Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Literary agents Julie Just and Elena Mechlin at Pippin Properties seeks new authors, especially kids books

Julie Just
Pippin Properties 
110 West 40th Street
Suite 1704
New York, NY 10018

Pippin Properties is a small agency devoted primarily to representing authors of picture books, middle-grade, and young adult novels, but they also represent adult projects on occasion. Pippin is an integrated publishing and entertainment agency and represents its clients to a wide range of publishing, animation, motion picture, television, and licensing companies.

Pippin represents publishing greats such as Kate DiCamillo, David Small, Peter H. Reynolds, Kathi Appelt, and Doreen Cronin, among many more. Pippin is always on the lookout for writers and illustrators who take the challenge of creating books seriously and are willing to give the publishing world nothing less than their very best. 

Julie Just is the newest member of the team at Pippin and she’s actively looking for authors. Julie began her careet at The New Yorker magazine reading the slush pile (author names A through K) and to this day loves finding unexpected gold in her in-box. She went on to spend more than 20 years at magazines and newspapers, most recently at the New York Times Book Review. She became a literary agent in 2010 and this spring joined Pippin Properties.

“I’ll be representing both kids’ books and some adult projects,” says Julie. “Right now I’m especially interested in YA and middle-grade fiction, but I have a very wide range. From picture books and graphics to adult narrative nonfiction, what I go for is strong sentence-to-sentence writing and original, hard to put down stories. I spent many years working as an editor, and am very hands on – if I believe in your book or proposal, I will go through as many drafts as we need until it’s ready.

“My recent projects include a debut YA historical fantasy series, Chantress, by Amy Butler Greenfield (S&S); I Represent Sean Rosen, a comic novel by Jeff Baron (HarperCollins); and George and the Big Bang (S&S), by Lucy and Stephen Hawking, the latest book in their science fiction adventure series. In 2014 I’m very excited about The Islands at the End of the Earth, a tense, realistic novel with a sci fi twist set in Hawaii, by debut writer Austin Aslan (coming from Wendy Lamb Books, Random House).

 “In YA fiction I love smart, funny writing and complicated emotions (check Peter Cameron’sSomeday This Pain Will Be Useful to You: for me, a perfect novel), and stories that are so extraordinary they cross genres and audiences (“The Golden Compass”). In both YA and middle grade I love adventure, fantasy, friendship, romance, mystery, and the occasional fast-paced thriller.”

Include a short synopsis and the first chapter in the body of the email. No attachments.

Elena Mechlin began her publishing career in subsidiary rights, moved on to children’s book marketing and then a stint in audio. She joined Pippin Properties in June of 2009 and handled foreign and audio rights. In February  she was promoted to full agent.  Like all new agents, she needs authors.  

She represents authors of all types of children's books, from picture books through young adult. Her current clients include 2013 Newbery Medal-winning author Katherine Applegate, debut young-adult author Jason Reynolds, picture-book author Beth Ferry and illustrator Rob Dunlavey. 

“In terms of fiction,” says Elena, “my tastes run more to 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.

Query Elena at:
Include a synopsis of the work(s), your background and/or publishing history, and anything else you think is relevant. Pippin only responds to queries that interest them. Picture book manuscripts may be included in the body of the email. No attachments.

Illustrators interested in submitting their work should send an initial query letter detailing your background in publishing or illustration and any other pertinent information. Links to websites with examples of your work are extremely helpful.

Complete submission guidelines here

Carly Watters
Brian Henry will lead a “How to Get Published” workshop with guest speaker Carly Watters of P.S. Literary agency in Georgetown on October 5 (see here), and will lead a “Writing for Children & for Young Adults” workshop in Mississauga on Sat, Oct 26. (see here.) 
To register, email

Brian will also lead “How to Write Great Dialogue"workshops in Burlington on Sept 7 (see here) and in Toronto on Sept 28 (see here). And he’ll be leading “How to Build Your Story” workshops in Barrie on Sept 21 (here), in Sudbury on Sept 22 (here) and in Ottawa on Nov 17 (here).  To register, email

But before you submit, the best way to get your manuscript into shape is with a weekly course. In September, Brian will be leading “Welcome to Creative Writing” on Tuesday afternoons in Burlington (see here); “Writing your life & other true stories” on Tuesday evenings in Burlington (here); "Next Step" courses on Thursday afternoons in Mississauga (here) and Thursday evenings in Georgetown (here) and “Intensive” courses on Wednesday afternoons in Burlington (here) and Wednesday evenings in Mississauga (here). 
To register, email

See Brian's full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia, Bracebridge, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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