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Agent Spotlight: Elena Giovinazzo

This week's Agent Spotlight features Elena Giovinazzo (formerly Mechlin) of Pippin Properties, Inc.
Status: Elana is currently closed to submissions except for referrals. Check the agency website to find out when she reopens to submissions.
Elena hsAbout: "Elena Giovinazzo always thought she'd be an English teacher. That is, until the day she realized (later than she cares to admit) that books came from someplace and that there were jobs in those places. She immediately set out to find one of those jobs. After attending the Publishing Institute at the University of Denver she worked her way through positions in subsidiary rights and marketing, until she landed at Pippin in June of 2009 and never looked back. She has been mining the queries for gold and jewels ever since.." (From the agency website)
About the Agency:
“Pippin Properties, Inc. opened its doors in 1998, and for the past twenty-three years we have been privileged to help build careers for authors and artists whose work stands the test of time, many of whom have become household names in their own right. We are based in New York City, at 110 West 40th, adjacent to Bryant Park.
"Though our primary focus is on the highest caliber literature for young people, we also eagerly represent our clients' fiction, nonfiction, and graphic works should they decide to write for an adult-trade readership. We have the editorial expertise required to help bring each project to its full potential, prior to submission, and we place nearly every project we submit.
"We'll work as hard as you do, and we are avid caretakers of and strategists for our clients' projects, marketing plans, and careers —be it picture books, middle-grade, young adult, graphic novels, novelty, and adult trade projects. We grow as you grow, and are devoted to maintaining a standard of excellence in content unmatched in the industry.
"Additionally, we are a little bit obsessed with licensing every ancillary right to our books that we can, from live stage to theatrical to merchandise to audio. In tandem with our clients' desires, we are passionate about increasing the footprint of every property we represent.Pippin Properties is also dedicated to diversity, inclusion and equity in all facets of publishing. We believe we must all do our part to dismantle inequitable practices and systemic racism in the publishing industry and in our country. Pippin Properties has pledged to do our part by offering initiatives that aim to amplify and support underrepresented groups.” (From the agency website)
Web Presence:
Pippin Properties website.
Pippin Properties on Facebook.
Pippin Properties on YouTube.
Publisher's Marketplace.
#MSWL Tweets
What She's Looking For:
Children’s picture books, middle grade, and young adult.
"She's looking for authors, author / illustrators, illustrators, engaging non-fiction, picture books, MG and YA fiction, graphic novels and maybe even an extraordinary debut adult novel. Her interests are broad but looking, especially, to bring more diverse voices to her list and the bookshelves." (From the agency website)
From an Interview (02/2013):
“I’d love to see something that surprises me. So many of the queries that we see are for books that are a variation on a popular theme or riding the coattails of other books that have done enormously well. I’m always attracted to the stories that have come about because they’re worth telling, not because the author thinks they could write something that’s a lot like ______ (fill in the blank).” (Link)
From an Interview (11/2012):
“…in terms of fiction, certainly my tastes run more literary, contemporary, or historical rather than sci fi or fantasy. I find myself most attracted to stories with a timeless quality to them. In regard to picture books, I most like things that make me laugh or are clever in some new way.” (Link)
From an Interview (10/2012):
“A great middle grade series. It can be fantastical, but it has to feature real kids with real emotions dealing with some real world issues (in addition to fighting the odd dragon, ogre or petulant god).” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
The agency specializes in children's and teen books and is not actively seeking adult projects. 
Editorial Agent?
“Super editorial. I most often will not sign someone on until going through at least one or two rounds of intense edits with them. Not only are we ultimately going to get a better deal on a manuscript that’s in better condition, but I also want to make sure that you’re willing to work just as hard as I am to make your good manuscript great. HOWEVER—this does not mean you should try submitting something that isn’t your absolute best work, hoping that we’ll help you make it good enough for submission. Only begin querying agents when you’ve brought you story as far as you absolutely can on your own.” (Link)
There is a page of authors and illustrators on the website. 
Ms. Giovinazzo’s clients include: Katherine Applegate, Harry Bliss, Rob Dunlavey, Beth Ferry, Jason Reynolds, Christina Soontornvat, Beckie Weinheimer, Christi J. Whitney, among others.
Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes (only)
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: No.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Writers: E-mail a query letter that includes a synopsis of the work and the first chapter pasted into the e-mail or the entire picture book text.
Illustrators: Send a query letter detailing your background in publishing or illustration and include a link to a website with examples of your work, if possible. The agency will request digital files or hard copies if they're interested in seeing more.
See the Pippin Properties website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
Query Tips:
“The number one thing a writer can do to catch an agent’s attention is show that you’ve done your research and that you’re querying Pippin because you know who we are and what we do. Then, tell us, in the best way you know how, what sets your story apart from the pack.” (Link)
Response Times:
The agency only responds if interested. If you do not hear back within three weeks, assume rejection. Stated response time on requested material is four weeks.
Elena Giovinazzo joined Pippin Properties in 2009 and was promoted to full agent February 2013. Prior to joining Pippin, Elena worked at Simon & Shuster and Random House in subsidiary rights and marketing. Pippin is highly respected and specializes in children’s and teen literature.
I recommend following Ms. Giovinazzo on Twitter @ElenaMechlin for further insight and client news.
Worth Your Time:
7 Questions For: Literary Agent Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo at Middle Grade Ninja (02/2013).
Interview: Holly McGhee and Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo of Pippin Properties Literary Agency at Writer Unboxed (10/2012).
Q and A with Agent Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo at Scribe (03/2011).
Please see the Pippin Properties website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 1/31/2022.
Agent Contacted for Review? Yes
Last Reviewed By Agent? N/A.
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 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.


Jan Markley said...

Great profile, thanks!

Leigh said...

Another excellent addition to you list. This really is a detailed and trustworthy list of the agents out there - free of all the bull. Perfect!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great spotlight. Too bad she doesn't say more about what genres she's looking for. I'll have to check out the agency site. Thanks for all the research.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

*sigh* This is my dream agency, Casey. Elena has my first three pages right now. It's both terrifying and exciting. Thanks for the awesome spotlight! :-)

Unknown said...

Thanks again for another great spotlight.

Anonymous said...

cool - thanks for that

Laura Pauling said...

Thanks for all your hard work, Casey!

Thermocline said...

You've given us a lot of information about the various agents at Pippin with these recent Spotlights. Thanks!

Ishta Mercurio said...

This is a super profile - thank you!

I've given you a blog award, Casey.

Chuck Sambuchino said...

Sigh. I just posted a mini-profile on her, too. Would have waited had I known you just did the same. Sorry.

Casey McCormick said...

Thanks so much, everyone!

Good luck with those pages, Shannon.

Chuck, I really don't mind. More exposure for Pippin!

Julie Hedlund said...


Thanks for yet another great agent profile and also for the link to my post!

Amie Kaufman said...

Great profile, thank you, those links are great!

CarolWeis said...

Just wondering if she's still with Pippin Properties. She's not listed on their website.

Casey McCormick said...


She got married. Her last name is now Giovinazzo. I need to update it on here.

Casey McCormick said...

Okay, updated her last name. Hope it's clear for everyone!