Christchurch and Invercargill young writers were on the agenda for the New Zealand leg of the Press Service International visit last week after the Auckland 'Australasian Religious Press Association' (ARPA).
The Kiwi young writers were established way back in 2012 and the following year the first Auckland and Christchurch young writer conferences were established. A lot has happened since then. Already the second generation of Kiwi young writers are in the program.
This year Christian Today New Zealand was established as a separate platform to Christian Today Australia and this has allowed a new scope for the Kiwi young writer program.
John and Gaynor Craig hosted Mark and Delma Tronson in their home for their two night visit which included a visit to the famous Museum with the Red Indian and 1930's motor bikes.
We were shown Queens Park and Invercargill’s wonderful Avery, the a classic shop with many old motor bikes with a trip down memory lane with many items for sale from yesteryear, even a four legged wood fire stove, brand now!
The real highlight was a visit to Bluff, 22ks south of Invercargill with New Zealand's most southerly shipping port. The Bluff smelter takes the Australian sludge and converts it into aluminium. The Bluff restaurant overlooking the southern ocean proved to be a lovely morning tea, outside was windy and cold, and little wonder the homes were all situated on the northern side of Bluff hill.
The evening of Tuesday 29 August we had dinner with former young writer Tim Newman, the 2015 and 2016 NZ Basil Sellers—'Tronson Consistency' Award—and the 2016 Sport Writer Award. Tim has a Masters, his subject Christianity and Islam in conflict (through the ages). Tim is now a journalist with the Southern Times.
Christchurch with Bishop Brian Carrell
Bishop Brian and Mrs May Carrell met with us for dinner on Wednesday evening 29 August; Bishop Brian has been a NZ young writer 'Panellist' since the Kiwi young writer inception, way back in 2012.
Bishop Carrell is the theologian I send young writer articles for wisdom and insight who in turn reflects and sends details notes so as to assist the editing process. These are young people who are developing their theology and Bishop Carrell is a wonderful blessing to the program.
Interesingly, the Carrells have 5 children and the Tronson's 4 children—9 all told. A most delightful evening at the Rydges.
Irenie How, the Kiwi young writer editor, and Matt Joils met with Mark and Delma Tronson on Thursday afternoon 4.00pm at the Rydges to initiate planning for the 2018 young writer conference to be held in Christchurch. Initial planning was discussed with the Press Service International young writer Brain's Trust chair Sam Gillespie coming over to Christchurch in October to finalise the program.
The discussion then turned to the Kiwi young writers establishing their own legal entity and although this may well be up and running before the August Christchurch conference, the formal launch will be held as part of the 2018 conference.
Irenie How is doing the running on this as it requires considerable administration and legal, insurance, process. Sophia Sinclair is looking into other writers groups as there may well be a national covering with amateur writers which would solve that issue.
Young writers’ dinner
The Christchurch young writer dinner was delightful where everyone was involved in the discussions and the program.
Some could not get there, but Jessica and Eoin McPherson told us about their activities and careers, how they met and the rest of it. Matt and Irenie spoke at length about the hopes and dreams of the young writers.
Jessica, Matt and Irenie all received their Best Article awards at the Sunshine Coast young writer 2017 conference—along with Matt and Irenie winning major awards.
2017 NZ Basil Sellers—Tronson Consistency' Award—$500
2017 NZ Basil Sellers—Theology Award—$500
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