How to Write a Great Query & First Chapter: Agent 1-on-1 Boot Camp with The Seymour Agency starts June 15, 2016 with Personalized Critiques

So you want to get published?

First, congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’re dedicated to honing your submission and you’re approaching this industry from a business perspective. This is excellent news—but writing a great book is just the beginning.

Selling your book is a multi-layered process that will introduce you to key players in the industry. Many steps are required to take a book from conception to the bookshelves. Before you begin to construct your submission package, you should have an understanding of how the process works and who will weigh in on the momentous decisions involving your manuscript.

In this all-new Agent One-on-One Boot Camp, titled “How to Write a Great Query and First Chapter,” literary agents from The Seymour Agency will give you the insight, information, and insider tips to navigate this ever-changing and competitive market.

Starting June 15, 2016, the agents of The Seymour Agency will deconstruct the publishing process, queries, high concept pitches, synopses, bios, publicity and marketing plans, your social networking presence, and the all-important submission package.

It is a step-by-step tutorial for how to take your book from an idea to “sold.”

Seymour Agency agents will also critique your query letter (pitch) and your first chapter (up to 6 double-spaced pages of your work which shouldn’t go over 1500 words). They’ll also allow you to ask questions. Spaces are limited, so sign up for the boot camp here.

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This program will show writers the following:

— Who the players in publishing are and the roles they assume
— How to define your genre and how to position your project for the marketplace
— How to brand yourself as an author and your work
— How to hone your high concept pitch
— How to write a query letter that will get noticed
— How to write the dreaded synopsis
— Tips and hints for polishing your pages so that your voice stands out and your characters hook the reader
— Craft tips for engaging the reader from page 1 (clichés to avoid, pacing hints, character cues that readers can relate to)
— Practical guidelines and how-to instructions for preparing your submission
— Resources that will help you along the way

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Here’s how it works:

On June 15th 2016, you will gain access to two special 60-minute online tutorials in the online course system: 1) “So You Want to Get Published?” and 2) “Structuring Submission Packages That Sell,” both presented by literary agents of The Seymour Agency.

After listening to presentations, attendees will spend the next two days revising materials as necessary. Also following the tutorial, writers will have two days in which to log onto the course system and ask assigned agent critiquers questions related to revising materials. The agents will be available on the online discussion board in the course system from 1-3 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on both Thursday, June 16 and Friday, June 17. No later than Saturday, June 18, attendees will submit their query letter (including a pitch) and first chapter (up to 6 double-spaced pages of their manuscript no more than 1500 words). The submissions will receive feedback directly from the boot camp literary agents.

The agents will spend up to two weeks reviewing all assigned critiques and provide feedback to help attendees. (The agents reserve the right to request more materials if they feel a strong connection to the work and want to read more; note that multiple agents have signed writers before from WD boot camps.) No later than July 2, agents will send their feedback to writer attendees. (Sign up for the boot camp here.)


Wednesday, June 15: Online Tutorial Access
Thursday, June 16: Online Agent Discussion Session Q&A 1 pm to 3 pm EST
Friday, June 17: Online Agent Discussion Session Q&A 1 pm to 3 pm EST
Saturday, June 18: Writers Submit Materials
Saturday, July 2: Agent Critiques Due Back to Attendees

Please note that any one of the agents may ask for additional pages if the initial submission shows serious promise.

In addition to feedback from agents, attendees will also receive a one-year subscription to the literary agent database.


NICOLE RESCINITI is president of The Seymour Agency. She was named ACFW’s Agent of the Year in 2012. She is consistently listed by Publishers Marketplace as a top dealmaker in the country. 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?

She is actively acquiring: all romance, mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, YA and inspirational novels. 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, upmarket women’s fiction, romance, and really fresh voices in YA. Nicole is a member of AAR, ACFW, RWA, and Mensa. Follow her on twitter: @NicLitAgent.

LANE HEYMONT is a literary agent at The Tobias Agency (formerly of The Seymour Agency). As Literary Assistant at the Seymour Agency, Lane led the marketing efforts for their authors and enjoyed connecting clients with readers. As a lover of literature since childhood, and at the prodding of his mentor Nicole Resciniti, he decided to pursue his passion as a literary agent. He went on to help found The Tobias Literary Agency. He strives to bring incredible and thought-provoking books to the masses, culminating in reaching the Top Ten on Publishers Marketplace for agents in the romance genre. With a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, business and literature, Lane continued his education in Creative Writing and English at Harvard. Lane represents a broad range of commercial fiction including romance and all its sub-genres, fantasy, science fiction, nonfiction, and true crime. Lane is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Association of Authors’ Representatives. He believes what John Gregory Dunne said: “Writing is manual labor of the mind.”

JULIE GWINN joined The Seymour Agency after more than a decade in Christian 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 20 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. Find her on Twitter @JulieGwinn.

JENNIFER WILLS, a lifelong devourer of books, always dreamed of becoming an agent and helping authors bring their books to the world. That, or becoming a veterinarian. Or an astronaut. She holds a BA in English, with a focus in creative writing, from The Ohio State University. She has five years’ experience in publishing, as an assistant to Claire Roberts at Trident Media Group and to Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House. She loved helping develop fledgling writers into NYT bestselling authors. She currently assists Nicole Resciniti at The Seymour Agency.

She took a brief hiatus from publishing to explore her other interest – veterinary medicine – but finally realized that she much preferred authors to creatures whose bite is worse than their bark. Digging through the slush pile is a lot less dangerous, and a lot more fun, than working with puppies. (Note: Jen is no longer considering a career in aerospace.)

Sign up for the boot camp here.

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