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Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

Agent Spotlight: Michael Bourret

This week's Agent Spotlight features Michael Bourret of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC.
Status: Open to submissions.
staff_mikeAbout: "Michael Bourret began his career as an intern at the agency while studying film and television production at New York University, joined full-time in 2000, opened the West Coast office in 2009, and became a partner in 2016. He represents a wide range of genres and age groups; his children’s list is broad, spanning from picture books to young adult, while on the adult side he represents narrative nonfiction, memoir, and commercial and literary fiction. Across the board, he has a special affinity for offbeat projects that break the mold, and a particular interest in queer and BIPOC literature and writers. His diverse and critically acclaimed authors include several New York Times bestsellers, as well as winners of the National Book Award, the LA Times Book Prize, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the William C. Morris Award, the Lambda Literary Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Stonewall Book Award, and finalists for many others. His clients’ works have been translated into over fifty languages and adapted into major motion pictures." (From the agency website)
About the Agency: 
"Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC is a dynamic literary agency boasting an impressive client list and a sterling reputation. Led by Jane Dystel, who founded the company in 1994, our agents are smart, hardworking, compassionate, and focused on their authors’ success. We are a full-service enterprise known for our business savvy and integrity. We don’t just sell books. We build careers."
(From the agency website)
Web Presence:
DG&B website.
Twitter @MichaelBourret.
Manuscript Wish List.
DG&B Facebook.
What He's Looking For:
Genres / Specialties:
Fiction, African-American, Gay + Lesbian, Historical, Horror, Mystery, Thrillers, Women's Literature, Non-Fiction, Biography, Memoir, Business, Investment, Crafts, Hobbies, DIY, Health, Diet, History, Politics, Current Affairs, Pop Culture, Entertainment, Science, Technology, Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle grade, Young adult. (Link)
"He specializes in children's books, from picture books through young adult. He is actively seeking children's books of all kinds, but especially commercially-minded (though not necessarily commercial) young adult and books for boys." (Link)
Also see Mr. Bourrett's Manuscript Wish List detailed information about what he is looking for.
From an Interview (03/2013):
“I'd love to see anything that's new, original, daring, different, out-of-the-ordinary, that pushes boundaries, that's uncompromising. I'm actively looking for both MG and YA, and I like a challenge. If you've written a book that breaks the mold, that doesn't sound like other things on the market, please be in touch. It can be realistic or fantasy, but it can't be familiar.” (Link)
What He Isn't Looking For:
Christian Literature, Erotica, Poetry, Puzzles, Games, Romance, Textbooks, Dramatic Works
Editorial Agent?
A list of clients is available on the website.
Marcy Beller Paul, Emma Carlson Berne, Bryan Bliss, Z Brewer, Preeti Chhibber, Gayle Forman, James Hankins, Dave Holmes, Rhoda Janzen, A.S. King, Stephanie Kuehn, Malinda Lo, Lisa McMann, Carrie Mesrobian, Emily X.R. Pan, Jewell Parker Rhodes, James Riley, Francesco Sedita, Suzanne Selfors, N. H. Senzai, Bernadette Shustak, Andrew Smith, Nova Ren Suma, Molly Wizenberg, Sara Zarr, among others.
Query Methods: E-mail: No.Snail-Mail: No.
Online Form: Yes.
Submission Guidelines:
Send a query and the first 20 pages of your manuscript. No attachments. Query only one agent at the agency. 
See the DG&B website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines and tips on how to query them.
Query Tips:
"I hate when my name is spelled wrong, I hate typos in the first sentence, I hate being queried by writers who haven’t done their research.  But in the end, none of that really matters if the query is compelling.  As I’ve mentioned on our blog, the details aren’t the most important thing, the idea, the narrative, the storytelling – that’s what hooks me." (Link)
Response Times:
The agency's stated response time for queries is 8 weeks. If you do not hear back within the stated timeframe, feel free to resend if referencing the original query. (From the agency website)
What’s the buzz?
Michael Bourret has been with DG&B since 2010 and has a very impressive list of authors and sales. He is regularly a Top Dealmaker on Publisher’s Marketplace and his clients are very loyal, suggesting happy partnerships all around. For what it’s worth, Bourret makes my personal list of tip-top agents.
I recommend following him on Twitter @MichaelBourret for further insight.
Worth Your Time:
Interviews and Posts:
Michael Bourret Podcast at Sara Zarr’s THIS CREATIVE LIFE (12/2022)
Michael Bourret Podcast Interview at Inside the Writer's Head (01/2019)
Interview with Agent Michael Bourret at All the Write Notes (03/2013)
Around the Web:
Before querying, I recommend reading all the pages on the DG&B website, including a great FAQ section and his Manuscript Wish List.
Please see the Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC website for additional contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last Updated: 1/7/2023.
Agent Contacted for Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 2/8/2023.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7(at)gmail(dot)com

