Writer and Photographer Guidelines

The Journal of the Masonic Society is a quarterly semi-scholarly publication focusing on Freemasonry and the fraternal experience worldwide. The Journal has published articles covering a wide variety of subject matters, including history, philosophy, esotericism, ritualism, and allegory, as well as providing relevant news and commentary. The Journal seeks to provide a space for scholars of all persuasions to expand and develop a theoretical, critical, and thought-provoking dialogue relative to the Masonic community and the study of fraternalism, and to that end, the articles published in the Journal are the building blocks to a wider understanding of the Masonic experience.  Our mission is to provide our readership with innovative, thoroughly researched, and finely crafted writing in a timely fashion.


The Journal invites writers to submit brief query letters about prospective articles, photo montages or artwork. Potential contributors are encouraged to download and review this guide before sending queries, articles, or art.

We accept articles for publication in electronic format only compatible with the current version of Microsoft Word.


A query is a written proposal outlining a proposed article, and providing us with a short (one paragraph) summary of your manuscript. Queries should also list the title of the manuscript, theme and word count, as well as a brief biography of the author.  Please do not send us your manuscript until specifically asked to do so.

Article queries should be sent to the submissions coordinator: paper-submissions@themasonicsociety.com


We welcome contributions on all aspects of the Masonic and fraternal experience which make a significant and original contribution to this field. The Journal supports innovative prose that showcases critical work furthering knowledge of Freemasonry and we especially encourage submission from all fields of interest. Manuscripts should contain 2500 - 5000 words, and book reviews should be 300–500 words, but we will consider pieces outside those limits should circumstances warrant. Manuscripts should follow the documentary-note style, as specified in the latest edition of the CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE (See Citation& Authority below).  Every submission should be accompanied by a good selection of digital photos or images with captions (5 - 15 words).

Book Reviews

Book reviews are generally covered by the Journal editorial staff, but we welcome queries about recent releases. Book reviews (300 – 500 words) must be accompanied by a cover illustration and contain author, title, publisher, page count, and retail price in the header/footer of the review. Please see our Book Review style points below.  Proposed book reviews should be sent to: books@themasonicsociety.com

News & Events

The Journal publishes limited Masonic news of a regional or national character, as well as notices of educational conferences and events of similar scope. News and events notices should be sent to the news & events coordinator for consideration: calendar-submissions@themasonicsociety.com


The Journal of the Masonic Society is published quarterly on the solstices and equinoxes.  Deadlines for writers are as follows:

Spring Issue: February 15
Summer Issue: May 15
Fall Issue: August 15
Winter Issue: November 15

Deadlines are absolute.


The Journal of the Masonic Society does not pay its contributing writers. Writers who submit an article for publication grant the Journal first North American rights to stories and photos published in this magazine.  The Journal will not use artwork or articles that have been published previously unless otherwise agreed upon. The Journal retains the right to republish material previously published in earlier volumes of the magazine.


Every article should be accompanied by 2 - 4 high quality, digital images (TIFFS or JPEGS). Images must be credited and if necessary, permission to use them should be obtained and forwarded to the Journal with the images. Minimum sizes: 4 x 6 inches at 300 dpi. Please submit them via email with an accompanying caption in the body of the email that is clearly matched to each photo or image.  Photos should illustrate subject matter contained in the article. Illustrations are desirable as well. All illustrations should be captioned by the writer. Captions should not exceed 75 words and should accurately describe the image to the reader.

General Style for Articles

Text and Formatting:

  • All manuscripts should be set in 12-point Calibri. Use the same typeface, or font, throughout the entire manuscript. If a second font is used containing special characters not available in standard fonts, please alert your editor.
  • Your manuscript should be double-spaced throughout.
  • No columns.
  • DO NOT JUSTIFY YOUR TEXT. All text should be FLUSH LEFT.
  • Make sure that there are no comments, annotations, or hidden text whatsoever in the final version of the manuscript that you submit to us. In addition, make sure that all “tracked changes” or other revision marks have been accepted as final (i.e., there should be no revision marks, hidden or otherwise, in the final manuscript).
  • Do not use the space bar to achieve tabs or indents or to align text.
  • Do not use the automatic hyphenation feature. There should be no “optional” hyphens in your manuscript.
  • Do not assign “styles” to achieve different formats for subheads, block quotes, paragraph indents, etc. The default, or “normal,” style should be the only style in your manuscript. 
  • Notes should be placed at the end of the article and single-spaced.
  • The proposed title of the article and the name of the author should appear at the top left of page one.
  • Fraternal or professional titles are not used in the byline except that Fellows of the Masonic Society should include “FMS,” and members of the Masonic Society should include “MMS” after their names in the byline, e.g. “By James Smith, FMS”

Spelling, grammar, punctuation, and similar matters of form: 

  • For spelling and word division, follow Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.
  • For capitalization, hyphenation, use of numbers, punctuation, and other matters of style, follow The Chicago Manual of Style, current edition.

