Conclave Journal Seeks Character-focused Photography

Most of you know that Conclave: A Journal of Character is accepting character-driven submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, flash fiction, prose poems, and dramatic excerpts; but we are also accepting black and white photographs.

We seek photos of pristine composition and revelatory content, black and white photographs that evoke personality, an unforgettable story, a compelling emotion, the decisive moment.

The photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson, father of modern photojournalism, captured characters. When speaking of Martin Munkácsi’s photo, Three Boys at Lake Tanganyika, Cartier-Bresson said, “I suddenly understood that photography can fix eternity in a moment.”

French humanist photography of the 30s, 40’s, and 50s was photography of character. French humanism was a dominant form of documentary photography from the late 1920s until the 1970s, and it still influences contemporary photography. Other photographers who captured photographs of character: Dorothea Lange, Jacob Riis, Diane Arbus, and many others.

The photographs should appear to be candid and generally have the background in focus. We are not looking for posed photographs or photographs that have been significantly photoshopped. It is our hope that the photographs we print will transcend mere portraits or snapshots; they should reflect the style and sensibility of Cartier-Bresson’s work.

We are generally not looking for landscapes or nature photographs. In most cases, the photographs we print in Conclave will be of people, although we recognize that there are ways to capture character in setting or with animals.

We are a character-focused journal, and we want the photographs that we feature to reflect that sensibility. Clearly, there are other styles and methods for capturing character in photography. Like Cartier-Bresson, we are looking to capture “fixed eternity in a moment.”

We are accepting submissions on the Conclave site, but we’ve also started a flickr group:

With the excellent writing and photography submissions, this is shaping up to be a great inaugural issue!

We’re accepting submissions until July 1, 2008. So if you have writing or photography to share, visit

Published by Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu has been making magic with food and words for more than 20 years, incorporating folklore from her Ukrainian heritage with practices that honor the Earth. She’s a writer, content developer, instructor, and mother of three teenagers. Valya is the author of MOTHER CHRISTMAS, THE SILENCE OF TREES, and the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Along with Stephen H. Segal, she is the co-author of FORKING GOOD: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of The Good Place and GEEK PARENTING: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family (Quirk Books), and co-founder of the Wyrd Words storytelling laboratory. Valya earned her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies and magazines that include, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Kenyon Review, Culture, Gargoyle Magazine, Gone Lawn, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium. You can find her on Twitter @valya and on @valya

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