Last year the process was longer. The annual conference was held in September and this meant an additional five weeks of marking and it was becoming debilitating for some and with the 2015 conference bought back to 1 August, it has reduced the Panellist's heavy work load.
Moreover an additional section was incorporated into the marking process. Last year there was an Australian group of young writers, a New Zealand group of young writers and a Sport group of young writers. This year to break up the work load, an International line was incorporated.
In 2015 this meant four groups
5 Panellists for the Australian young writers
5 Panellists for the New Zealand young writers
5 Panellists for the International young writers
5 Panellists for the Sport young writers
a) it reduced of articles to be marked by each Panellist
b) it reduced the number of weeks down to 25 from 30
The more heavily burdened Panellists were allocated the International young writers who were assigned the first week for publishing in each of the five week cycles.
The Panellists are the unsung heroes of the Press Service International young writer awards which were initiated in 2013 as follows:
Basil Sellers Award – Alison Barkley
2nd place – Laura Veloso
Basil Sellers Award – Danielle Stott
'Tronson' for Consistency – Sarah Young
Most Improved – Alex Gillespie
2013 New Zealand
Basil Sellers Award – Daniel Jang
Theology Award – Sam Burrows
2nd place drawn – Casey Murray and Sophia Sinclair
2014 New Zealand
Basil Sellers Award – Casey Murray
Theological Award – Jeremy Suisted
'Tronson' for Consistency – Sophia Sinclair
Most Improved – Matt Browning
Annemarie de Villiers
2014 Sport - tied
Brad Mills, Wesley Tronson, Annemarie de Villiers
So who will be the winners in 2015 - we'll find out on Saturday 1 August in Sydney. The people who will determine those awards are true celebrities. Give them a thought.
Every week day for the past 25 weeks they have opened one to three articles, read it, assessed its validity in concept, comment, theology, logic, gripping power, value, English gramma and syntax …. and whatever else.
Well, who are these phenomenal people determining the $1000 first prizes, the $500 consistency prizes, the coffee mugs ….
Simon Farrer (Melbourne), Peter Nelson (Canberra), Tim Wilson (Canada), David Burr (Melbourne), Andrew Bennett (Tweed Heads).
Euan McDonald (Brisbane), Christina Tyson (Wellington NZ), Vic Matthews (Moruya), Deidre Tronson (Sydney), Natalie Chu (Christian Today)
New Zealand Panellists
Brain Carrell (Christchurch), Liz Hay (Christchurch), Peter and Kathryn Yaxley (Tasmania), Natalie Chu (Christian Today), Deidre Tronson (Sydney)
Natalie Chu (Christian Today), Deidre Tronson (Sydney), Aira Chilcott (Canberra), John Skinner (Warwick), Gavin Lawrie (Tweed Heads).
We await their judgements to be revealed in three weeks, Saturday 1 August in Sydney.
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