Dates and Numbers:

  • Use December 25, 2010 not December 25th 2010.
  • Fraternal degrees should be spelled out: third degree, first degree, etc.
  • Compound numbers. Hyphenate compound numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine.
  • Ordinal numbers. Follow the general rules as for other numbers. For example, write: “The window for applications was the third to twenty-third of August.” But use numerals with ordinal numbers above one hundred. For example, write: “Haile Selassie I was the 225th Emperor of Ethiopia.”
  • Centuries. Write out references to centuries, the eighteenth century, the twenty-first century, in lower case letters.
  • Unlike other inclusive numbers, inclusive years should be typed as 1982–1987, not as 1982–87 or 1982–7.


 “twenty-seven years old,” not “27 years old.”
 “in his twenty-seventh year,” not “in his 27th year.”

Names of individuals and organizations:

  • People must be fully identified by first and last names on first mention in the text. Names of authors mentioned in text should usually correspond exactly to their names as given in footnotes or headnotes. The use of titles such as Dr., Rev., Mr., Ms., Mrs., Bro., and Miss is discouraged. 
  • Acronyms (such as AASR, QC, SRCF) should not be used to identify organizations until the organizational name has first been provided in full and the acronym indicated—for example, “The Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (SCRF).”

Fraternal titles:

  • As the audience of the Journal is not limited to Freemasons, the use of fraternal titles is discouraged. Do not use “M:.W:.” or “Most Worshipful” when identifying a Grand Master. Instead use “Grand Master Tracy Bloom.”  Likewise avoid the use of “Bro.” in your text. 

Biblical References:

Avoid the use of “Chapter” or “‘verse” in source citations.  Instead, cite the book, followed by chapter [hyphen] verse.

Examples: Ruth 2: 19 
1 Kings 6: 21-30; 7: 13-21
Eccles. 12: 1-7

When the references appear within the text they should be spelt out, as in: “As the Chronicler explained in 1 Chron. 2:11...”


  • Use italics as opposed to underline for emphasis.  In addition, foreign words and phrases should be italicized, e.g., “In hoc signo vinces means ‘in this sign you will conquer.’”


  • Quotations should correspond exactly with the originals in wording, spelling, interior capitalization, and interior punctuation.
  • The Journal follows the accepted American style requiring double quotation marks for quoted passages of one complete sentence or less.  Quoted material longer than one sentence should be set off in 10 point Calibri, singled spaced, as a separate paragraph.
  • Single quotation marks are only used for quotes within quotes, e.g.,  “The sign changed from ‘Walk,’ to ‘Don't Walk.’"  
  • The Journal follows the accepted American style that punctuation appears inside quotations marks, i.e.
    • “He took the third degree.”   
    • “He took the third degree”
  • Observe the distinction between 3-point and 4-point ellipses. Indicate omissions within a quoted sentence by three spaced periods. When the omitted passage includes the end of a sentence, indicate the ellipsis by four periods with no space before the first. Ellipsis points are seldom necessary at the beginning or end of a quoted passage, since the reader normally assumes that something precedes and follows any quotation. (See The Chicago Manual of Style, 13, 51–56.)
  • Interpolations of the author’s own comments or explanations into quoted matter should be enclosed in square brackets, not parentheses. Such interpolations should be kept to a minimum.


Names of people, organizations, groups, agencies, firms, etc., are capped, e.g. “John Smith of Justice Lodge No. 457 is also a member of the U.S. Geological Survey.”

Place names should also be capped, as well specific regions (the Pacific Northwest), but not the points of the compass. Likewise, symbolic points of the compass (“the master sits in the east”) should also be lowercased.

Titles should be capitalized preceding and attached to a name, but use lower case if the title follows a name or stands by itself. Long titles should follow the name.

                Grand Master Tracy L. Bloom is here.
                Tracy L. Bloom, was grand master of the Grand Lodge of Kansas in 2011.
                Richard Stevens, the mayor of Springfield, resigned.
                Grand Masters Smith and Jones saw another grand master sitting in the hall.

Names of publications are always capitalized (and italicized).

Names of religions, should be capped, as well as adjectives denoting religious denominations and nouns to designate the Supreme Being. Pronouns referring to the deity should also be capped, e.g., Buddhism, Methodist, Catholic, His word,  He, Him.

