Andrew Dugan

Dystel, Goderich & Bourret

My Manuscript Wish List®

Nothing excites me more than fresh voices who are unafraid to play with genre, language, and point of view in distinct ways. I love to see brave stories with high stakes that test a protagonist’s resilience but still hold space for laugh-out-loud moments. Generally, my language preferences skew towards the light rather than the dark — I love to see heavier stories that maintain a sense of whimsy.

On the fiction side, I am most excited to get my hands on LGBTQ thrillers and upmarket fiction. For thrillers, think Jonathan Parks-Ramage’s YES, DADDY or PJ Vernon’s BATH HAUS. It’s difficult for me to put down a story where queer characters confront suspenseful, specifically queer stakes. When it comes to upmarket fiction, I would love to see anything from the stricter romance of Natasha Siegel to thoughtful historical fiction like Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s THE MERCIES in my inbox. For historical fiction specifically, I find that I tend to sink my teeth into stories that forego grander, era-long arcs in favor of more specific settings and conflicts (less PACHINKO; more THE BUDDHA IN THE ATTIC).

As much as I’m looking for commercial titles, literary fiction has my heart. Send me your projects where language performs multiple functions — where the way you tell the story creates meaning. Here, I’m looking for strong premises married with a strong point of view that still maintains momentum. I like stories where good characters behave badly, and writing that tests a reader’s comfort level while still being accessible. Recent favorites include VLADIMIR and THE GUEST.

When it comes to nonfiction, I am most interested in narrative projects that deal with the environment (Sheldrake’s ENTANGLED LIFE), history with an angle (MADAME RESTELL), or sex (THE RIGHT TO SEX). Science proposals with a narrative lens are also welcome. This last bit is hilariously hyper-specific, but, I’ve been on the hunt for a writer who can do a project celebrating the Congo River Basin’s rich biodiversity.

Submissions should be emailed to

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