Emma McGeorge from Auckland, 2017 NZ Basil Sellers Award winner
The New Zealand young writers program is taking a leap forward with inaugural steps toward autonomy from Australia's Press Service International.
It was back in 2012 that Kiwi young writers were invited to become part of the Press Service International's development of having young people exercising their voice into the international market place of ideas through Christian Today.
By the end of 2012 there were 12 young Kiwi's writing a monthly column for Christian Today and these came through:
Australasian Religious Press Association
In March 2013 two conference days were established, one day in Auckland and another in Christchurch, where the first generation of Kiwi young writers met together to hear first hand from Christian Today and Press Service International. Christian Today Editor David Chang and Press Service International's Dr Mark Tronson met with 15 young writers at the Rydges in Auckland and then five in Christchurch at CMS.
It was a logistics exercise with the assistance of Julie Belding, the then NZ young writers fellowship co-ordinator based in Auckland. Initially the Kiwi young writer Christian Today publishing days were Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.
In 2013 the numbers increased to 17 young writers, an addition of three, as a cyclical fifth week was introduced into the PSI young writer program with Christian Today. At the 2013 Auckland meeting Christian Today's David Chang addressing the young writers on the philosophy of the program and designed to allow the young writers express the sorts of issues they experienced.
Sabrina Meyer from Christchurch
Origins of the young writers program
The NZ young writer program sprung out of the Australian young writers program which at that time had 33 young people contributing a monthly article (a 5 week cycle) which included a full week of international young writers.
Christian Today Australia approached me in 2008 to write a daily column and in 2009 a further request for a daily Sport article saw the development of five young Sport writers in 2010 and this expanded in 2011 to young Comment writers. In 2012 the NZ young writers was developed.
PSI - Press Service International
PSI is the vehicle by which the Australian and New Zealand young writer programs are engaged with Christian Today. PSI provides a web-presence for each young writer as a CV, as an archive of their specific articles.
In addition, each day PSI sends to Australian and New Zealand Christian Media that day's young writer articles and each Friday, the week's young writer articles are packaged and sent to an international data base of Christian media editors around the world.
PSI is designed so that Christian Media across the board are invited to republish the young writers' articles in order for their names to become familiar and that their “Voice” is provided a wider net. We find their articles reproduced in a broad range of Christian media around the world. It's been an astonishing program.
Original NZ young writers 2012-13
Week 1 - Sam Burrows, Tash McGill, Mercy Cornish
Week 2 - Andrea Earl, Peter Rope, Chloe Pryor
Week 3 - Elesha Edmonds, Daniel Buckingham, Brad Mills
Week 4 - Amanda Robinson, Joelle Bautista, Sophia Sinclair
International Week - Daniel Jang, Lehi Duncan, Casey Murray
Week 5 - Gemma Taylor, Dale Wang, Jared Diprose
Esther Koh from Wellington
Christian Today New Zealand (CTNZ)
Monday 13 February 2017 saw the very first Kiwi young writers being published on the new CTNZ site (which was) established in November 2016 with trial publishing during December and January.
Of those original young writers initiated in 2012 – now 6 years ago – Peter Rope and Sophia Sinclair have been or remain panellists for the Kiwi young writer 'awards', Brad Mills has joined them as a Panellist for the Over 31's group of young writers.
In August 2017 Press Service International's Dr Mark and Delma Tronson met with Irenie How the Kiwi young writer coordinaor and editor in Christchurch energizing the Kiwi young writers for the Christchurch conference on 1 September.
In October, two months later, in Christchurch, the young writer's brain's trust chair Sam and Salley Gillespie from Sydney met with Irenie How. The Kiwi young writer program is always looking for interested young people to join the Kiwi young writers – celebrating an international column.
We now have two new Kiwi young writers - Mel Cleary (Wellington) and Rebekah Lamorena (Auckland). Please contact us to enquire becoming a Kiwi young writer (18-30 years of age) - firstname.lastname@example.org
2014 New Zealand young writer conference video
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
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