In the terminology of Freemasonry, The Journal prefers the following:

word/term capitalization
brethren lowercase – “the following brethren attended”

lowercase – “Mark Twain was a brother Mason”


lowercase -- “the oriental chair”


lowercase (“the chapter met in December”) except in the title of a chapter (“St. John’s Chapter”)


lowercase – “lodge charter”


except in a title such as “Committee of Charity”


uppercase as noun; lowercase “constituted,” as verb

Craft uppercase when referring to Freemasonry, but “the craft of the operative stonemason”

lowercase, if using a numerical designation, “first degree,” but when referring to a specific degree by its name, use uppercase for the degree name, “Master Mason  degree,” lowercasing “degree”


lowercase except in a title – “the lodge was granted a dispensation”

Fellow Craft

two words, both capitalized, not Fellowcraft




Capped as a name, e.g. Justice Lodge No. 457, lowercased in all other occurrences, e.g. “the brethren met at their lodge”

Lodge Numbers

Euclid Lodge No. 101, not Euclid Lodge # 101

initiation lowercase
Mason capped, except when referring to, for example, a (stone)mason
Masonic uppercase

uppercase unless the word refers to the product of an operative mason’s craft, i.e. “a masonry wall,” but in the fraternal context,  “operative Masonry as opposed to speculative Masonry”

Master uppercase consistent with the rule on titles. “Worshipful Master Joe Smith,” but lowercase in “Joe Smith was the worshipful master in 2010.” Similarly “Past Master Joe Smith,” “Senior Warden Steve Jones,” and “Junior Deacon Steve Williams” as titles but lowercase in other instances. “Jones, the senior warden,” or the “junior deacon’s chair"

Minute Book as a title, but “lodge minutes” as ordinary nouns

operative lowercase

uppercase as a synonym for Freemasonry, also “Order of the Temple” and “the various Orders of Freemasonry”


lowercase as both verb and noun, “he accepted a petition to join the lodge,” but uppercase as a title in “Petition for the Mysteries of Freemasonry”

Proceedings uppercase when referring to printed reports of Grand Lodges or other supreme bodies.
register(s) Visitor’s Register is uppercase as a title, lowercase “he signed the register as a visitor.”

uppercase when referring to a series of degrees such as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, but lowercase in a “rite of passage”

speculative lowercase

uppercase according to the rule on titles

working tools

unless appearing uppercase in cited quotations by Masonic writers (there will be many such uppercase terms), working  tools such as the plumb, square, level, etc., should always be lowercase consistent with the rule for nouns.

Point of View & Voice: 

  • Manuscripts should keep the readers focused on the topics of the articles — Freemasonry and the fraternal experience, not the writer. To accomplish this, please keep to an absolute minimum any first person references.  “I,” “me,” and “mine” all detract from your writing. Use third person references wherever and whenever possible.  Likewise, please do not use any second person references; e.g., “passing the pillars, you then encounter...” unless in quoted material.  Instead use “the reader will notice” [third person]. 
  • We want to present our readers with lively writing. Please restrict the use of passive voice to the appropriate situations. “Two entered apprentices were initiated by the lodge”[passive voice]  is inferior to the directness of “The lodge initiated two entered apprentices” [active voice]. In most cases the passive voice can and should be eliminated.

NOTE WELL: Our editing process makes use of the comments and track changes features in Microsoft Word. You must use that feature in receiving edits from us, and you must return the copy with each of our edits either accepted or rejected.  Authors who received marked-up text must address each change themselves, accepting or rejecting it before sending it back to the editor.

A Microsoft training video on these editing features is enclosed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdlYEir1nJo

It is short and worth watching.

Book Review Style

Book reviews have their own style points, as follows:

  • Use 12 pt, Calibri font
  • DO NOT JUSTIFY YOUR TEXT. All text should be FLUSH LEFT.
  • All occurrences of book titles in the article are italicized, not underlined.
  • Fraternal titles are not used. Authors are identified by First Name, Surname on first occurrence, followed by Surname on subsequent occurrences.
  • Reviewer is responsible for a cover shot. Cover shot must be camera ready (that is, free of any other superfluous graphics like Amazon’s “Look Inside” caption).
  • Book reviews should not exceed 500 words.
  • Book info appears following the review in this order:
    • Title
    • Author
    • Publisher
    • Page count,
    • Hardcover ($0.00), paperback ($0.00) and Kindle edition ($0.00). If no hardcover or Kindle, omit.
    • Reviewer’s name

This Old Church
Ion Grumeza
Ballantine Books, 496 pages
Paperback $9.99; Kindle Edition $7.99
Reviewed by: Robert Smith


News, Events, Symposia and Conference submissions


Article queries and submissions 


Book Review queries and submissions


For letters to the editor, questions, comments or concerns

Michael Halleran
Executive Editor


We are looking for highly informative articles about Masonry, well written, needing only minor revision.  We assume all proposed articles, reviews, and illustrations submitted are original and unpublished, and submitted exclusively to us. If your material is copyrighted, we assume you are authorizing us to publish it. Unless otherwise indicated, we also assume full reprint permission (in all media including various electronic media) of any item we publish. North American serial rights to the article include electronic rights and posting on our Web page (http://themasonicsociety.org). We reserve the right to accept or reject any article submitted.  

Sample issues of the Journal of the Masonic Society are found on the Masonic Society website. We strongly urge you to consult previously published articles with an eye toward style and content.

15 Feb 2013

Guide to Citation & Authority

It is cliché that much of what passes for Masonic scholarship is often merely unsourced opinion, or regurgitated ritual catchphrases, neither of which interests our readers. In contrast to other fraternal publications, The Journal requires that assertions be sourced according to standard academic practice because proper citation is the basis of the pursuit of knowledge. Articles published in the Journal must comply with this standard, by giving credit to ideas and concepts that have influenced the themes published within, and providing a scholarly trial so that our readers may conduct their own research. The Journal uses a modified Chicago style, and we have included examples of common citations below.

Due to space considerations, we do not use Bibliographies or Works Cited lists at the conclusion of our articles.  By using a modified citation style, our readers can clearly discern the author’s bibliography.

The Journal uses endnotes, not footnotes. In compiling your notes, make use of your computer’s automatic reference features.

 Word Ribbon - References

General considerations: 

  • Notes should be single-spaced.
  • In general, and for all matters not covered by this style sheet, the Journal follows the footnote style outlined in chapter 14 of The Chicago Manual of Style, sixteenth edition, 2010.
  • Please proofread all notes carefully for matters of style and of substance. While contributors vary, on average we find more than one substantive error or omission in each footnote we check. When numerous stylistic changes need to be made at the copyediting stage, substantive errors are likely to creep into the printed copy and to go undetected when they occur.

Scholarly abbreviations: 

  • Ibid. refers to the item preceding and takes the place of as much of the succeeding material as is identical. If more than one work is cited in a note, ibid. should not be used for the first citation of the following note. See Chicago rule 14.29. The Journal allows the use of ibid. for both printed and manuscript material. 
  • Op. cit., loc. cit., and idem are not part of Journal style. Instead, for second references to books and articles, use the author’s last name, and pages. In the event you cite the same author has written multiple books, use the author’s last name, short title, and pages (See citation samples following). 
  • Passim and ff. should not be used. Specific pages should be cited whenever possible; otherwise the whole book or article should be cited. 
  • Et al. is used if a book or an article has more than three authors. Note that it is not italicized or underlined and that “et” is not an abbreviation. Second references must also include et al. (See sample footnote 39.)
  • Combine notes when possible. Footnote numbers should appear at the end of text sentences, never in midsentence. If the connection between text and citation is thereby obscured, add a brief clarifying phrase to the note. In general, there should be no more than one note per paragraph. (Do not, however, combine references to material appearing in more than one text paragraph in a single note.)

Citation Examples

Book -- One author

1. Avery Allyn, A Ritual of Freemasonry, New York: Wm. Gowans, 1853, 27-8.
Subsequent endnotes:
2. Allyn, 3.

Two or more authors:
3. Christopher Hodapp and Alice Von Kannon, Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies for Dummies, Hoboken (NJ): Wiley Publishing, 2008, 52.
Subsequent endnotes:
4. Hodapp and Von Kannon,  59–61.

If citing more than one book by the same author or authors:
5. Hodapp and Von Kannon, Templar Code,  23-4.
6. Hodapp and Von Kannon, Conspiracy Theories, 59.


Michael A. Halleran, "The Jebusite’s Jobsite: The Masonic Significance of Ornan the Jebusite & his Threshing Floor," The Plumbline, 17: 2 (Summer 2010), 6.

Book published electronically:
If a book is available in more than one format, cite the version you consulted. For books consulted online, list a URL; include an access date only if one is required by your publisher or discipline. If no fixed page numbers are available, you can include a section title or a chapter or other number.

7. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, New York: Penguin Classics, 2007, Kindle edition.

Paper presented at a meeting or conference:

1. Rachel Adelman, “ ‘Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On’: God’s Footstool in the Aramaic Targumim and Midrashic Tradition” (paper presented at the annual meeting for the Society of Biblical Literature, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 21–24, 2009).


A citation to website content can often be limited to a mention in the text or in a note (“As of July 19, 2008, the McDonald’s Corporation listed on its website . . .”). If a more formal citation is desired, it may be styled as in the examples below. Because such content is subject to change, include an access date or, if available, a date that the site was last modified.

1. “Google Privacy Policy,” last modified March 11, 2009, http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacypolicy.html.
2. “McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy Safety Facts,” McDonald’s Corporation, accessed July 19, 2008, http://www.mcdonalds.com/corp/about/factsheets.html.


Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 13:41


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