The Press Service International young writer program with Christian Today initiated the New Zealand component in May 2012 with a start date in August after the London Olympics. Until that moment PSI was featuring articles on the Olympic ministry outreach.
The Australian young writer program kicked off three years earlier and I had this overwhelming conviction that New Zealand Gen Y should also have a Voice into the international market place of ideas.
There were a number of New Zealand contacts I had access to, and these ranged from Ministers in Auckland and Dunedin, contacts through ARPA (Australasian Religious Press Association) and associates through various Christian conferences.
Having contacted each of these, a number of names came my way, and having introduced the philosophy and the idea of a monthly article, so in August 2012 the first New Zealand young writers began to appear in Christian Today.
That was two and a half years ago. These New Zealand Gen Y young people once they saw the reach they were getting through their articles, introduced others and so the numbers grew.
The initial New Zealand young writer conference was held in Auckland and Christchurch in March 2013 with day programs. In total, 18 attended these conferences and this was followed by the annual awards conference in Melbourne in September 2013 in which five New Zealand young writers attended. We were able to raise funding to help both New Zealand and interstate young writers to fly.
April this year saw the 2014 New Zealand young writer conference held in Wellington and then nine came across to the Gold Coast for the annual awards conference in September.
2013 New Zealand Awards
$1000 Basil Sellers 1st Place – Daniel Jang
$1000 Theological Award – Sam Burrows
$500 - 2nd place drawn – Sophia Sinclair and Casey Murray
These awards were re-presented at the Wellington conference the following April.
2014 New Zealand Awards
$1000 Basil Sellers 1st Place – Casey Murray
$1000 Theological Award – Jeremy Suisted
$500 – Tronson Consistency Award – Sophia Sinclair
Towards the end of 2014 we saw seven of these brilliant young writers moving onto to other adventures -
Mercy Cornish to CT Children's Television
Dale Wang - to academia
Daniel Jang to Mission
Gemma Taylor to London
Elesha Edmonds to professional writing
Janetta Hayden to film production
Casey Murray 2nd 2013, 1st 2014
We have extended the warmest of invitations to these young writers to return to us when and if able. Staying with the program but now living in England, is Helen McIntosh from Wellington but moved sideways to the International list. Auckland's Bex Silver meanwhile has returned from Thailand and back on the New Zealand list.
New NZ young writers
In recent months we have seen a fresh intake of Gen Y young writers, as one might say, the Lord has raised up a fresh generation:
Two of our young writers have taken sabbaticals preparing for their marriages and then returning: Chloe Pryor (Auckland) and Harriet Campbell (Wellington).
The 2015 New Zealand contingent to date
Christchurch - 4
Wellington - 5
Harriet Campbell (after marriage)
Cambridge - 1
Rotorua - 1
Auckland - 11
Chloe Pryor (after marriage)
All these New Zealand young writers are featured on the Christian Article Registry Depository (C.A.R.D.) in order for editors around the world to connect with them.
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