Michaela Whatnall

Dystel, Goderich & Bourret

My Manuscript Wish List

Across the board, I look for a strong voice that sucks me in and fascinating characters who I want to spend time getting to know. I love stories with a central character arc, where I get to watch a character grow and change. I’m always eager to see books from diverse voices.

In both middle grade and young adult, I have a special soft spot for character-driven fantasy (like GRACELING, RAYBEARER, and THE TEA DRAGON SOCIETY) and heartfelt contemporary (like DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY, FELIX EVER AFTER, and THE LINE TENDER). Other genres I love include, but aren’t limited to, graphic novels, science fiction, historical fiction, horror, and rom-com. I’m equally excited about books that are an absolute blast to read, and ones that will break my heart (as long as they still include a dash of hope!).

In adult fiction, I am primarily looking for upmarket and commercial fiction with a strong hook, and well as speculative fiction and fantasy. I’m also open to science fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, and other genre fiction, especially that which centers queer and otherwise historically underrepresented characters. Additionally, I’d like to see narrative nonfiction in the areas of history, the creative arts, and lifestyle.

I'm seeking select picture book projects, particularly books that would be a great fit in the classroom.

Here are some other specifics that I'm always eager for:

  • Boarding school/university settings
  • Theater stories
  • Sports and competition stories that center underrepresented characters
  • Stories about nonbinary and asexual characters
  • Found families and sibling stories
  • Fresh takes on old classics
  • Stories that deal with language
  • Niche interests or groups

I am not the best fit for:

  • Military science fiction
  • Parody or satirical fiction
  • Legal thrillers
  • Stories about deadly viruses

Submission Guidelines

You can query me at https://querymanager.com/query/michaelawhatnall.

Please see the link below for full submission guidelines for querying an agent at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. Every single query that comes in is reviewed, so please do give us 6 - 8 weeks for response.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info

Fiction: Action/Adventure, Children's, Commercial, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Historical, Horror, LGBTQ, Literary, Middle Grade, Picture Books, Science Fiction, Thriller, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult
Non-Fiction: Biography, History, Illustrated, LGBTQ, Memoir, Pop Culture

Favorite sub-genres:
I'd like the next...

My favorites include...


  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  • Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu
  • The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill
  • American Hippo by Sarah Gailey
  • Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
  • Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
  • Winter's Orbit by Everina Maxwell
  • Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech
  • Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
  • Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

TV and Movies:

  • Derry Girls
  • Master and Commander
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • Booksmart
  • The Princess Diaries
  • The Great British Bake Off
  • Gentleman Jack
  • Full Metal Alchemist
  • Howl’s Moving Castle
  • Knives Out
  • The Old Guard


  • The Magnus Archives
  • The Strange Case of Starship Iris
  • Steal the Stars

My Upcoming Events:

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