Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC
My Manuscript Wish List®
I’m a partner and Literary Agent at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret, where I’ve been for the last 16 years. I represent a varied and eclectic list of middle grade, YA and adult authors, including many bestsellers and award-winners.
I often tell people that I don’t know what I’m looking for until I see it. I couldn’t have even imagined to wish for a seriously humorous book about unstoppable praying mantis soldiers, or a surrealist novel about a girl who can see the helicopter her friend is building but only on Tuesdays, or a series about a bunch of kids trapped in an enormous, seemingly-unsolvable maze. When I think back on what’s made me sit up and take notice, it’s often the unexpected, off-beat, or seemingly impossible-to-sell. I like a challenge, and I love an underdog, both in terms of the books themselves and the authors. Tell me something doesn’t work, and I’ll try to prove you wrong.
So, first and foremost, I’m looking for the offbeat, quirky, original voices that aren’t easily categorized. If your critique partners aren’t quite sure how to respond to your work, I’d love to take a look. I like to champion authors who break the mold, who aren’t afraid to challenge conventions, and who would rather attempt something grand and fail than never have tried.
I am very interested in representing books that deal with issues of poverty and class. I’ve said before I’d love to see a YA version of the film Frozen River.
As ever, I’m interested in a representing a diverse group of authors, in terms of race, gender, gender identity, sexuality, religion, and even political thought. I like authors who challenge me to look at the world in a different light. I like to see underrepresented voices recognized.
I’m still looking for a great YA western, which has probably been on my MSWL longer than anything else. I’d love to see something along the lines of the Robert Altman film, McCabe and Mrs. Miller. But I’m open to anything different and reimagined.
I’d love to see more adult psychological thrillers, particularly something dark and comic.
In the end, what I’m looking for is to be surprised. I want to see things I haven’t seen before.
You can query me at http://QueryManager.com/MichaelBourret
Please see the link to our submissions guidelines. Every single query that comes in is reviewed, so please do give us 6 – 8 weeks for response.