In the Roman Catholic church, the assembly of cardinals gathered to elect a new pope and the system of strict seclusion to which they submit. From 1059 the election became the responsibility of the cardinals. When, after the death of Clement IV (1268), the cardinals dithered for more than two years, the local magistrate locked them in the episcopal palace and fed them only bread and water until they elected Gregory X. The system of meeting in closed conclave was codified in 1904 by Pius X. Voting is by secret ballot; one ballot is held on the first afternoon of the conclave and four on each subsequent day, two in the morning and two in the afternoon, until a new pope is chosen. In 1996 John Paul II declared that, after 30 ballots, the traditional requirement of a two-thirds majority plus one for the election of a pope could be superseded, at the discretion of the cardinals, by election by a simple majority. Ballots are burned in a stove after each vote, and the smoke produced by their burning, which issues from a special pipe through a window, indicates to the crowd assembled in St. Peter's Square whether a new pope has been elected: if there is a new pope, the smoke will be white; if no majority has yet been reached, the smoke will be black. In addition, bells will be rung to confirm the signal. Additives are mixed with the ballots to ensure the proper colour of the smoke.
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Conclave is an literary journal founded in 2008 by a group of writers who met through their participation in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Conclave: A Journal of Character, is an annual print journal that focuses on character-driven writing in contemporary fiction, nonfiction, dramatic excerpts, poetry, and photography.
In order to create a permanent home for the writers' community that was formed during the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, Semifinalist Valya Dudycz Lupescu and her husband Mark Lupescu created ABNA Books, an online network and showcase of the published and unpublished works of the ABNA writers. ABNABooks.com is a place for writers to present their work, get the attention of publishers and literary agents, and help each other in the process of publishing and promotion.
Eager to showcase some of the talent already in their ranks, as well as to promote the writing of talented authors around the world, Valya with the help of the other ABNA writers and editors, decided to create Conclave: A Journal of Character. The editor and founder is Valya Dudycz Lupescu of Wolfsword Press. Many of the other editors on Conclave's masthead are from the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
Conclave seeks writing that centers around well-crafted fictional characters—complex and authentic: like Leopold Bloom, Huckleberry Finn, Anna Karenina, Hamlet, Miss Havisham, Hannibal Lecter, Hester Prynne, and others. Whether you love them or hate them, these characters are unforgettable and infuse their stories with life beyond the page. Those are the kinds of enduring characters the editors would like to have populate the artfully crafted stories in Conclave.
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