Photo - Last year's young writer conference with Laura
The 2018 young writer conference will be held in Christchurch on Saturday 1 September at the Salvation Army Conference Centre, Colombo Street – just three weeks away.
The plenary speakers for the morning session
Tim Newman - former NZ Christchurch young writer with a Masters in Ancient History and now an employed journalist with the Southern Times (Invercargil) – he was 2nd in the 2015 and 16 NZ Basil Sellers Awards and 1st in 2015 Sports Writer Award. His topic is the transition from volunteer young writer to professional journalist with the corporate publishing entity Stuff NZ.
Daniel Jang - Former IBM Senior Consultant in Australia, Former FIFA IT Project Manager for Oceania, Former crew member onboard MV Logos Hope Middle East mission (Turkey, Egypt, Bahrain), now a sports chaplain in Auckland, New Zealand. Daniel won the 2013 NZ Basil Sellers Award and is now as senior writer. His topic is looking forward for Kiwi young writers.
Young people are coming from Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Wollongong, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, and internationals from Mozambique, South Africa and the West Indies.
Press Service International in conjunction with Christian Today 'young writer program' has been running since 2009 and today incorporates 85 young writers from Australia, New Zealand and 18 internationals from England, West Indies, USA, Canada, China, South Africa, Mozambique….
Photo - last year's young writer conference – Mozambique's Kandima Awendila and Canada's Miranda Menelaws and husband Ashley
Each year an annual conference is held over one day - and with the assistance of Mr Basil Sellers AM who has provided air fare scholarship helps for these young people to travel – this is an annual feature of the program.
Young writers commence in the program 18-30 years of age, then as emerging young writers 31-40 years of age, then as senior writers – it's an age thing. This was incorporated as it was totally unfair for a 36-year-old to compete with an 18 year old for the annual awards.
Last year an Awards Commission was established chaired by Major Christina Tyson NZ Salvation Army media - with these three separate age group entities and with 5 panellists who mark their articles for the annual Basil Sellers Awards.
Australians - young writers
New Zealand - young writers
International - young writers
Australians - Over 31's - emerging young writers
New Zealand - Over 31's - emerging young writers
Internationals - Over 31's - emerging young writers
It's not rocket science - a huge effort is made by the 5 sets of panellists for each separate group.
Photo - Demonstration 'period' sword display at last year's conference – this year the Haka
2018 program - young writer conference
Russell Modlin (wife Belinda and father of three sons), is the young writer program's Well-Being Australia board member and perennial conference MC - along with his conference side-kick MC Rebecca Moore, wife to Tony and mother of four – two of each – both Russell and Rebecca are senior writers and former young writers.
They engage is the most outrageous comedy stunts throughout the conference with the young writers who lap it all up.
The Kiwi young writers
The Kiwi young writer program was initiated in 2012 and with conferences held in Auckland and Christchurch in April 2013. In 2014 a follow-up Kiwi young writer conference was held in Wellington. In the past three years award winning Kiwis and others were bought across to the Australian-based conferences – 2015-2016 in Sydney and 2017, the Sunshine Coast.
Now, six years down the track, the current Kiwi young writers, in the afternoon session, are meeting to decide on self-determination with an entity of their own. A number of models will be put forward to those gathered. Bishop Brian Carrell a NZ founding panellist will accept the formal hand-over from PSI Australia to the Kiwi young writers at 3.00pm.
The Australian young writers will be meeting in small groups while the Kiwi young writers meet and after formalities and afternoon tea, the annual Awards start at 4.00pm with the conference concluding with Capt. Peter Brookshaw welcoming everyone to Melbourne for the 2019 young writers conference.
Photo - Jo Fuller with last year's conference bags
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
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