Submissions for Issue 03: The Urge to Know have now closed.

What's the meaning of the mask
You can't be asked
Oh oh
Is life a social fiction?
Not to see but be seen
Oh no
Now that's a ghost's ambition

—Glass Candy, ‘Beautiful Object

Co-edited by Cher Tan and Jon Tjhia.

This issue starts from the premise that knowledge is literally at our fingertips, in ways that have never been possible before. We google, check our inboxes, scroll on social media and consume information almost constantly. From smartphones and smart speakers to public services and intelligence agencies, how is knowledge taken from us and used to shape us? What’s a ‘knowledge economy’ anyway?

Contributors are invited to interrogate the theme—knowledge, and its compulsions—from all angles: the relationship between knowledge and action, the burden of excessive knowledge, the urge to learn, and others we are yet to discover.

What is knowing for, and how does it affect and intervene in our experiences? How does our desire for ‘truth’ mislead us? Who is owed an explanation? When is knowledge competitive, and why? How does networked knowledge – gossip, group chats, private forums – protect us? When is it threatening? When is knowing enough, enough?

Arguably, we’re awash with potential knowledge; the choice to pursue it, or sometimes to reel from too much of it, occupies much of our time. The editors invite exploration of this theme through non-fiction, fiction, poetry, prose, graphic art or other hybrid forms. We especially welcome work from unpublished writers or those less heard from.

  • Please submit pitches up to 250 words.
  • The total word count for selected pieces will be up to 3,000 words.
  • Rates vary from $150 - $500 depending on the scope of the commission.


  • Submit pitches by 22 December 2022. Debris Magazine has extended the deadline for pitches to 12 January 2023, 11.59 PM AEST.
  • Contributors will be notified of the outcome by 18 January 2023. Please note that we are unable to provide any feedback should your pitch be rejected.
  • Submission deadline for final pieces will be 28 February 2023.
  • Issue 03 will be published in May 2023. Please inform us if you are pitching to multiple publishers or if you are pitching an already published piece.


Saturday May 28 2022