Former HarperCollins executive Shona Martyn joins Lingo Pictures

“We want our own literary sleuth on the front line”

Lingo Pictures has hired former HarperCollins executive Shona Martyn for the production company.

Martyn was the publishing director of HarperCollins in Australia and New Zealand until December 2016, a role that encompassed local and international fiction and non-fiction. She was previously the publishing director of Transworld/Random House, arts editor of Vogue, editor of Good Weekend and founding editor of HQ Magazine. She was a member of the Sydney Writers’ Festival board from 2003 to 2011.

“I am delighted to be joining the team at Lingo Pictures as their exclusive book scout at a time when the thirst for transforming books into TV and film has never been stronger,” said Martyn. “There are many splendid stories just waiting to be made and many opportunities for authors as a result.”

Lingo Pictures is owned by Helen Bowden and Jason Stephens, two of Australia’s most prolific and highly awarded television drama producers.

Bowden said: “We want our own literary sleuth on the front line and there is no one more beloved by authors, agents and publishers than Shona Martyn. Her taste, creativity and focus are legendary.”

Bowden has twice received the TV Week Logie and the AACTA for Best Mini-Series in the same year – for The Slap in 2010 and for Devil’s Playground in 2015. Other credits include the celebrated telemovie Underground – The Story of Julian Assange, the feature film Lou starring John Hurt and the award-winning documentary Girl in a Mirror. She was a principal and the foundation managing director of Matchbox Pictures, which formed in 2008 and sold to NBCUniversal in early 2014.

Stephens produced five television dramas between 2010 and 2014 under a joint venture with FremantleMedia: Killing Time (Foxtel), Devil’s Dust (ABC), Mr and Mrs Murder (Ten), Better Man (SBS) and Schapelle (Nine). As well as producing these shows, Stephens was director of development at FremantleMedia from 2006 and creative director from 2010.

Lingo Pictures is currently in production on the Network Ten two-part television adaptation of the classic novel “Wake in Fright”, starring Sean Keenan (Puberty Blues), David Wenham (Lion), Caren Pistorius (Offspring), Alex Dimitriades (The Principal) and Gary Sweet (House Husbands). The series is being directed by Kriv Stenders (Red Dog: True Blue).

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