The Press Service International Australian young writer program with Christian Today was initiated in 2010 with a daily sports young writers and later that year developed to 'Comment' writing by the young people that joined the program.
In 2012 the New Zealand young writer component was initiated in August of that year, and as there was a number of New Zealand contacts I had access to. These ranged from Ministers in Auckland and Dunedin, contacts through ARPA (Australasian Religious Press Association) and associates through various Christian conferences. A number of names came my way and so it boomed.
Then last year we found a growing number of international young writers, some of whom were on the mission field, others had moved to live in another country, some returned to live in their birth country, and so through a series of contacts, a Week of five week cycle was devoted to these young people.
Young writer conferences proved a bit difficult for them, but none the less, some were in Australia or New Zealand and attended the available conferences. These were held in both Australia and New Zealand.
The Panellist issue
The Panellists too were involved as by 2014 we had separated the Panellists into three groups.
In 2014 there were 72 young writers in the program and the seven Panellists in each of these three groups were assigned to mark their respective young writers for the Basil Sellers Award at the annual awards conference. In 2013 it was held in Melbourne, 2014 on the Gold Coast.
But the pressure of reading and marking of any one Panellist group up to 14 articles a week was heavy going and conversations throughout 2014 revealed something needed to be done to relieve such burdensome mandates.
The solution was found in developing a fourth group or category, that of the Internationals. Whether they were Australian or New Zealand, if they were living overseas they would be classified in this International group. Moreover if those who were born overseas but living in Australia, they too would be classed in the International group.
This mechanism provided five fairly equal Weeks of young writers, the Internationals as Week 1 with the Australians and New Zealanders balanced within Weeks 2-5.
2015 International Panellists
Christina Tyson – Wellington NZ
Euan McDonald - Brisbane
Vic Matthews - Moruya
Deidre Tronson - Sydney
David Chang - Christian Today
2015 International Columnists (Young Writers)
Genevieve Wilson - Canada
Lisa Goetze - Canada
Sharma Taylor - West Indies
Paul Lewis - West Indies
Rosie Robinson - England
Beckie Bowie - England
Helen McIntosh - England (expat NZ)
Oscar Duan - China
Alison Barkley - Philippines (expat Aust)
Mumin Faizy - Middle East
Kandima Awendila - Mozambique
Tina Hakimi - USA
Dan Peterson - USA
Ana Akana - USA
Rachel Byers - USA
Jason Lalone - USA
Charis Jackson - USA
All these International 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