With all the publicity and promotions of the 2020 winners in the various categories of the young writers hardly a mention has been made of those who assessed the articles to determine the winners – the Panellists.
To recap – there are 35 Panellists. What ! Yes 35.
There are seven categories of young writer groups and each of those 7 groups had 5 panellists each – do the maths – 7 groups x 5 groups = 35 panellists.
Australians 18-30 years
Australian Over 31s
· Australian Young Seniors
Internationals 18-30 years
Internationals Over 31s
· International Young Seniors
Kiwis – 18-30 years
· NZ Young Seniors
The young seniors all have the one set of panellists - these are those young writers who missed out on being assessed when they moved from the Over 31s into the senior writers.
Australian 18-30s - Gavin Lawrie, Russell Modlin, Vici Nunn, Cheryl McGrath, Aira Chilcott
Australians Over 31s - Ashley Saunders, Tim McDonald, John Skinner, Colin Miles, Margaret Pearce
Internationals 18-30s - Vic Matthews, Darren Lawson, Travis Barnes, Tony de Kiviett, Alex Gillespie
Internationals Over 31s - Rex Dale, John Yates, Christina Tyson, Kandima Awendila, Graham McDonald
Kiwi young writers 18-30s - Brian Carrell, Liz Hay, Christina Tyson, Sarah Richards, Wayne Graham
Sport - Peter Nelson, Simon Farrer, Josh Robbie, John Skinner, Tim Wilson
Junior Seniors - Bridget Brenton, Peter Bentley, Paul Cornish, John Lemmon, Ben Campbell
Not by means a motley crew - take for example Gavin Lawrie a retired barrister, Ashley Saunders CEO Barnabas Fund, Tony de Kiviett ret RAAF VIP Pilot, John Yates Anglican Minister and Missionary, Brian Carrell NZ Anglican Bishop, John Skinner National Rodeo Judge, Peter Bentley former ARPA President … just to name a few the many in house celebrities.
These people give their time and energy to follow the young writers, read the weekly memos on the program and entertain their articles, not only for assessing but for enjoyment and instruction.
The marking in 2020 was different to previous years whereby the methodology followed the Australasian Religious Press Association model whereby those who entered the marking scenario only sent in their BEST article.
Prior to this the young writer panellists marked every article and this became cumbersome and time consuming. So the program of marking was changed to the young writers sending ion their BEST article only for marking.
For this function, each group required a Connect person who received the BEST articles and then forwarded them to the Panellists. This was important to separate the young writers to the panellists. This worked well.
We look forward to 2021.
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. 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 Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. The above photo is the upper part from this portrait.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html