The Press Service International young writers met earlier this month in Melbourne for their annual conference where they made some long reaching decisions for their on going program.
He afternoon program focused on three specific aspects -
Video as a communication tool within PSI
Amy Manners and Cartia Moore addressed the many ways video can be utilised within PSI. Video is booming with possibilities. We can use video to help build, connect and inform our PSI community through News and Newsy Bits videos (shared privately on Facebook, Instagram, and emails).
Video breaks through barriers to reach new demographics with the Gospel and inspire faith journeys. It is another tool that can complement our writing to “publish His glorious deeds among the nations” (Psalm chapter 96, verse 3).
Cartia and Amy introduced how video can be embedded into our Christian Today articles. They shared practical tips to help those who are interested in visual storytelling to get started. Tips included: using your iPhone to record video, keeping your premise short and sweet, exploring the free programs that come with your software such as iMovie on a mac, and having fun with the process.
Even if you are not interested in filmmaking, you are a consumer of videos and can share on social media videos created within our community that inspire you — this activity helps to connect people to the articles published on Christian Today. Every time we share content it spreads further than we think. Cartia and Amy showed real-life examples where videos from digital magazines have been shared on social media to help grow readership subscriptions.
Some examples of films you can make are:
- Recordings of creative pursuits such as art, song making, cooking
- Films of mission trip
- Interviews with people that inspire yo
- Talking deeper about the content in your articles
We each have a voice and stories to tell. Cartia and Amy plan to release a PDF soon, full of their tips and resources to inspire others to pick up a camera and hit record.
Stay connected with our new Instagram accounts:
David Goodwin addressed the utility of the PSI Australia site as a central repository for every article produced by our writers. Not only does it allow writers an easy way of reading their own work, and the work of their peers, it provides coordinators with a easily accessible resource they can browse for respublishable content.
David also highlighted its external applications. Writers are able to share their work with family and friends, or anyone else who is interested, directing them towards the site. The site showcases the work we do as a whole, with a list of daily articles as well as a yearly archive, but every writer also has a personalised CV site that contains all their articles in one easy to find location.
As well as simply promoting your work, David shared how it can offer professional opportunities and development. Using his experience as an editor, he mentioned how many industry professionals looking for content browse sites like Christian Today for content they can reprint and our site puts it all at their fingertips.
He also stressed the importance of being to provide editors and publishers with examples of our work, with the CV site giving every writer a ready made portfolio that shows they can do that can be handed out to any who asks. David shared how being able to demonstrate practical writing experience through his work with Christian Today had allowed him to turn writing and editing into a career, and that it had done so for a number of others, too.
David finished by encouraging everyone to make use of the site, and make the most of the many benefits offered by this free service to our writers. He pointed out that the expectation is that each writer maintain their own site to reduce the workload on our coordinators, but that it was more than worth the effort for what we can get out of it.
Young writer functionaries
Rebecca Moore chaired this session …… was an open floor forum to discuss specific functionalities of the Young Writer Program. These topics included: encouragement and focus; an upcoming fundraising project; online analytics and the function and future of our regular email system.
With the focus of this group being a voice of next generation Christian writers in the online marketplace, the writers were encouraged to continue to see each article as an act of worship. Analytics available are not specific due to unknown republishing numbers and limited access to CMCI analytics, but the responses sourced are encouraging of an increasing readership.
The Young Writer program is a volunteer ministry therefore, funds are limited. A fundraising proposal has been put in place to publish an anthology of articles written by PSI writers.
These books will then be individually sold with profits going directly to financing each writer’s travel and accommodation needs for annual conferences, and to support the ministry. This idea was warmly welcomed. Annual conferences serve as an important time to meet together and connect on ideas for going forward therefore, it is beneficial for as many writers as possible to attend.
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