Jeremy Paxman and David Mitchell were part of our team, now it's your turnVarsity Archives

Applications to Varsity's writing and visual teams in Lent 2024 are now open.

Varsity has been at the centre of student life since 1947. Writing for Varsity is an unrivalled opportunity to get your work published in one of the only three independent student newspapers in the country - joining a long line of Varsity writers including Sylvia Plath and Jeremy Paxman. 

From interviews to theatre reviews, news reporting and comment pieces - there is a place for you on the team in Lent. You can also apply to be a photographer, illustrator or videographer - or apply to be our Head of Visual.

As a staff writer, you’ll be expected to produce a piece approximately once every two weeks. You don’t need journalistic experience to apply – just passion, creativity, and a willingness to learn.

Close interaction with editors and other writers will help you develop your own work. With fortnightly pub socials and a collaborative environment, Varsity is the perfect place to meet like-minded people while developing your writing skills.

As well as staff writers, we have a general writers group chat on Facebook, as well as groups for most individual sections. We highly recommend joining if you’re interested in writing or being involved with Varsity.

Words aren't the only way to tell a story though - a great visual can easily connect with readers far quicker than even the best writing. 

Members of the visual team will be responsible for the production of a wide range of photojournalism and videojournalism – from news reports and documentaries to lighthearted satire and fashion shoots. You’ll have creative freedom and a space to experiment with new ideas while growing your own personal portfolio.

We are looking to recruit photographers, illustrators, and videographers, as well as a Head of Visual. No experience is required for these roles. We hope to assemble a team of people with a range of diverse talents. Most importantly, we want team members with fresh ideas for photography and video content in Cambridge as we seek to diversify our output this term.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Editors-in-Chief for Lent term, Michael Hennessey (mlh64) and Daniel Hilton (dh671).

Please send your applications to Applications close at midday on 23 December.

To apply please tell us:

  • Your full name, subject, year, and college
  • The role(s) you’re applying for
  • Which other roles you would be willing to consider, if you are not offered your desired role(s)
  • Details of any academic and extracurricular commitments you have in Lent
  • Details of any experience or skills that make you suitable for your chosen role(s) (optional, 250 words max)

…and answer the specific questions below for the role you’re applying for.

Newspaper roles

News correspondents

News is the beating heart of the paper, unearthing the goings-on around Cambridge and holding the University to account. Varsity news stories are regularly “picked up” by national publications and, as a news correspondent, the next big scoop could be yours. You’ll be part of a dynamic and fast-paced team, pitching and discussing leads at the weekly news conference while learning from more seasoned student journalists. No experience is required: only a passion for, and commitment to, reporting on news in Cambridge. You'll learn everything from how to submit an FOI and send a right of reply to the basics of Media Law and news writing.

To apply for the role of news correspondent, please complete the following tasks:

1) Suggest two leads (a piece of gossip or idea) that could be developed into a story. (max 200 words)

2) Pitch a long-form news investigation. (max 200 words)

Features writers

Features are all about building a story. Whether that be delving into the history of Cambridge's most obscure secret societies or chasing leads to add colour to a controversial news story, an engaging feature is - at its heart - investigative: you will be exercising all your creativity, tying together information from different sources and interviews to create perspective and intrigue. In past terms, staff writers have explored MI6 recruitment in Cambridge, investigated the EAMC’s failures, and narrated the history of C-Sunday. This term, we'll also be emphasising articles that make use of our archive of past newspapers.

To apply as a staff writer on the Features desk, please complete the following tasks:

1) Pitch two potential features for next term. (max 200 words)

2) Re-write the opening and closing paragraphs to this feature: (max 200 words)

3) Pick a Features piece from the website and tell us how you would improve it. (max 200 words)

Comment writers

Student voices need to be heard - and we’re committed to placing student perspectives at the centre of the conversation. Not all students see things the same way, so we’re looking to platform a balanced and diverse range of opinions.

Staff writers will produce articles regularly on an array of topics commissioned by their editors or from their own pool of ideas. Unlike columnists who might focus on one issue or theme during the term, staff writers should be ready to respond to breaking news and have their finger on the pulse of local and wider news. To apply as a staff writer on the Comment desk, please complete the following tasks:

1) Pitch two article ideas. (300 words max)

2) Write the first 300 words of a Comment article.

