Young writer editors at lunch
Lunch on 3 June at the One Day in Melbourne conference for 'mission media' saw the 'editors of the young writer program' with Christian Today discuss aspects of their ministries.
In order for the young writers to be published orderly and functionally, the program sets out for each young writer to write 10 articles a year and these are set out in ten Cycles - each of those Cycles consists of 5 weeks covering all 85 young writers.
Aira Chilcott, Rebecca Moore, Cheryl McGrath at the lunch meeting
Editors and Coordinators
All this works as there is a coordinator and an editor for each of those weeks. The coordinator sends out the reminders for their respective due dates and the editors focus on the articles to ensure they are ready for publishing.
Week 1 - Dr Mark Tronson and editor Emma Seabrook
Week 2 - Russell Modlin and editor Rebecca Moore
Week 3 - Rosanne Menacho and editor Tim Price
Week 4 - Bridget Brenton and editor Aira Chilcott
Week 5 - Ashley Menelaws and editor Liam Denny
New Zealand - Editor - Irenie How
Sports writers Jeremy Dover, Wes Tronson, David Goodwin
Weekly young writer Thursday memo
Each week a young writer memo is sent to the young writers and the first item is an Editor Note which provides writing hints and ideas.
Prior to this 'lunch meeting' Cheryl McGrath the CMS Victoria Communications Officer provided this note for one month, then the next month 'four experienced' members of the team was assigned one week at a time.
These were Aira Chilcott, Rebecca Moore, Rosanne Menacho and Sam Gillespie.
Lunch meeting chair – Sam Gillespie
The lunch meeting
Sam Gillespie – Chair
The meeting initially discussed the weekly young writer memo “editor note” as Cheryl McGrath said it was too much providing this a full month at a time. The outcome after discussion was a radical one – and it's been implemented.
Strategically, each fortnight rather than another of the 'editors' - for that second week, it is to the archives for a Basil Sellers Young Writer Award winner for one of their 'winning' articles' – Sam Gillespie does a review and a second article is simply noted – an Australian then a New Zealand young writer in turn.
This suggestion is not a new one. From time to time over the years there has been voices wanting to have such 'top articles' somehow being given exposure to a new generation of young writers. This is an ideal way to do exactly this.
Bridget Brenton, Tim Price, Irenie How at the lunch meeting
Coordinating and Editing
This editing session proved to be an airing of what was actually happening on the ground - for example, late comers are a perennial issue. The editors do not have time to chase them up for approvals for editorial changes when articles come in late.
Some are good writers but not in arithmetic. An article is submitted on a current event, and although it is clearly set out the article is not published for another 8-10 days, the article's subject matter by then has come and gone.
Some guess a bible verse or reference and then the editor checks it ….. 'it ain't right!' One idea was a collation of ideas, using much more the young writer Facebook site. The provided Style Guide for too many is like a dusty book on the shelf. Some editors feel that it’s important to ensure consistency with the ethos of Christian Today. The editors have available to them two theologians to submit articles, the previous chief editor in 2016 did this from time to time as did I.
Yet, with this, they love their responsibility editing these brilliant young people and the joy they receive in corresponding with them and getting their authentic voice in such email conversations. And, increasingly the use of embedded videos and photos are encouraged as are the 'tutors' whose list the young writers are provided.
This group is meeting again over lunch at the annual young writers conference being held on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday 12 August. In the afternoon session, a short time will be set aside for young writers to bring to the table their reflections on the editing process.
Young writer editors at lunch
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