Get to Know an Agent: Jennifer Wills of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 6.52.37 PMJennifer Wills is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

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 Associate 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 young adult 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.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Carrie Howland of Howland Literary

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 4.14.48 PM.pngCarrie Howland is a literary agent and founder of Howland Literary.

Carrie joined Empire Literary in 2016 after eleven years as an agent at Donadio & Olson, Inc. She represents adult literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, young adult, middle grade, and picture book authors.

In terms of YA & MG, she prefers contemporary, but will look at some fantasy occasionally. No sci-fi, please.

Carrie is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives as well as SCBWI. She also enjoys speaking at various writing conferences throughout the year.

Carrie holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Albion College, where she was the Poetry Editor of The Albion Review. Her poetry has appeared in various literary journals and magazines. In her spare time, Carrie volunteers as a foster for a local dog rescue.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Vicki Selvaggio of Storm Literary

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Vicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary).

Victoria A. Selvaggio comes to Storm Literary Agency as a Literary Agent and Partner. Previously with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, she was drawn to the publishing scene first as an author. As a prior Regional Advisor for SCBWI Northern Ohio, Victoria’s desire to help writers and illustrators reach their publications goals inspired her to become an agent.

With over twenty-five years as a business owner, Victoria is excited to help grow the agency’s client base with talented writers and illustrators, while also helping build the agency from within with motivated agents who possess the same ideals, literary interests, goals, and approaches to the industry.

As a frequent presenter at conferences, library events, contests, etc., Victoria is always interested in meeting writers and illustrators, and hearing about unique projects! While Storm Literary is primarily a children’s book agency, Victoria will be accepting pitches for new adult and adult projects from conference attendees.

She is seeking: “I am currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, adult fiction but find I’m especially drawn to middle grade and young adult. I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Cyle Young of Hartline Literary

Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 9.28.47 AM.pngCyle Young is a literary agent and founder of CYLE Literary Elite.

Cyle is seeking:

  • YA, middle grade, and chapter books
  • genre fiction, especially romance
  • love stories
  • speculative (sci-fi and fantasy)
  • easy readers, picture books and board books
  • nonfiction (parenting, leadership, ministry, and self-help)
  • movie and screenplays (specific details at cyleyoung.com) 

Cyle is a multiple-genre award-winning author. Winner of more than twenty writing awards, he considers himself a “binge writer” and routinely scribes 30,000 words in a weekend. His book Belly Buttons and Broken Hearts released with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in 2013.

Cyle finds great joy in writing and loves to bounce between crafting epic high fantasy tales, helpful non-fiction parenting books, and getting lost in the melodic rhythm of children’s poetry. He serves as managing editor of almostanauthor.com, a website devoted to helping aspiring writers become published authors, and is also a monthly contributor to the parenting website, just18summers.com, and the writing website, thewriteconversation.blogspot.com.

You can learn more about what genres Cyle is aquiring by visiting his website at cyleyoung.com.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Janna Bonikowski of The Knight Agency

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 12.11.39 PM.pngJanna Bonikowski is a literary agent with The Knight Agency.

Janna joined the Knight Agency in 2016 with several years of experience as both an independent editor and a freelance editor for Lyrical Press/Kensington. She holds a bachelor’s degree focused on business and economics, but her passion for books made a career in publishing inevitable.

Janna is eager to find well-crafted stories with tight pacing; authentic, diverse characters (especially by #ownvoices authors); distinctive voices; and—above all–big, imaginative concepts. She loves books demonstrating the strength of women, books that make her laugh out loud, and books about socially relevant topics. More than anything, she wants to be surprised. She’s currently looking for young adult, women’s fiction, romance, historical fiction, commercial fiction, and cozy mystery.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Bibi Lewis of The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 10.26.27 AMBibi Lewis is a literary agent with The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency.

She is seeking: “I am currently looking for Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture books, as well as Commercial and Upmarket Fiction. In all genres I am looking for contemporary realism, fantasy, mysteries, historicals and lots of humor. I have a soft spot for heists and sleuths (and would especially love to see a new YA Harriet the Spy or Veronica Mars!) as well as twisty thrillers. On the Adult side, I am looking for anything smart, sharp and witty — but specifically for Romance, Women’s Fiction, Mysteries and Thrillers. Well-developed characters are a must. I always welcome diverse narratives, including but not limited to LGBTQ or minority voices.”

Bibi manages subsidiary rights for the agency in addition to her duties as an agent and general office manager.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Chrysa Keenon of CYLE Literary

ChrysaChrysa Keenon is a literary agent with CYLE Literary.

She is seeking: For adult novels, she seeks humorous romance, LGBTQ+ romance, and low fantasy. In young adult, she seeks humorous/lighthearted contemporary romance, fantasy LGBTQ+, diverse romance, magical realism, and stories about characters from marginalized backgrounds. She also will consider fairytale retellings/spinoffs and middle grade fantasy.

Chrysa holds a degree from Taylor University in Professional Writing with minors in Public Relations and Creative Writing. She began her agenting career as an intern at The Seymour Agency and gained experience in the editorial world at GenZ Publishing. She is the recipient of the Blue Seal Award for 1st place YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy fiction and 1st Place News and Feature Story from the Indiana Collegiate Press, among others. She has over 400 publications and currently works as a content writer for a Midwest bridal magazine. Chrysa enjoys puns, coffee, and traveling to oceanside cities.