Columnists will produce an article every two weeks around an overarching theme, topic or persona. To apply as a columnist on the Comment desk, please complete the following tasks:

1) Explain the overall theme or topic of your column, detailing the contents of the first two instalments. (400 words max)

2) What makes an engaging comment piece? (200 words max)

Interviews writers

Interviews is one of our most diverse sections. Past writers on the Interviews desk have had conversations with Robert De Niro, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, the President of Armenia, and more. Interview writers will regularly reach out to important public figures and famous Cambridge alumni – and get the chance to meet fascinating people. It's also a great opportunity to explore the Cambridge community, allowing you to interview students and residents with interesting perspectives. This term, Interviews have been published with figures ranging from Alastair Campbell to Hacker T. Dog.

To apply as a staff writer on the Interviews desk, please complete the following tasks:

1) If you could interview any (living) Cambridge alumnus, who would it be and why? What would you ask them? (300 words max)

2) This is a quickfire interview with the owner of Fitzbillies. Please write a sample opening paragraph for a longer-form profile based on this interview. (max 200 words)

3) Nominate a current Cambridge student for a quickfire Q&A.

Science writers

Whether reporting the latest scientific developments, investigating the trials and tribulations of scientific student societies, or interviewing underrepresented industry experts, the Science section aims to deliver interesting content that is accessible to all readers. In this role, you will report on new research and scientific exhibits in Cambridge, or write features that highlight student-relevant tidbits in an informative and engaging way.

To apply as a science writer, please answer the following questions:

1) Please detail two ideas for potential science articles. (max 300 words)

2) Describe a recent Cambridge-related ‘science’ news piece you’ve come across. (max 200 words)

Sport writers

Sport is a central component of life at Cambridge for many but this section is designed for everyone, not just those constantly sporting their Cambridge Blue gear. You can provide a variety of articles ranging from informative match reports to entertaining sports news events in or out of Cambridge. As a writer you’ll be responsible for covering key fixtures, but can also provide a varsity of articles ranging from interviews and profiles to commentary and behind-the-scenes features.

To apply as a Sports Writer, please answer the following questions:

1) Outline two ideas for potential articles. (max 300 words)

2) What do you like or dislike about the Cambridge sports scene? (max 200 words)

Magazine roles

Arts writer

From poetry to prose, architecture to art, from interviewing creatives to chatting crochet boobs, Arts is a beautifully dynamic and varied section. We’re looking for a team of writers to examine, and contribute to, the lively Arts world in Cambridge, as well as engage in broader cultural debates. Arts writing can involve interviews, reviews, or opinion pieces, or even putting together reading lists throughout the term. If you’re passionate about the art world, then we want you on board.

To write for Arts, please complete the following tasks:

1) Propose two article ideas. These can be features, interviews, opinion pieces, or reviews. (200 words max)

2) Write a mini review of any object in your room like it’s a piece of artwork on display in a gallery. (150 words max)

3) If you could write a feature on anyone in the Cambridge arts scene, who would you interview and why? (200 words max)

Film & TV writer

If your ideal Saturday night is in front of the TV catching up on your favourite show, or out, making sure you’re the first to see an exciting new release in cinemas, you belong in the Film & TV section. We’re looking for writers to discuss latest releases, reviewing the films and shows which students are interested in. The Film & TV section is also responsible for engaging with the Cambridge visual world, and writers will also need to be able to explore the film scene at University.

To write for Film & TV, please answer the following questions:

1) Propose two interviews/features on any aspect of the Cambridge student film scene. (200 words max)

2) What three TV shows are ideal for a Cambridge student to watch in the midst of a Lent term crisis? (150 words max)

3) Write a review of the last film that you watched (300 words max)

Music writer

Did your Spotify Wrapped make you feel superior? Are you always dragging your friends along to the latest student gigs? If you’re looking for a place to share your passion for music with like minded students, we’re looking for you to join our team. As a music writer, you will be able to discuss new album releases, interview student bands, examine the Cambridge music scene, and put together playlists.

To write for Music, please complete the following tasks:

1) If you got to choose the playlist for Wednesday Revs which three songs would definitely be on there and why? (150 words max)

2) Which music societies or bands in Cambridge don’t get enough recognition? (200 words max)

3) Outline two article ideas for the section (200 words max).

