Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Michael Joy of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2019-11-10 at 11.01.53 PMMichael L. Joy is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

Michael is a graduate of the Stonecoast MFA Creative Writing program and a board member of the Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, where he is the co-chair of their annual mystery writing conference, SleuthFest. ( He is a professor of English, musician and recovering programmer living in Southwest Florida.


  • character-driven commercial fiction in mystery/crime/suspense/thriller (including graphic novel script format.
  • Stories that transcend genre and have the potential to attract a wider audience (aka: Upmarket fiction)
  • new perspectives – #OwnVoices, race, gender, LGBTQ, or sub-culture – different POVs, obstacles and outcomes. Situational humor is good, but not required.
  • Cozies will be a tough sell unless the “community” is something extremely different.

No talking or communicative animals. No Romance, but romantic elements are good if done well. Don’t force it.


  • art, music, pop-culture or sub-culture topics, including positive mental and physical health for artist
  • True crime
  • Business Self-Help: How to survive and keep positive while starting a business, running a business or working a high-pressure job.
  • I’d be excited to look at graphic novel formats for non-fiction also.

No politics or religion.

The key to selling non-fiction is having an existing platform – first-hand expertise or experience – no arm-chair quarterbacking. If you’re going to write about winning the World Beard and Moustache Championship, you better be a competitor or a barber…or better yet, be both.

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