Join Varsity's writing team this Easter!Varsity archive

Applications to join Varsity’s writing team in Easter 2024 are now open. Now is the time to take your place at the beating heart of Cambridge’s current discourse and history.

Varsity is the oldest and only independent student newspaper in Cambridge, and one of only three in the UK. We hold institutions to account, representing the interests of students with integrity, ambition, and a creative edge.

This tradition, which began with the paper’s creation in 1947, has seen Varsity break many historical and discourse-shaping stories. In 1953, we reported on Watson and Crick’s discovery of the structure of DNA. In 2021, we revealed the university’s proposed £400m deal with the United Arab Emirates. Just this term, we broke the controversy surrounding “race-realist” fellow Nathan Cofnas.

With contributions from Amol Rajan to Charles III, Sylvia Plath to Jeremy Paxman, and Germaine Greer to J. G. Ballard, you have the opportunity to join an impressive lineage of journalists, writers, and creatives.

Varsity is, however, much more than just news. We have space for your opinions, interviews, and investigations, as well as room for you to express your tastes in fashion, music, or film and TV, and a section devoted to letting students have their say on the latest theatre productions in Cambridge.

Most importantly, we are a training paper. We aim to nurture new talent, offering a working environment that can prepare you for the world of journalism beyond Cambridge, but is primarily social, collaborative, and encouraging.

The Easter team’s primary responsibility will be to produce a glossy 64-page magazine, the Yearbook & Review, at the beginning of June. Until then, however, the team will produce high-quality and regular online content throughout term, and afterwards in the Summer vacation.

The Editors-in-Chief of Varsity in Easter term will be Alice Mainwood (aem224) and Felix Armstrong (fa447). Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about the application process or what it’s like to contribute to the paper.

Now is the ideal time to write for Varsity.

Applications must be submitted to by midday Wednesday 3rd April.

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 a different 600-word Comment article responding to any news story we have published in the last term.

3) Pitch a column, which would feature bi-weekly comment articles on a consistent theme, topic, or persona. (150 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 an interview with Dorothy Byrne. Please write an alternative opening paragraph for this interview. (max 200 words)

3) Who would you like to interview for a long-form piece to go in Varsity’s Yearbook & Review magazine? Pitch your idea, considering your chosen subject’s relevance to our readership and the retrospective scope of the Yearbook magazine. (max 200 words)

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 complete the following tasks:

1) Please write a 600-word piece exploring a recent discovery, phenomena, or scientific venture relevant to a Cambridge-based readership. Examples can be found in the Science section.

2) How would you engage our readership in science through your articles? Consider interview subjects and areas of discussion that would interest a Cambridge student. (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 three ideas for potential articles. (max 400 words)

2) What do you like or dislike about the Cambridge sports scene? What underrepresented sports and societies do you think are worthy of featuring in Varsity? (max 300 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 600-word piece about any aspect of Cambridge’s artistic scene that is of particular value to you.

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 in film and TV with particular personal relevance to both themselves and our readership. 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) Write a hot-take on any aspect of film and television that you feel passionate about, and which has relevance to our readership. (200 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) Which music societies or bands in Cambridge don’t get enough recognition? Why? (300 words max)

2) If you were to contribute one song to Varsity’s Easter term playlist, what would it be and why? (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 three article ideas - these can also include photo-journalism concepts. (400 words max)

2) What is one fashion staple for your Easter tem wardrobe? (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 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. You need to be open-minded, thoughtful, and reliable. 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 and review 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) Write a 300-word review of any show you have seen in Cambridge.

Lifestyle writer

Lifestyle is a vibrant and diverse section, and one of the broadest and most popular in the paper. 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, esoteric, and fast-paced Cambridge way of life.

To write for Lifestyle, please complete the following tasks:

1) Propose three article ideas. (300 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)

Please note that applications to be a photographer or illustrator are also open. Please find more information here.