As part of our Tasmanian Country Town Tour last week we also caught up with over meals with our young writers based in Launceston and Hobart and welcomed into the fold an additional young writer.
In Launceston we enjoyed a meal with young writer Blaine Packer and his bride of seven months Ann. Blaine has been writing for Press Service International (PSI) whose young writers are published in Christian Today for four years.
Blaine was introduced to us through our Tasmanian Well-Being Australia co-ordinator Steve Suba from Launceston where Blaine was studying theology at the World View Bible College (WEC).
Blaine has been a consistent contributor, and one heralded by New Life Editor Bob Thomas who was singled out to us when Bob Thomas had a meal with us during the ARPA conference last month. ARPA – Australasian Religious Press Association.
Blaine and Ann met at their Launceston church, both originally come from the Sunshine Coast and spent their honeymoon in Fiji. Blaine is now working in IT in Launceston city and Ann is a Launceston tour guide. Blaine tells me Ann is a terrific editor and knows how to spell words and Ann prefers that role.
Tahnee March is one of the helpers at the Gateway Baptist Church Tuesday night youth group which has young people from the Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nepal, Bolivia and much else besides. I spoke at this youth group last week as part of our Country Town Tour agenda and where I met Tahnee.
After the program Steve Suba and I approached Tahnee and she certainly fitted into the age bracket 18-30 and knew about Blaine Packer's writing as she too is now studying theology at World View Bible College.
New young Tasmanian writer
Tahnee was delighted to sign in to the young writer program and then attended the young writer dinner last Thursday evening in Launceston. Here Blaine provided a very succinct and explanatory rendition of how the young writer program functions and noted that when the first reminder Email comes through (8 days out from the due date), it is then he begins to narrow his thought processes as to what his subject might be for the next article.
The articles are published once every 5 weeks in Christian Today and Blaine explained to Tahnee that is appears, but it is not, a whole lot quicker than that. He noted that the 8 day notice, followed by two more reminder notices leading up to the dead line, is stage 1 of the process. That is 8 days. The PSI editor Sophia Sinclair often replies with editorial suggestions. Then it is published the following week which might be another 12 days. That is now a total of 20 days, perhaps 24 days depending day of publication in Christian Today.
This in effect means your focus and attention to this articles from first reminder to publication is three weeks. Then 7 days after publication you receive your following 8 day reminder. In effect your immediate only has a seven day break. Overall, Blaine explained to Tahnee, it is 10 articles a year.
Blaine also noted that he attended the 2013 annual conference in Melbourne, and this is a special time as you often think you're the only one doing this 'pressure writing' and at the conference you meet so many others in the same boat (as it were) and proves to be very helpful and encouraging. Tahnee March is rip roaring to start!
Thomas and Laura Devenish – Hobart
Thomas has been writing for PSI for three years, he is 23 and works for television with the high tech visual introductions of programs and he loves his work. Thomas and Laura 19, were married eight months ago and spent their honeymoon in Vanuatu and already they have purchased their first home.
Both from strong Christian families, Thomas has as part of growing up with the family moving from time to time, worshipped in Baptist, Pentecostal and Anglican churches and meeting Laura he's been for a couple of years now at the Brethren's on Hobart, Laura's church.
Laura works in a financial planner's office and her dad is into financial planning for one of the major banks, so the industry was no new thing to her. But Ann Packer, Blaine's wife, Laura is definitely the editor and spell checker for Thomas. Laura said she is not the writer, she'll leave that to her literary inspired husband Thomas.
Thomas Devenish was introduced to the young writer program by the mother of Blaine Packer who knew of Thomas in Hobart and considered Thomas ideal. She was spot on as Thomas has been marked by the Panellists for the Basil Sellers Awards in 2013, '14 and '15 in the top echelon.
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