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's/teen fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.


PJ Hoover said...

Nice roundup, Casey!

Tyler said...

This is a HECK of a roundup! Thank you! Keep 'em coming!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

love the summaries! thx casey. he has a full out of mine but he has been nothing but professional. I have heard he has long response times but I thing he's worth the wait.

Anonymous said...


I'm just going to leave this anonymous, but I want to add something to what you posted above about Michael not getting back to a writer (yeah that was me). The thing that was really distressing about it was that when I emailed him I told him I had another agent who only took exclusives waiting to read my full, so I need a definitive answer from him. I phrased it all very professionally and politely. He didn't get back to me. You'd think that no matter how busy a person is, he'd at least have the compassion and professionalism to not keep a writer's career hanging when they had other options. I've had other rejections and had other agents take their time with responses, but this is the only one that I feel truly bitter about.

Casey Something said...

Hello Anon!

I'm sorry I didn't get that in there for you. I wasn't sure you wanted it in so I opted to leave it out just in case. I'm glad you chimed in and added it though! The more information and feedback on an agent the better.

Good luck on that full Shelli!

Thanks for the comments everyone!

Suzanne Young said...

I just saw that Michael was in the agent spotlight. I ADORE him. I queried Michael with several projects and other than the first manuscript, all the rest had great feedback. He was funny, charming, and had excellent advice.

On the last manuscript I queried him, he didn't respond. I later talked to him and found out it accidentally went into his spam!! When he didn't respond, I ended up signing with another agent. But he's very high up on my agent list!!!!!

Maybe some of his non-responses have to do with his email issues he was having at the time??

Michael B. Rocks! haha

Neesha Meminger said...

This is fantastic. I love that you include possibly not-so-great writer feedback to balance things out. Great job and keep it up!

Anonymous said...

You know, I've thought about querying this agent in the past, but I can't get past this: http://www.dystel.com/submit.html It is so unnecessarily negative. I get it - lots of queries are written unprofessionally. But you know what else is unprofessional? Taking an accusatory tone with the people who ultimately provide your income.

Unknown said...

Minor typo Casey: "He’s a mehe sells about 30-40 books per year, although some of those are multiple-book deals. He also has a charming obsession with bran mber of AAR, andmuffins."

Perhaps should be:

"He’s a member of AAR, and sells about 30-40 books per year, although some of those are multiple-book deals. He also has a charming obsession with bran muffins."

Casey Something said...

Thanks Kyle! Looks like I had an accidental drag and drop when I went in to edit stuff last month.

I went ahead and updated the profile completely. Added his new bio since founding the West Coast office, new submission guidelines (e-queries only), and updated for recent interviews, quotes, sales, etc.

Anonymous said...

I want to echo what anonymous said about the submission page. Technically, this agent looks like a great fit for me, but every time I go to query I get stuck on that page and have a major rage attack. Then I think about the email I'd like to send whoever wrote that, and by that point I am in no mood to query.