The annual young writers conference has some traditions. One of these is to account in articles the sessions from the conference a little time after, as is said, the ‘fat lady sings’.
The conference was held on the Gold Coast with all the social distancing rules and only Queeslanders with ZOOM available.
Young writers from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide join in the ZOOM along with New Zealanders, Africans, West Indians, USA and others. Young writer Jesse Moore prepared the ZOOM and the venue was well equipped to cater for this.
What was originally an Anglican Church in Tugun, was sold to the Baptists (Tugun Baptist) and then handed over to a fresh encounter to Baptist Minister Rev Dave Quak and it became Living Temple Christian Church a decade ago. Then it hosted the young writers conference on 12 September.
Previous young writer conferences
2020 - Gold Coast
2019 - Melbourne
2018 - Christchurch
2017 - Sunshine Coast
2016 - Sydney
2015 - Sydney
2014 - Tweed Heads / Gold Coast
2013 - Melbourne
2012 - Sydney
2011 - Tweed Heads
The same formulae featured - a one day conference - start 10.00am morning giving young writers a chance to fly in, then finish after the awards at 5.00pm giving them time to catch early evening flights home.
This has worked well. Christchurch was a little different as Australian young writers had a little break away. For example our family did a trip on the AlpineTrain – Christchurch over the alps to Greymouth on the west coach of the South Island. Others took in Queenstown or toured south out of Christchurch.
The first session was divided into two parts, the first with the Christian Today editor giving an account of the London based Christian Today world wide network.
The second part of the session was Cartia Moore addressing the subject from the 2019 conference relating to on-line publishing.
The second session
After morning tea was by Joseph Kolapudi a young writer with significant credentials –
Joseph Kolapudi led a plenary at the 2020 young writer conference - Joseph is a young writer who currently serves with the international mission agency, ReachAcross. He also serves on the board of ARMCare, an initiative of the World Economic Forum's Global Shaper Hub in Brisbane. Additionally, he also serves on the State Youth Council for Multicultural Youth Queensland (MyQ), and works as a PR and Content Manager for the Business as Mission Global Congress (BAM) as part of the Lausanne Movement for World Evangelisation. He was recently named as a Multicultural Ambassador for the Mental Health Foundation of Australia (MHFA). In his spare time, he also serves as a creative contributor for the SAARI Collective.
The 2020 Basil Sellers Award winners
Aust 18-30 - Basil Sellers Award - Cartia Moore, Sunshine Coast
Kiwis 18-30 - Basil Sellers Award - Caleb Hourua, Auckland
Intern’ls 18-30 - Basil Sellers Award - Darren Salmon, West Indies
Sport writers - Jeremy Dover, Melbourne
Aust Over 31s – Basil Sellers Award – Conor Ryan, Adelaide
Intern’ls Over 31s - Basil Sellers Award - Kerry-Ann McLeod, West Indies
Aust Seniors – Basil Sellers Award - David Goodwin, Melbourne
NZ Seniors - Basil Sellers Award – Emma McGeorge, Auckland
Intern’ls Seniors - Basil Sellers Award - Josh Robbie, South Africa
Special awards - MC Russell Modlin received the book ‘Questions and Responses 3’ by the Pastor’s Pastor Rev Dr Rowland Croucher. Likewise Jesse Moore received the same book for his diligence on ZOOM.
Next year, 2021, the conference will be held at the same venue, this time hoping travel will be open from inter-state, New Zealand and elsewhere.
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 25 books, and enjoys writing. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded ‘The Gutenberg’ - the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. He and David Chang editor of Christian Today together bought the young writer ministry into fruition in 2009. In 2011 Mark established Laguna Quays Respite (Whitsundays) for missionary respite and replicated at Aldinga Beach 2016 (Adelaide) and Greens Beach Bass Straight (TAS). His ministry is honoured all these years by Christian philanthropist Mr Basil Sellers AM. He is married to Delma (44 years), with four adult married children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/dr-mark-t.html