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Submissions for Issue 04: Illuminated Manuscript

Date: Fri March 15 2024 2:16 pm to Mon April 15 2024 2:16 pm

There are seven known Black Hours—illuminated manuscripts used to pray the canonical hours. Their name derives from their striking black pages, gold and silver gothic text tightly confined by colourful ornamentation—initials, medallions, grotesques.

As text becomes increasingly digital, the physicality of the codex becomes apparent once more. We choose books by their cover, the quality of their paper, the way they sit on our bookshelf. We dog ear corners, read with a pencil in hand, pages now illuminated with exclamation marks—places to return to. Texts become objects become places. Each reader will find their own way through, break the spine into desired paths. You do this and the object is deemed a site of devotion.

The Quran must be treated with respect and care. You should wash before holding it, it is stored on the highest shelf. When its body has worn through use, it is placed in a deep hole, wrapped in cloth; or running water, tied to a stone. There are apps for reading the Quran—how does one respectfully delete them? Or dispose of a phone that has held one?

In this issue, Debris Magazine will investigate the illuminated manuscript through theme and form. They are interested in work that speaks to spirituality; the history and future of the codex; artmaking, editing and translating as devotional practices. Debris seeks to publish work that looks at spirituality as a lens for speculating our future, and considers how a relationship with the past can illuminate our paths ahead. They particularly encourage work that plays with the shape of the page it will be held on.


·  Please note that Debris Magazine only considers submissions from writers and artists living in Australia. This also includes Australian writers currently based outside of Australia.

·  Please submit pitches up to 300 words. You may also include sample/excerpts/full pieces.

·  The total word count for selected pieces will be up to 3,000 words.

·  Rates vary from $150 – $400, depending on the scope of the commission.


·  Submit pitches by 20 March 2024, 11.59 AEST.

·  Contributors will be notified of the outcome by 4 April 2024. Please note that we are unable to provide any feedback should your pitch be rejected.

·  Issue 04 will be published in October 2024. Please inform us if you are pitching to multiple publishers or if you are pitching an already published piece.

For more information and to submit, visit DebrisMagazine’s website here.

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