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Ludlow author Liz sells films right to her debut novel

By Keri Trigg | Ludlow | South Shropshire entertainment | Published:

An up-and-coming Ludlow author has marked the release of her debut novel – by announcing she has already sold the film rights.

Liz Hyder

The rights to Bearmouth, by Liz Hyder, have been snapped up by Binocular, the production company founded by Oscar-nominated writer Matt Charman.

Charman, who was an executive producer on Netflix’s Operation Finale and is co-producing a screen adaptation of Frances Hardinge’s Costa-winner The Lie Tree, made an offer for the rights to Bearmouth within hours of finishing the manuscript.

He is partnering with Endeavor Content on the project, while Susan E Connolly has been tapped to write the adaptation.

Charman said: “I was completely gripped from the minute I started reading Bearmouth.

"It's an astonishing debut. Liz has pulled off a stunning piece of world-creation, as well as an unforgettable journey for her protagonist Newt.

"The themes of resistance, hope, bravery and rebellion could hardly be more relevant, and I have no doubt Bearmouth will make a remarkable piece of drama."

In Bearmouth, Liz has created an imagined world with its own dialect, riven with social injustice and populated by characters who don't simply accept things because they are told they must.

Dream

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The novel, set down a Victorian-eque mine, was inspired by the author's research into working conditions of child miners, including those in Shropshire.

Liz said: “It’s an absolute dream come true to sell the film rights to my debut novel – and before Bearmouth had even hit the bookshelves.

"I’ve long admired Matt Charman’s work both as an amazing writer and at Binocular and I’ll be really excited to see Newt’s story brought to life on screen.”

Published by Pushkin Press on Thursday, Bearmouth has received a string of plaudits ahead of its release. Rave endorsements from authors include those from David Almond, Brian Conaghan, MG Leonard, Lauren St John and Kiran Millwood Hargrave, while The Times predicted that Liz will ‘become a household name’, and her books ‘a curriculum staple’.

The screen rights were sold by Anwen Hooson at Bird Literary Agency.

Liz is currently putting final touches to her first adult work, Glory. Set in England in 1840, it’s a page-turning thriller that explores themes of science, nature and religion, women’s place in society, the evolution of ideas and the danger of ambition.

Keri Trigg

By Keri Trigg
Reporter - @KeriTrigg_Star

Senior reporter covering Shrewsbury and South Shropshire for the Shropshire Star.

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