The Press Service International Young Writer Program in conjunction with Christian Today has an ambient feature central to the good running of the program.
This is in not too fine a point — its volunteers. The entire set-up is based on the volunteers who make it all 'systems go'.
There are 85 young writers from Australia, New Zealand and across the world. There are a number of different sections of volunteers to see this all happen.
There are six — Irenie How looks after the Kiwi young writers, Russell Modlin, Tom Anderson, Bridget Brenton and Ashley Menelaws the Australians.
Again there are six, Rebecca Moore, Tim Price, Aira Chilcott, Liam Denny (the Australians) and the Kiwi's, Irenie How.
In 2017 there were four sets of panellists — one set each for the Australians, the New Zealanders, the Internationals and the sport writers.
There are two, one for the Australians and Internationals and the other for the New Zealanders.
Bridget Brenton has been doing these for the past two years with acclaim.
Young writer conferences
Take for example 2017. There was an 8 person planning group and a 2 person executive. One person focused on the conference bags (Jo Fuller), two did the period dress sword display (Cartia and Jesse Moore), three people were focus group facilitators, three were focus group observers. We had an additional photographer volunteer for the awards. The list goes on and on.
There is a young writer Facebook administrator (Charis Jackson), an IT PSI page supervisor (Josh Hinds), someone who uploads the article titles each week to the PSI page (Belinda Croft), Email Outlook set up with numerous Emails and sub-folders (Peter Scotland), Internet fixes (Christian Today's Steven Huang), house calls (young writer Zach Radloff), CTNZ uploads (Irenie How), CT editor (Natalie Huang).
As Christian Today is an online Christian News provider, it is imperative we have a responsible and dedicated team to ensure the young writers are published.
We have a backup sport writer coordinator in Jeremy Dover, there are 16 senior writers supporting the young writers, we have a team of 6 Tutors who are available to help the young writers in their development of articles, there are two theological advisors who serve in like manner, people who served as chairs of the Awards Commission and the Panellists Commission, and a three young writer group as the Brian's Trust. In New Zealand we have a gracious reviewer of the Kiwi young writers. We have five young writers who each Monday send to their week their publishing days.
There are regional/city occasional gatherings for lunch or dinner and someone coordinates those. One Day in Melbourne is an extension of the young writer program for missions' publication editors with another set of volunteers. Rev Bob Thomas editor of New Life is heavily involved in One Day in Melbourne.
New Young Writers
Michael Dahlenburg of Adelaide and Irenie How of Christchurch are the first links to the young writer program for new young writers coming on board. They send an email detailing the program and the new young writers responds they are on the same page. Once that happens, then that young writer is placed into one of the 5 weeks of the program.
We're very keen to see those young writers reaching towards 35 and over to be retained in the system, either becoming Panellists, Editors, Coordinators or progress to the Senior Writer ranks. No one is left out — but many choose to move on, as we're in the midst of our 3rd generation of young writers since 2009.
We are very keen to see our young writers' articles re-published for name recognition and in turn gain careers in the media. We have now seen quite a number who have secured careers as journalists including television. We are indebted to Ramon Williams Australia's Religious Media who regularly distributes around the world the young writer articles.
Interested in being part of the young writer program
firstname.lastname@example.org or 0419 917 713 (Dr Mark Tronson)
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.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html