skip to content

Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


ICE is thrilled to announce that one of its most famous alumnae – award-winning author Sara Collins – is funding a creative writing bursary to encourage aspiring Black British Caribbean writers to pursue their passion.

Sara completed her Master of Studies in Creative Writing at ICE in 2016, graduating with distinction. Within three years, her stunning debut novel The Confessions of Frannie Langton had won the 2019 Costa First Novel Award, and Sara subsequently adapted the story into a glittering, star-studded ITV series.

On the heels of her success, Sara – who was born in Jamaica and grew up in the Cayman Islands – wants to offer more aspiring writers the opportunity to follow their literary dreams, too.

“The MSt in Creative Writing at ICE was the first door I opened towards becoming a novelist,” recalls Sara. “Since I graduated, I’ve been thinking about doing what I can to give back.”

"What’s exciting to me is that, for people who’ve had to suppress their dreams of writing to focus on work or family or other responsibilities, this bursary will give them room to write."

Introducing the Joy Brandon bursary

Open to eligible applicants commencing their studies in 2024-25, the new Joy Brandon bursary will offer significant financial assistance to one Black British Caribbean student embarking on a part-time, two-year MSt in either Creative Writing or Writing for Performance at ICE.

In addition, ICE will match Sara’s generous donation from our James Stuart Endowment Fund, meaning that two students stand to receive substantial support towards pursuing their creative writing passions.

The bursary will cover over 80% of the total course fees, so the successful applicants will contribute £3,200 per year to enrol on one of two world-class University of Cambridge courses in autumn 2024. The programmes are taught in short, intensive blocks, making them accessible to learners in full or part-time employment.

Giving aspiring writers ‘room to write’

“The degree can help to provide a framework for getting the writing done,” explains Sara. “What’s exciting to me is that, for people who’ve had to suppress their dreams of writing to focus on work or family or other responsibilities, this bursary will give them room to write.”

While Sara is inspiring a new generation of writers, she has named the bursary after her own role model: “Joy Brandon was my aunt. She was a journalist and a radio news broadcaster, as well as an amateur poet and a playwright on the side, skills which she pursued enthusiastically and passionately. Her example kept me motivated. I think she’d have got a kick out of having this bursary dedicated to her.”

And Sara believes there’s a rich vein of Black British Caribbean writing talent that is as yet untapped. “This is my background, and I’m convinced it’s full of writers who have a lot to say but might even now be prevented by the obstacles from pursuing their own writing,” she explains. “The Caribbean is full of amazing stories and talented people."

Bursaries: opening the Cambridge experience to you?

One of ICE’s biggest priorities is to develop and promote opportunities to study at the University of Cambridge to a broad range of adult learners, including those for whom financial circumstances might prove a barrier to study.

The Institute helps learners juggle multiple demands on their time by offering part-time and flexible learning. But for many potential adult students – whether looking to study for personal interest or professional development – the costs of study can be challenging. That’s why ICE also offers many different bursaries that help reduce or remove the possible barriers to learning, especially for those with no previous experience of higher education.

If you think support with fees could make the difference to your future, why not see what financial support is currently available by following the link to our bursaries below? We are grateful for our generous supporters who fund our bursary offer.


Contact Us

Do you have any questions? Contact us here »

Whilst you're there, make sure that you sign up to receive emails from ICE to be kept up-to-date with courses, events and other activities here at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education.

You can unsubscribe at any time. See our privacy notice for more information on how we take care of your data.