History, culture & writing - BFI Southbank - Keeley Street

Explore History, Culture & Writing

Explore our extraordinary range of History, Culture and Writing courses and lectures. We offer both introductory and specialist in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, from ‘How to read a film’ and World literature, to Creative non-fiction writing courses and American history and Politics courses.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators; many have published, teach in universities or share their expertise in the media. Tutors share their knowledge and passion through presentations, readings, interactive discussion and exercises, analysis, and other activities.

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit Learning community.

Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place now.

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  1. Get together and read
    Course start date:  Thu 29 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Enjoy talking with other people about the things you have read? Want to share great stories, poems and drama? Come along and join the conversation. The group is led by a shared reading practitioner trained by The Reader Organisation.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Advanced fiction writing workshop
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022 (and 8 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Livia Franchini
    For experienced writers, this supportive but rigorous workshop offers the perfect opportunity to develop your novel or short story. Receive in-depth feedback and benefit from detailed group discussions on the art of fiction.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  3. Creative non-fiction
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022 (and 10 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Paul Laffan
    Explore practical and imaginative approaches to creative non fiction, including travel writing, life writing and the essay. Analyse published work, produce your own pieces, and benefit from detailed feedback.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
  4. Advanced autobiographical writing
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Nick Barlay
    A supportive workshop for more experienced writers of autobiography who are ready to push their practice, explore new techniques and further develop their authorial voice.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. City Lit reading group 2
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Patricia Sweeney
    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read 'The Harlem Shuffle' by Colson Whitehead. Monthly meetings take place on 30 Sept, 4 Nov, 09 Dec; 27 Jan, 3 March, 31 March, 5 May, 2 June and 7 July.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
  6. Latin American Literary Classics
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    From Mexico to Patagonia, Latin America has produced some of the most spellbinding literature of the modern age. From dictatorship and death to national identity and the natural world, join us as we investigate the cultural heritage of the continent through some its most famous writers. Includes Jorge Luis Borges, Ernesto Sabato, Cesar Vallejo, Pablo Neruda, Juan Rulfo, Clarice Lispector, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  7. Writing a memoir: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    Some moments in our lives are so powerful they beg to be shared with the world. This course will help you plan and craft a memoir that will resonate and inspire.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  8. Ways into poetry: an introduction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 2 Oct 2022 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Sarah Westcott
    Are you just starting to write poetry? This inspiring short course offers an opportunity to experiment with language and a variety of poetic devices. Discover the key elements of a poem in a friendly and interactive class.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £55.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  9. Ways into creative writing
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022 (and 14 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Henry Martin
    Want to have a go at creative writing in a supportive environment? Join one of these introductory courses. Guided exercises will give you the tools to explore language creatively and find your own writing voice.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  10. Art and identity: from the High Renaissance to the Reformation
    Course start date:  Wed 5 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Explore the legendary art and artists of the High Renaissance in Italy and the Netherlands from c. 1490-1540. Consider the role that ‘self-fashioning’ plays in their fame and notoriety through close reading engagement of a combination of images and texts.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Nazi Germany: politics, society, war and genocide
    Course start date:  Fri 7 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Rudolf Muhs
    This course offers a broad survey of Nazi Germany, its leaders and its population, its racial ideology, political ambitions and structures of rule, its opponents and its victims, and its ultimate descent into world war and genocide.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  12. Rise of the novel in the 18th century
    Course start date:  Fri 7 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Megan Beech
    Explore the dynamic evolution of fiction throughout the 18th century, from the island life of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe to the bold formal experimentation of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy. The course will also consider the role of women in the form and the factors in 18th Century society which contributed to the formation and enduring popularity of literature’s most well-known and widely read form.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £169.00
  13. Write a short story in a weekend
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Oct 2022 (and 6 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    Turn your great idea into a short story on this fun practical course. Through a series of inspiring exercises, you'll be introduced to some key fiction-writing techniques and encouraged to draft a short story from beginning to end.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  14. Travel writing: a taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Oct 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Susan Grossman
    You love travelling and taking photos but how do you decide what to write about and which pictures will sell? This course will give you the skills you need to approach editors with confidence.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  15. Craft focus: character in fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Oct 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    In fiction, character and plot are inseparable elements of craft. Without characters there can be no action or plot. In this short course you will learn how to create characters that can drive a narrative forward and deepen its themes.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100

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