Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 16, 2018

March Agent of the Month – Mike Hoogland – Interivew Part Two

Agent Michael Hoogland at Dystal, Goderich, and Bourret is our featured agent for March. He will critique 4 fist pages from the ones submitted.

Michael Hoogland joined  God after completing a foreign rights internship at Sterling Lord Literistic. Before pursuing a career in publishing, Mike studied at Colgate University and graduated with a degree in political science and the intention to work in government. He interned with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, but soon realized his interests and passions were better suited to a career in the publishing industry. After Colgate, Mike went on to gain a valuable education at the Columbia Publishing Course and discovered his passion for the agenting side of the business.

He is currently looking for thrillers (especially domestic), suspense, sci-fi/fantasy, upmarket women’s fiction, and children’s lit (YA, middle grade, and picture books), as well as a wide range of narrative nonfiction.


How far do you normally read before you reject a submission?

It varies. If a query catches my interest, if I see potential, I’ll read the entire submission. If it doesn’t I might not make it to the end.

Any pet peeves? 

A few: shallow characters that read more like sketches than fully fleshed out people; unrealistic dialogue; sloppy proofreading; stagnant plots; random or cheap endings, which feel unearned.

Do you let people know if you are not interested in what they sent?

I take each submission seriously and always try respond.

How long does it usually take to respond to requested material?

Within 6-8 weeks, ideally sooner, though sometimes I admit it might take longer. It depends on my workload at the time. My existing clients are my priority.

Have you noticed any common mistakes that writers make? 

Sloppy proofreading. I realize authors are eager to get their work out there, but don’t jeopardize all your hard work because of carelessness. It’s always worth giving submissions another once over.

Do you have a place where you keep writers up-to-date on what you would like to see? Blog? 

Just our website,, and the occasional Tweet (@mike_hoogland).

Do you give editorial feedback to your clients?

Yes. Always. I usually won’t demand that they act on said feedback, but at the very least I’d like to start a conversation. I strive to put my clients in the best position possible and that means sending editors work that is in the best possible shape.

Have you ever represented a children’s book illustrator?

Yep! I’ll be sending my first illustrator’s work out to editors fairly soon. I look for illustrators with professional experience or those that have studied the craft and familiarized themselves with the industry and marketplace.

How long is your average client relationship?

Over a year. I’ll represent someone who only plans to write one book, but I’m mainly interested in signing clients who are in it for the long haul and have multiple books brewing.




In the subject line, please write “MARCH 2018  CRITIQUE” and paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it’s a picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top on both the email and the Word document (Make sure you include your name with the title of your book, when you save the first page).

REMEMBER: ATTACH THE WORD DOCUMENT AND NOT GET ELIMINATED!Your First Page Word document should be formatted using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines – only one page.Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. 

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES: Your submission will be passed over if you do not follow the directions for both the pasted email and the attached Word doc. This is where most people mess up.

RESULTS: March 30th.

Please only submit one first page a month, but do try again if your first page wasn’t one of the pages randomly picked. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I believe there’s a fun typo in his bio. Unless he’s become a priest, minister or rabbi.


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