent I could have in my corner than Joyce Sweeney!


Jill Watson started her career as Associate Editor of True Confessions magazine. (Don't ask if the stories were real, she'll never tell.) After three years, plot twist! Jill moved over to the production end of publishing, where she managed Graphic Design departments at CBS, USA TODAY and a mutual funds company. She was also Type Consultant on fanzines for Amblin' Entertainment. Fun!

Every chance she got, Jill danced on her roller skates and in her cowboy boots. She appeared on several TV shows, as well as in a Top 10 Country Music video. All this, without the ability to hear the music well.

In 2017, Jill gave up the 9-to-whenever-o’clock life to concentrate on writing. Her first middle grade book, THE MAGNIFICENT ROLLING ROXIE, won a Rising Kite Award from SCBWI in 2020.

When she's not writing, Jill still dances on her skates. She also raises butterflies in her Florida garden and feeds two bunnies who visit every day. Jill is a member of SCBWI and the Central Park Dance Skaters Association. She’s represented by Joyce Sweeney. 


Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Call with Stephanie Spence

From the moment I signed the contract with Tina Wainscott and The Seymour Agency, I felt like I had been welcomed into a family that cared deeply for their writers and people who love books. While waiting to hear if someone would be interested in my book, I created a daily ritual that I practiced every day. I would wake and take a moment to give gratitude for having the passion, dedication, and courage to share my story. Gratitude for having the courage to follow my dreams. I'd follow that with a hope that if my words found someone I could help, that would be all the success I needed. I then saw Tina (in my mind) pitching my proposal to people and them smiling. I saw her jumping up and down calling me to say she had found the perfect publisher and publishing deal just for me. Here's the critical part: I would see me already having this. It wasn't a future event. It was "now." I'd FEEL how great it would be getting the call, like it was happening in real time. I did this every day for a year (which wasn't always easy, but I was committed to staying calm, upbeat, and optimistic while waiting) until finally, on a sunny morning, she called to tell me the great news. The only change in my vision: I was the one jumping up and down. 

[Tina note: I too was jumping up and down! It’s just as exciting for me to get an offer…well, almost as exciting as it is for the author!]

About Stephanie:

With an eye towards the future, but steeped in wisdom from 40 years of practicing yoga Stephanie Spence is a Yoga Educator, Author, Inspirational Speaker, Activist, and Creative Leader. Based in Coronado, California Stephanie is a trail blazer with an inspiring and empowering approach to self-inquiry and personal development. Stephanie is committed to helping ignite the desire for others to create a life of health and joy for themselves. Connect with her via her award-winning website, or @Stephanieyogini. Her book “Yoga Wisdom: Warrior Tales Inspiring You On And Off Your Mat”, Nautilus Book Awards Winner, is available wherever fine books are sold.