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Monday, July 04, 2016

New Editor of The Journal of the Masonic Society

The Masonic Society has announced that the current issue of the Journal landing in mailboxes this week is the final one to be edited by Michael Halleran. Mike has been doing an outstanding job with the Journal for more than four years now, and has decided to move on. He brought a fresh voice to the magazine after I left the position, and helped to raise the standards of the articles and features to a higher level. I can attest to the amount of labor involved in finding new, interesting and enlightening material by every deadline, and Mike is to be congratulated for the tremendous job he has done.

Fear not. The transition by the TMS board and officers has been tackled, and they have announced that the esteemed Michael Poll will be taking the editorial reins, beginning with the next issue. Michael is a New York Times Bestselling writer and publisher, and If you read Masonic books or hunt them online, you will undoubtedly have come across his Cornerstone Book Publishers. He is one of the most prolific and consistently excellent editors and publishers of both new and heritage books on Freemasonry and esotericism, and provides high quality books at affordable prices - by the boatload. Masonic book publishing is a labor of love, because there's certainly no money to be had in it, but Michael has been supplying stacks of Masonic titles since 1998, and he is something of a manuscript detective at digging up little-known or out of print works and reviving them for a modern readership.

On the fraternal side, he is a Past Master of Friends of Harmony Lodge #58 and a member of the famed Etoile Polaire Lodge #1, both in New Orleans, Louisiana. Etoile Polaire is one of just ten or so lodges in that state permitted to work the Scottish Rite Craft Lodge degree rituals, derived from the days of their original chartering when France still owned the place, long pre-dating the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. He is also a member of numerous appendant bodies.

Michael also is well versed in the philosophy behind the creation of the Masonic Society, and was there almost from the very beginning as a Founding Fellow. He served as the Society's second president, and helped to host one of our first conferences (in New Orleans). And if editing the Journal isn't enough of a headache, he is also currently crafting the instructional videos for the Society's new educational program. In addition to the Masonic Society, he  is a Fellow of the Philalethes Society and of the Maine Lodge of Research.  

He and his wife Evelyn (who is a writer herself) live in New Orleans with their two sons, and they are wonderful folks to spend time with. I welcome him to the new job, appreciate his generosity in taking it, and wish him nothing but the greatest success.

I would be remiss if I neglected to mention the incredible job that John Bridegroom has done - and continues to do - on the layout and art direction of the magazine. He consistently takes the raw documents from the editor and puts the whole mess together -  and does so with both original and discovered artwork and photography. The Journal continues to be the best looking Masonic magazine anywhere, and it's mostly because of John's labor.

The original philosophy behind the Journal was that it hopefully contained at least two or three articles or features in every issue that YOU would be interested in - whatever that may be. It's different for every reader, so the goal was - and continues to be - to find new articles on a very wide range of topics. Our hope was to especially encourage research lodges and groups from around North America, and the rest of the Masonic world as well, to submit their original work to us. So often an outstanding paper is just read to a small group, only to then be forgotten forever. We wanted to give these authors a much wider audience, and encourage them to keep writing and researching to benefit us all. 

Michael has hit the ground running, and the deadline for the next issue is just over a month away, in mid-August. If you have a possible article that you think deserves wider circulation - that isn't book-length - please forward it to the Submissions Coordinator, Jay Hochberg, at articles@themasonicsociety.com.  Also, if you are an artist or photographer with Masonic subjects in your collection that you think would be of interest, please send them to Jay as well.

To contact Michael Poll directly, send to editor@themasonicsociety.com

The submission guidelines may be found HERE, including notes developed out of the Quarry Project on proper formatting and referencing of Masonic topics.

And if you're not a member or subscriber, please visit the TMS website here for more information. 

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