Have you got a story to tell?

An bhfuil fonn scríobhnóireachta ort? We'r​e interested in submissions about life in third level


​The  media don't always do a great job of reflecting the lives of people in third level. And when we do, we often end up interviewing "experts" or interest groups. But you are the real experts. That's why we want to create a forum by and for third level students.

We're launching a new section on third level which we hope will have lively and engaging stories which reflect the things that matter to you, big or small, serious or funny.

Agus, beidh fáilte roimh ghach smaoineamh - as Béarla nó as Gaeilge.

How to come up with an idea:

​We'r​e interested in submissions about all aspects of life in third level: everything from the political to the personal, the financial to the frivolous.

Are you furious about college fees? Frustrated over finding affordable accommodation? Worried about finding a job? ​

Excited about finding the cheapest pint? Depressed at our alcohol-soaked social scene? 

​Fed up with our political system?

Concerned about mental health supports?

​ When you’re thinking about what to offer, always try to do something you haven't read before.

​ ​This can mean looking for a ​ fresh approach to an old theme or ​an unusual topic.

The best topics tend to be tight and focused, with lots of colour and insights​.​

How to write your piece:

There are no hard and fast rules. 

It could be diary-type piece, an opinion column, a light-hearted listicle or hard news.

Writing from personal ​point of view can be very powerful and authentic, like this piece on an unemployed graduate's story.

Whatever you do, don't bore readers! 

Try to a dopt a conversational, chatty  ​and lively ​ style. Avoid cliches, jargon, academic language and acronyms / initials.

​​Make your words work: are they intriguing, engaging and different?

​Also, check your facts. 

If you're writing a news-type piece, there’s no point in having a guess at, say, the number of students who drop out at the end of college. You need to have up-to-date statistics and a reference to the source.

Read what you’ve written aloud when you’re finished. Is that how you talk?

The reader should emerge clear about what you’re saying, what other people have said on the subject, and what they are being asked to comment on.

How do you get published?

Send us in a piece, anything from 350 words upwards.​ ​We'll get in touch to discuss it, whether it fits the bill or with suggestions on how it could be developed or improved.​ We'll put the finished articles on The Irish Times website, and the best will end up in the printed edition. 

​Do please e-mail ​any of ​your ideas o​r stories to studenthub@irishtimes.com or fill out this form  - we'd love to hear from you.