History, culture & writing - KS - 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.

Study in-person at City Lit or offsite, or online from the comfort of home, with interactive classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information on our online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

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.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. Picture book writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 7 May 2022 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Lou Kuenzler
    Would you like to write a picture book text for young children? This course is designed for children's writers and for illustrators wishing to write their own stories; a starter course to develop both your ideas and your technique.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  2. A taste of creative writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 19 Feb 2022 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    Give creative writing a try on this fun and supportive online short course. Ideal if you want to express yourself but need help in getting started. Guided exercises will encourage you to experiment and unlock your imagination.



    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 £28.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  3. How to impress a publisher
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 19 Feb 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Lisa Goll
    A publishing insider offers expert advice on how to impress a publisher, work with agents and become a star author.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Craft focus: voice in fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 20 Feb 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    All fiction must speak to us as readers. It must communicate atmosphere and plot, character and layers of meaning. Naturally, this means it must have a 'voice,' a complex mix of elements that, together, give the piece its unique identity. In this one-day course learn what 'voice' really means in fiction and how to develop a voice for your story that can capture the attention of readers.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  5. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Charlotte Heather
    Not sure whether creative writing is for you? Give it a try on one of these fun and supportive short courses covering the basics of fiction and poetry. Increase your confidence and produce work through guided exercises and discussion.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  6. How to read a film: a beginners' guide to cinema
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This course will develop your critical appreciation of the cinema by teaching you how to read and understand film texts. We will look at the elements that underpin film form – narrative, mise en scène, cinematography, editing and sound – alongside its historical development. We will consider film style by exploring classical, post-classical and art cinema and we will examine influential critical modes of analysis, such as genre, authorship and spectatorship.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £60.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  7. Ways into poetry: an introduction
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 24 Feb 2022 (and 3 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 £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  8. Ways into screenwriting
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Alan Nixon
    Learn to write for the screen on this practical, introductory course. Writing exercises, presentations and screenings will teach you key skills, and you’ll begin to produce work and an outline for a full-length project.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  9. Starting your novel
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 11 May 2022 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sophie McKenzie
    Got a great idea for a novel? Jump start your project in this supportive course that covers craft basics such as character and plot. Ideal for writers of fiction with some experience who have an idea for a novel.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  10. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    Fit creative writing into your busy day: a relaxed, informal rolling programme for writers of all levels of experience who enjoy being thrown new ideas and experimenting with poetry and prose.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £40.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  11. ‘Unusual, unreliable and impossible storytellers’: Piranesi, Elizabeth is Missing and Hotel World
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 3 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    This course focuses on the intriguing and unlikely storytellers at work in recent fiction. How do we believe a story told by a woman who has dementia or a man who thinks that only fifteen people ever lived? What do we think when a five-year-old child is a novel’s narrator, or a dead person, or even a desert boot and a bandage? What are we to make of their improbable and sometimes unsettling stories? Can these unusual narrators open up new ways of thinking about the world? Includes work by Emma Healey, Susannah Clark and Ali Smith.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £54.00
  12. The Great (European) Powers and the making of the modern Middle East, 1914-1948.
    Course start date:  Tue 3 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sebastien Ardouin
    How and why did the countries of the Middle East emerge, and what were the consequences of that process? What was the role of Britain and France? What impact did the US and the USSR have on the region?



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £105.00
  13. Change must come: art, politics and society
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 3 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    An exploration of art history that draws on specific political and social movements in modern history and how artists contribute to and/or influence the dialogue. We will conclude with an engagement with contemporary art and politics.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £121.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. Outposts of Byzantium
    Course start date:  Wed 4 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    This fascinating course explores both the distinctive and common elements of Byzantine culture at the most evocative of its outposts beyond Constantinople, including Ravenna, Mistra, Monemvasia and others.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £105.00
  15. Britain, the empire and slavery in the Caribbean: 1605-1807
    Course start date:  Thu 5 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    Approximately 12 million Africans were taken as slaves by European traders to the Americas. What strategies did Africans use to survive the system of slavery in the Caribbean colonies and what was life like in British plantation societies?



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £57.00

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