The Australian and New Zealand young writers leadership groups program of Press Service International met last week on the Gold Coast prior and presented their outcomes to the annual young writer conference at the Banora Point Baptist facilities over the weekend.
These two leadership groups represent the young writers from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, England, Mozambique, the Middle East, China, Korea, Thailand and the West Indies in a publishing program initiated in 2008 linked with Christian Today.
Press Service International is one of the ministries of Well-Being Australia whose major sponsor Mr Basil Sellers AM graciously supports this youth development program with prize monies donated toward the development of their future professional undertakings.
Australian Leadership Group is made up of the young writer representative on the Well-Being Australia national board, Russell Modlin from the Sunshine Coast, two foundation young writers, Jeremy Dover from Melbourne, Wesley Tronson from the Gold Coast, and the inaugural award winners Alison Barkely from Newcastle serving in an NGO in the Philippines and Laura Veloso from Melbourne.
The New Zealand Leadership Group is made up of the inaugural award winners Sam Burrows of Auckland, Sophia Sinclair of Christchurch, Casey Murray of Auckland, Jeremy Suisted of Cambridge and Brad Mills of Auckland.
Laura Veloso (Australia) and Jeremy Suisted (New Zealand) ran the presentation to the young writer conference.
1. This year the summer break for the Young Writers will fall during the first 2 weeks of January. It was decided to reduce the break to 2 weeks, and during this time the Panellists 'Best Articles' will be published. This allows the cycle to retain momentum, while giving everyone a break over the New Year period.
2. Currently the 5 week cycle consists of 1 week of international writers, 3 weeks of Australian writers and 1 week of New Zealand writers. This will be changing in 2015. As of January, Weeks 2 - 5 in the cycle will have a mixture of Australian and New Zealand writers, while week 1 will remain mainly International. It will be good to diversify the weeks and have the articles from both countries more integrated. There are not enough International writers as yet to also disperse them through the weeks, hence keeping week 1 the same (due to International time zones).
3. Feel empowered to grow the team. The goal for the PSI Young Writers is to ultimately have 3 Australian / New Zealand writers and 1 International writer being published on Christian Today per day. To achieve this goal there is the opportunity to gather more young people aged 18-30 who potentially would like to write and have a 'voice' in Christian media. There is space for Australian, New Zealand and International writers to join the team should this be something they feel they would like to involved in or a sensing God's call to do. If someone does pop up in your life, do let Dr Mark Tronson know and get them in contact with him.
4. For 2015 the leadership team proposes that the end of the Panellists marking cycle will be the end of June. Hence, the 2015 Conference and Awards Night will be held on Saturday August 1 (Aust/NZ Leadership meeting on July 31) and from here-on will be a mid-year conference lining up with the financial year instead. 2015 conference will be held in Sydney.
5. There will be no specific New Zealand conference next year, instead each conference will be a combined affair to highlight the integrated nature of what we exist for. On 21 March 2015 the NZ Leadership Group will meet in Auckland with Dr Mark and Delma Tronson (possibly some Aust Leadership Team members) to discuss important items and then on August 1 all the writers will be encouraged and supported to attend the Sydney Conference. This will be a wiser use of funds.
6. Cost of lateness - Russell Modlin's email summarised to the young writers highlighted from the Well-Being Australia board, viz - letting the team down, how it affects Dr Mark Tronson, your team's Week, the coordinator and ultimately Christian Today.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html