Fashion writer

Addicted to charity shopping and want to put your years of experience sifting through bins of ugly jumpers for the perfect find to good use? We’re looking for writers who are able to do just that — pick out trends, tap into what Cambridge fashionistas are discussing, and work on photoshoots which can reflect and inspire both. If you are passionate about slow fashion or the speed of the trend cycle, or have an idea for a column, Fashion is the section for you.

To write for Fashion, please complete the following tasks:

1) Propose two article ideas - these can also include photo/video-journalism concepts. (200 words max)

2) Describe the best outfit you’ve ever seen gracing the streets of Cambridge. (200 words max)

3) What are three fashion staples for Lent? (200 words max)

Theatre writer

Theatre is an important part of Varsity, producing not just reviews, but also features, interviews, and opinion pieces. If you overstay your time limit at the ADC, have spent all your student loan on seeing shows, or speak in techie lingo your friends don’t understand, we want you on our team. 

Writers will need to be creative in looking for leads and working with editors on long term projects. Reviewers need to be open-minded, thoughtful, and able to work to a 24-hour turnaround with the ADC (in exchange for comp tickets). As a reviewer, you will play an important role in the Cambridge Theatre scene, and you will need to write frankly, and with fluency.

To write for Theatre, please answer the following questions:

1) If you could interview anyone connected to the Cambridge theatre scene, who would it be and what would you ask? (200 words max)

2) What do you think is the most underappreciated aspect/role in the formation of student theatre? (200 words max)

3) What is the worst aspect of the Cambridge theatre scene? (200 words max)

To review for Theatre, please complete the following tasks:

1) Write a 100 word review about a production that you loved.

2) Write a 100 word review about a production you disliked.

3) Tell us what makes a good reviewer (150 words max)

Lifestyle writer

Lifestyle is a vibrant and diverse section. From restaurant reviews and Agony Aunts, to new experiences and personal reflection, we’re looking for a witty, creative, fun group of writers who can keep Lifestyle up to date with the unique, weird, and fast-paced Cambridge way of life.

To write for Lifestyle, please complete the following tasks:

1) Propose two article ideas. (200 words max)

2) What are two experiences you would like to try out and review for the section? (200 words max)

3) What was your weirdest ever experience at Cambridge? (200 words max)

Visual Team

Head of Visual

We’re looking for an individual interested in photojournalism and graphic design to lead our team of photographers, videographers, and illustrators next term. They’ll be well-placed to organise coverage of breaking stories and assist the Fashion and Vulture editors in coordinating photoshoots for print. They should have strong management skills and be prepared to help train and assist the team. To apply, please send us an email detailing any skills and experience you have for the role. If available, please also attach a short portfolio of your previous work.


Our photography team keeps the newspaper looking vibrant with new visual content. As a staff photographer, you will have the chance to pursue creative projects, work on fashion photoshoots, or cover Cambridge events as part of the News team. To apply, please send us an email detailing any skills and experience you have for the role. If available, please also attach a short portfolio of your previous work. If you don’t have experience or a portfolio, that’s fine too — just let us know why you’re interested in the role!

Illustrators and Cartoonists

Varsity relies on a strong, dynamic visual presence. As a staff illustrator, you’ll have the chance to be at the forefront of that change, joining a creative space where you’ll be encouraged to experiment, and creating art that speaks to student perspectives. Whether you are an artist, graphic designer or cartoonist, we’d love to hear from you. To apply, please send us an email detailing any skills and experience you have for the role. If available, please also attach a short portfolio of your previous work. If you don’t have experience or a portfolio, that’s fine too — just let us know why you’re interested in the role!


The video team will be responsible for creating and developing a range of exciting video features and series. We’re looking for people to shoot, edit and present Varsity’s video output. We will be able to provide opportunities to expand and develop your skills, and introduce you to a range of video equipment. Don't worry if you don't have any experience - our video team will be a space to try out new things, and learn more about video journalism and video production. To apply, please provide: 1) An explanation of the role you would like to have within the video team and one suggestion for video content you’d like to see in Lent term, and 2) An outline of any experience you have of working with video, including a link to any examples (absolutely none required), and details of any equipment or software you have access to (again, none required).

Puzzle Maker

Enjoy a crossword? Good with wordplay? Fancy a sudoku? We're looking for individuals to design them. This is a fun, low-commitment role. To apply, please send us a short application explaining why you're interested in the role. Please also provide three examples of prompts you would include in a Varsity crossword.

Bring your ideas, your perspective, and your curiosity.