Jim McCarthy

Jim McCarthy

Dystel & Goderich Literary Management

My Manuscript Wish List

I’m always looking for fresh voices–whether that means authors from underrepresented communities, new takes on old tropes, something that hasn’t been seen before, or all of the above. I love a great humorous novel, but I’m also not afraid of anything that’s extremely dark. I’m always on the lookout for great fiction of any stripe but do gravitate towards YA and the fantastical–still, that doesn’t mean I’m not very open to realistic adult fiction and anything in between.

 

At this exact moment, I would particularly love to find fantasy or sci-fi in non-Western settings, sagas of family or friendship in the vein of Mary McCarthy’s THE GROUP or J. Courtney Sullivan’s MAINE, queer stories of any kind (particularly if yours has an asexual, non-binary, or intersex lead), and a super fun mystery.

 

I’m probably not your go-to for political or medical thrillers or police procedurals or stories involving time travel (with very rare exceptions). And while I love YA fantasy, I have a strange aversion to stories about fae/faeries.


Fun facts about me:

I’m a giant theater geek, so if there are any other nerds out there that these names mean anything to, these are the current playwrights whose work is, for me, unmissable: Lynn Nottage, Annie Baker, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Amy Herzog, Stephen Karam, Suzan-Lori Parks, Samuel Hunter. If you can compare anything you do to anything they’ve done? Please send my way.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to jmccarthy@dystel.com

Please send your query in the body of an email along with the first 25 pages of your project (either in the body or as a Word attachment).


Guidelines & Details

Vital Info

Agent
Fiction: Action/Adventure, Children's, Commercial, Family Saga, Fantasy, General, Historical, LGBTQ, Literary, Middle Grade, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult
Non-Fiction: Biography, History, Journalism, LGBTQ, Memoir, Pop Culture

Favorite sub-genres:
I’d like the next…

BETTER NATE THAN EVER by Tim Federle (whimsical, funny, emotionally satisfying middle grade for the win)


My favorites include…

My favorite books ever since high school have been SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE and SONG OF SOLOMON.

More recently, I’ve greatly enjoyed (in no particular order):

A SPOOL OF BLUE THREAD by Anne Tyler

THE MOOR’S ACCOUNT by Laila Lalami

ADAM by Ariel Schrag

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEVEN KILLINGS by Marlon James

I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson

GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES by Isabel Quintero

THE SELLOUT by Paul Beatty

THE BOOK OF ARON by Jim Shepard

THE GREAT AMERICAN WHATEVER by Tim Federle

FANS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE LIFE by Kate Scelsa

DUMPLIN by Julie Murphy

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon

GHETTOSIDE by Jill Leovy

THE CASTLE CROSS AND THE MAGNET CARTER by Kia Corthron

WHAT BELONGS TO YOU by Garth Greenwell

 

Favorite Movies:

Bring It On

Clue

 

Amelie

Leaving Las Vegas

All About Eve

The Apartment

Rebecca

Up

Weekend

Ratatouille

Spirited Away

 

Favorite TV:

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Quantico

30 Rock

Orange Is the New Black

BoJack Horseman

 

 

My Upcoming Events: