Welcome to the Internet Lodge Short Papers Competition page.
Competitions were held in 2007 and 2009.
We hope you find the idea interesting
Why Short Papers?
Freemasonry is a subject of seemingly endless fascination and complexity and all of us as Masons are in need of our "daily advancement in Masonic knowledge". One way of providing this is to build up a source of materials that can be easily used at lodge meetings. A piece around 5 minutes in length can be fitted into most meetings.
We want to inspire our fellow Freemasons to write; perhaps to start writing or, for those who already have a stock of talks, to adapt one for the competition. All interested Freemasons are eligible to enter the competition.
There is no limitation on the topics to be chosen except to say that the subject will be in some way Masonic and of educational value. Matters historical, national, esoteric, or dealing with ritual, or the origins of freemasonry are some of the possible topics.
What are Short Papers?
We live in a world where the minutes matter and work-life balance is a permanent cause for concern. That however does not deny that we can both be curious and yet not want to sit through talks to ‘improve’ us that go on and on. And of course it is a question of fitting in information with the other business of a lodge. If a paper becomes too long then it is much less likely to find favour with the audience.
One only has to watch the television current affairs programmes to realise that the “three minute video/sound bite” is all one normally gets. The reason for this is that the broadcasters know how long the normal attention span is - and it is only a few minutes! Thus the limit for the papers (except those by master masons) is set at 500 words. That is 5 minutes speaking time.
These papers should be designed to be read aloud, they are not like a book written to be read by one individual in private. Thus they are more like a script. Spelling of course should be correct, punctuation rules may be flexible, the use of bold or underline to show a spoken emphasis is fine. The bottom line is that it must sound good when spoken aloud.
Papers do not require an annotated bibliography, but a pointer of where to find more information is always going to be useful. If you use a particular source then please state it. The judging panel will be both international in composition, well read, and part of their remit will be to ensure that plagiarism (copying text from other authors) wins no prizes.