BAIT is a termly magazine created by students in Cambridge, but open to anyone based in Cambridge (or around the world!). It was founded as a radical response to the awful money-burning scandal, as a way for Cambridge students to express themselves, tackle big, unspoken topics and care about the local community at the same time. Today, BAIT is a welcoming creative space to discuss important social issues alongside personal experiences, inspirations and doodles, all focused on the issue’s theme (which has been anything from Memory to Sex to the Internet).

There’s no one kind of submission we look for – we’ve published doodles on sheet music, textile pieces, nonsense poetry, absurd stories, Wuthering Heights adaptations, mixtape reviews, comics, oil paintings, 35mm photos, sketches of chairs, collages, pastel drawings, knotty Finnegan’s Wake-esque prose, and translations of opera arias. And that was just issue nine!

All profits from the magazine go to charitable foundations that support issues close to our hearts. We’ve raised money for a fundraiser for glioblastoma care on the NHS, Jimmy’s Cambridge, SolidariTee and the Whitworth Trust. Issue 9, created online during the Covid-19 lockdown, raised at least £100 for Black Lives Matter UK, to help in their vital efforts against the systemic racism that has, amongst many other social and political injustices, put black and brown communities at disproportionate risk during the pandemic.

For every issue, we host a launch party (this album has some jazzy pics from the latest one!) where you can read the zine for the first time, get creative with felt tips, listen to some brilliant live music and DJing, and chat to some of the artiest people in Cambridge (or so we say…). We’ve held the launch at bars, abandoned squash courts, the brilliant Motion Sickness collective and online, inevitably, this June.

Though the zine’s grown a lot since it started back in summer 2017, we aim to make it as transparent and accessible as possible, and we’d love for you to get involved! The best way to keep up to date is to join our Facebook submitters’ group, or if you’re free from the Zuck’s clutches, following us on Instagram. Anyone and everyone can submit work (which is all anonymised before we read it), and apply to join the team when we recruit – head over to the Submissions or Team pages to find out more! ☺

If this isn’t all tempting enough, you can read more about BAIT’s past, present and future in our recent interview with Varsity!