A Guide to Masonic Monologue
Prepared by: W Bro Stephen Townsend, Provincial Grand Orator
In addition to the “official” Orations available (which may only be delivered by designated Orators) there are many papers, lectures and presentations which will undoubtedly enhance the enjoyment of all of our members.
These include a wide variety of subjects related to all aspects of Freemasonry, and I am very grateful for the contribution made by all of my fellow Masonic authors for their support.
The 2016/2017 Competition
The deadline for the 2016 Masonic Paper Competition has been extended to give brethren the opportunity to complete and submit their papers. In order to give all writers the best opportunity, the deadline for submission is now 1st May 2017. We strongly encourage all brethren to have a go at conducting a little research, the work does not need to be onerous as there is a wealth of information available in print and on the Internet. Papers are particularly encouraged from brethren below the chair as you often bring a different perspective with your research which brings an interesting counterpoint to papers from more experienced brethren.
The winners will be announced by the Provincial Grand Master at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting in 2017 being held at Great Queens Street as part of the tri-centenary celebrations.There are two cups available to the winners, one to keep and the other to return after 1 year. There are two categories also, one below the Chair and the other for W Bros. New papers should be sent to W Bro Keith Marchington, PAGDC in the first instance to collate, index and create the database. Keith would therefore welcome any submissions you may have whether these are old or new.
Tips on writing Masonic papers
- Think about a title that sums up the theme of your piece and stimulates interest.
- Think about your audience. Will they include EAs, FCs or MMs? This will determine which level the Lodge will need to open in. If you deliver a paper to an audience consisting of all MMs you can still deliver this in the first degree.
- Write in the third person singular or plural.
- Do not exceed 30 minutes for any paper, otherwise people will fall asleep!
- Précis your paper after completion to make it punchier.
- Try to make it general, not specific to a lodge or province. This will enable it to be used in a wider Masonic audience.
- Use the internet. For example if you put in “Hiram,King of Tyre” it will ask you which of the 1.3 million articles you would like to read first! When you have read the first dozen or so you will probably have enough information for your paper! However, be cautious and always cross check information obtained from the internet, and be wary of breaching copyright.
- Use a spell checker to help you correct any typographical errors (English – UK, not English – USA!)
- Read it aloud slowly, and time it to ensure you will know how long it takes. DCs will want to know this to plan the evening, particularly the time for the festive board.
- If you need help, contact the Chairman
Information about the separate Orations scheme, together with the Provincial Grand Orator’s contact details can be seen here
W Bro Stephen Townsend PAGDC
Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden
The Provincial grand Orator