Bishop Brian Carrell a foundation Panellist for the Kiwi young writers and his wife May met with Dr Mark and Delma Tronson on Thursday evening 5 September in Christchurch, immediately prior to the Australasian Religious Press Association conference.
The central topic of conversation, apart from their 17 grand children which required May Carrell having a rather thick diary with all their birth dates, was the Panellists discussion paper put out a few weeks previously.
The Panellists are assigned the responsibilities of marking each and every young writer article over the first 6 months of the year for the annual conference and awards in either late August or September each year.
The young writer program statisticians collate the points for the annual young writer Basil Sellers Award winners. This is a big deal for the young writers.
In essence, this is a lot of work for each of the 35 panellists as there are 5 separate panellists who mark the young writer articles
New Zealanders 18-30
Australians Overs 31s
New Zealanders Over 31s
Internationals Over 31s
The Panellists have been hard at work for the first six months of each year since 2013 and although the article reading is stimulating and so very encouraging, the demands upon some of the Panellists has been at times overwhelming.
An alternative marking methodology was presented to the Panellists for their consideration, and this was to follow the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) model where only the BEST article from each young writer is marked.
The BEST article would be determined by each young writer and if they felt this was too difficult a task, then their Week Editor would make such a decision.
Bishop Brian Carrell
Brian Carrell made numerous comments on the suggested alternative and realised some of the Panellists might find this ARPA model far more convenient rather than spending the first six months of each year marking young writer articles.
The points Bishop Carrell made were not that dissimilar to what other Panellists had offered as to the disadvantages of a “one article” marking yet none came up with any meaningful solutions to cover the ‘gap’ between marking them all, or just one from each young writer. The three main concerns -
First, the obvious one, what a young writer might consider their best article (on possibly emotional grounds as it is so close to their hearts) whereas an objective view might be very different.
Second, would the single “best article” be an advantage to a young writer whose consistency in quality is questionable, but does ‘one’ amazing beauty! Whereas the young writer who writes very well consistently may be pushed aside by that one quite exceptional article by the more lax young writer.
Third, what reasonable rulings would need to be in place, such as a young writer needs to submit 4 fresh articles of the 5 over the first 6 months, with one republished article allowed – but that republished article would not be permissible as the Best Article.
A final decision will be made shortly after further consultation with the Panellists.
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.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at