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Literary Agents

Mr. Jim McCarthy

Dystel Goderich & Bourret LLC

One Union Square West, Suite 904

New York, NY 10003



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Website: www.dystel.com

Twitter: JimMcCarthy528

AAR Member: Yes

Accepts Queries Via...

Snail-Mail: Yes

E-Mail: Yes

Online Form: No

Learn more about this agent, including:

  • Genres of Interest
  • Typical Response Times
  • Best Query Methods


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Leave comments about your experiences with this literary agent, or read what other authors have to say.

from anotherearth
Aug 12, 2018 8:32 pm


08/12 Auto-response to query: He is on vacation until August 20th.
from HannahKarena
Aug 10, 2018 4:34 pm


EQ: 8/1
FR: 8/1
from kaperton
Aug 08, 2018 9:07 am


EQ: 8/6
ER: 8/8 (form)

YA contemporary 94K
from ergotcake
Aug 07, 2018 10:14 am


EQ: 8/6/18
ER: 8/7/18 (form)

MG Mystery 44k
from bookwormwrites
Aug 05, 2018 3:26 pm


EQ 12/6
FR 12/6 (!!)
Nudge 6/5, response same day that he'd misplaced it and would read ASAP (he said he tries to read w/in 2 months, if you're thinking of nudging! don't wait as long as I did!)
ER/R&R 8/1 got an AWESOME rejection with specific feedback and an invite to resubmit if i revise to address the issues. Or to just submit new work. Best rejection ever :D

YA fantasy 83k
from fallondemornay
Aug 03, 2018 10:59 am


@DjWriter
If Jim says its a no for the agency - as hard as that may be to hear, he's honest and operates with integrity. He'd never speak for them otherwise. Jim is always lightening fast with his responses. As for the agency, well, it would be simple enough to flip an email or DM to a colleague and say, "Hey, does this sound like something you're interested in?" which I'm sure they'd answer immediately since it's coming from a colleague and not the slush pile. Also - some agents only read material if the query letter hooks them enough to want to read on. Maybe you need to have some fresh eyes take a look at it.

Rejections are never easy. Dust yourself off and keep querying elsewhere. There are so many amazing agencies out there. I'm sure you'll find the right home eventually.
from Dreams32
Aug 02, 2018 4:47 pm


EQ: 8/1/18
ER: 8/2/18

YA contemporary, 70k
from erinbledsoe
Aug 01, 2018 2:53 pm


EQ: 7/24
FR: 7/25
ER: 8/1

YA HISTORICAL FICTION 97K

A little sour with his manuscript rejection being identical to his query rejection, especially with him being one of my dream agents. I was just hoping for more, but it happens!

Onward.
from abreitwrite
Jul 24, 2018 8:48 am


EQ: 7/16/18
ER: 7/18/18
YA Fantasy
from LightofBeauty
Jul 18, 2018 11:25 pm


Just wanted to say this about Jim: while I have no clue on whether or not he passes queries on to other agents before sending a form reject, especially if we're only talking about minutes and hours here from the time it was sent, from my personal experience with him with my project, he sometimes does pass a whole manuscript to other agents if he's not clicking with it but is still willing to give it a fair and fighting chance. Now I don't know if he even does that often, I can only speak for myself and my experience, but he really does pass things along. With me he told me that he passed it on to two agents within the agency, for whatever reason other than a generic "didn't connect" feedback, it just didn't work out with him or the agency or those other agents (he didn't tell me which agents he passed it on to, but that's okay). He said I was so close, but alas no cigar, but it wasn't from without trying. I just want to reassure and in all fairness let folks know that Jim is a class act. When he sees the potential in an author and/or project, he does the best he can. I do know some of this agency's agents do pass on queries, I originally queried Lauren Abramo and it's through her that I got the attention of Jim. In hindsight as much as I adore him I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't have been a good fit for me anyway, genre-wise (adult/upmarket/commercial), but nonetheless, it was an honor to query him and to know that ultimately he tried. He really is a good guy :).
from DueleNinja
Jul 11, 2018 10:17 pm


EQ: 6/27/18
ER: 6/28/18
YA Sci-Fi
I admit this one stung a little, but look on the bright side: He responded QUICKLY. I'll take that any day over a non response. Onto the next agent!
from Zurizip
Jul 11, 2018 11:28 am


Can someone offer some advice? Unsure of what to do.

Jim asked for a full and ultimately rejected it back in January. That rejection got me looking really hard at my structure and stuff and I did a rewrite of some 50% of the book. Per the agency guidelines, you are welcome to submit revised works, so I sent a query with an intro that explained all of the above. So far, though (20 days later), there's been no reply. Should I send him another email? Assume it's a pass? Halp?
from k8lynwrites
Jul 11, 2018 7:51 am


EQ: 7/9/2018
ER: 7/11/2018
Got my hopes up a little with this one because he took longer than his normal turnover time to get back to me :/ Really wanted Jim as an agent. He seems super cool and down to earth.
from thewhipslip
Jul 09, 2018 8:19 pm


EQ: 7/8/2018
ER: 7/9/2018 Form

YA Fantasy, 67k
from DJWriter
Jul 02, 2018 6:36 pm


@ya_writer, thank you! It’s not that I’m suspicious of his own personal response being quick. I appreciate that! But he spoke for the entire agency, and I know there is no way the material was passed on. Now I feel as though I can’t query the other agents. There were a couple that would have been a slightly better fit, but I enjoyed Jim’s personality on social media and that’s the main reason I submitted to him. :(

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