Literature

Literature Courses in London

Explore our exciting range of Literature courses, from Literary History, to specialist courses in Fiction, Poetry and Drama. We offer introductory and in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, where you can revisit classic texts and discover new writers.

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.

Study in-person or online from the comfort of home, with classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students and share your passion for literature as part of a learning community. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long.

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

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit literary community; others are inspired to progress onto university study.

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

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  1. Literature Taster: Jane Austen
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 14 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    Ever wondered what studying an online Literature course at City Lit is like? Tempted to try, but not ready to commit to a whole course? Try this taster session on Jane Austen to boost your confidence and whet your appetite for further study!



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  2. Literature taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 17 Sep 2022 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Patricia Sweeney
    Do you want to find out how to go about understanding a poem or how to do a close reading of a work of fiction? Come and join us to discover what makes a literature class at City Lit so special.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  3. Key texts of 19th and 20th century drama: Oscar Wilde, Arthur Miller, Brian Friel and Timberlake Wertenbaker
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    This course will explore the concerns, styles and influences of four key dramatic texts from the late 19th and 20th centuries and how they reflect the times in which they were written. It includes The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller, Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel and Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker.
    Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00
  4. The Golden Age of the British Short Story 1890-1914
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    The years 1890 to 1914 were a golden age for British writers of short stories. As the country moved from Victorian certainties to an unknown, possibly exciting, possibly frightening future, writers found the short story form perfectly suited to their concerns. The roll call is an impressive one: from Kipling, Hardy, HG Wells and Conan Doyle through Chesterton and Conrad to Katherine Mansfield and DH Lawrence.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  5. American Gothic: the darker side of fiction
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    Explore and discuss the work of great 19th and 20th century writers such as Hawthorne. Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson and Flannery O’Connor – and learn about the dark streak that runs through so much of the best American literature.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Stories from Europe
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Aamer Hussein
    Freshly translated or newly rediscovered gems of European writing from the second half of the 20th century include Arturo’s Island by Elsa Morante (Italy), The Last and the First by Nina Berberova (Russia), The Inseparables by Simone de Beauvoir (France), Train was on Time by Heinrich Boll (Germany), Forty Lost Years by Rosa Maria Arquimbau (Catalonia/Spain) and The Man From London by Simenon (Belgium).
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  7. Wild Nights: poetry and desire
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Laurie Smith
    Some poets write about desires which are difficult to express at the time of writing – desire for another person and, more complexly, desire to express in writing feelings which the public may find unacceptable. This can lead to poetry which expresses feelings in new ways. We will explore how some great poets have written about such feelings, from Shakespeare and Byron, through Tennyson and Emily Dickinson, to Edith Sitwell and the great 20th century Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £259.00 Senior fee £207.00 Concession £168.00
  8. Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    This online Literature course explores three novels by Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. We will develop an appreciation of Austen’s narrative style and social critique through close analysis of her language, informing our reading by engaging with the literary, historical and critical contexts of these novels.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
  9. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    Read and discuss celebrated short stories each week for six weeks – discuss and explore what we understand might be the writers’ intentions, and what it means for us as readers – which can be quite different. Join us in sharing feelings about, and reactions to, a selection of classic and contemporary short stories and how they withstand the shifting context of readers, and time.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  10. City Lit reading group 1
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Tabby Toussaint
    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session on Friday 23 September with suggestions (English-language contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read Open Water (2021) by Caleb Azumah Nelson. Monthly meetings on 23 Sept; 28 Oct, 2 Dec; 20 Jan, 24 Feb, 24 March; 28 April; 26 May; 30 June.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
  11. Between East and West: Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 24 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Stephen Winfield
    Orhan Pamuk is the greatest Turkish novelist of his generation, internationally admired for the power of his storytelling and Istanbul, where he lives, is the creative inspiration for all his writing. Explore two of his finest novels, set in the Ottoman Empire and the present day, alongside his powerful memoir of the city’s changing fortunes and major fictions by his Turkish contemporaries.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  12. Secret Histories, Intrigues and Time Travel: curious letters in contemporary fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 25 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    Do you still write letters? Novelists do! This one-day course opens up the dynamic and curious life of letters in twenty-first century fiction. Reading extracts from four novels, we’ll unfold stories of past wrongs, present dilemmas and interstellar futures, to investigate how and why writers today continue to work with letters.



    Includes extracts from An American Marriage (2018) by Tayari Jones, Double Negative (2010) by Ivan Vladislavic, Where'd you go, Bernadette? (2012) by Maria Semple and the Book of Strange New Things (2014) by Michel Faber.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  13. London ‘lowlife’ in fiction: 1889-1907
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    We will explore the themes of poverty, politics, gender and ethnicity in London at the end of the 19th century/start of the 20th century through the eyes of writers of fiction, but also through the testimony of their non-fiction contemporaries – social investigators, government officials, journalists and philanthropists.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £116.00
  14. Exploring Medieval Literature: The Canterbury Tales
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Steven Breeze
    Pilgrimage, religion, social mores and foibles, exuberant women, and a drunk miller with a penchant for bashing down doors with his head! Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales are excellent examples of Middle English writing. The range of characters, diverse plotlines, energy and playfulness all offer a fine insight into 14th Century England. It’s medieval England’s most famous work; this is because Chaucer’s multi-layered writing style is varied, subtle, and brilliant.



    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 £64.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  15. City Lit Evening Reading Group
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    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 Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Monthly meetings on 26 Sept, 24 Oct, 28 Nov; 16 Jan, 20 Feb, 20 March, 08 May, 12 June, and 10 July.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00

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