I met Elena Giovinazzo (formerly Mechlin) three years ago at our Rocky Mountain SCBWI conference. I gave my first-ever manuscript pitch to her and queried her afterward. Although she rejected that manuscript, she did so in the nicest, most encouraging way. I was still fairly new to querying and submitting at the time, and I learned SO MUCH from her in that weekend.
But what I really remember was how easy-going, approachable, and nice she was. A few of us hung out in the bar (I know, I know… hard to imagine me in a bar…) after the banquet, and we sat and chatted about weddings (she was anticipating one in her future), to cheese or not to cheese, and many other non-writing topics that helped me realize agents are regular humans like the rest of us. I have a huge amount of respect for both Elena and Pippin Properties, and I wish participants the best of luck as you submit to her!
A little bit about Elena from the Pippin Properties website:
“Elena Giovinazzo joined the team in June of 2009. Having begun her publishing career in subsidiary rights, moving on to children’s book marketing with a stint in audio, she realized that a position in agenting would enable her to continue to be involved in the many aspects of publishing about which she is so passionate from one place. She is thrilled to be pursuing her love of children’s literature and the industry from her seat at Pippin and especially enjoys the treasure hunt that is sorting through the daily query emails.”
Here are a few of the guiding beliefs at Pippin Properties:
“Part of the success of Pippin is due to a philosophy shared by all Pippin artists and authors:
The world owes you nothing. You owe the world your best work.
Evergreens—we want to create books that will stand the test of time.
We want to work with people in all media who share our philosophy.”
When I asked Elena what she looks for in picture book submissions, here is how she responded:
“I tend to gravitate towards spare, funny texts. I have a STRONG aversion to rhyming text as 9.8 times out of ten the story would be so much better if told in prose. I like books with a funny twist or a little ambiguity to them.”
Full submission guidelines for Elena will be posted in the Membership Forum September 30.
Elena’s Interview with Middle Grade Ninja – Check out #3 – What are the qualities of your ideal client?
How to Write a Winning Query – summary of Elena’s 2010 session at RMC-SCBWI on my blog
As of 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 4, GOLD members of 12 x 12 are free to submit to John Cusick.Categories: 12 x 12, Agents, Children's Books, Picture Books, Queries · Tags: 12 x 12, 12 x 12 Featured Agent, Agents, Author, Elena Giovinazzo, Julie Hedlund, Picture Books, Pippin Properties, Publishing, Queries