Literature - Keeley Street

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
    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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Writing from Life: from Maggie O'Farrell to Ocean Vuong
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    What do we want and expect from ‘life stories’? How does this change when we read memoirs and novels? This course reads a selection of fascinating books and extracts, which experiment to combine memoir, personal experience and invention in different ways. As well as memoirs we’ll study ‘autofiction’ – a relatively new description for the work of novelists whose material is, explicitly, their own life – and consider ideas about this tricky and at times controversial category of writing. We’ll think too about some of the ethical and cultural questions that ‘writing from life’ raises, including privacy, a right of reply, and factors that may affect a work’s critical reception.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Ways into Advanced fiction, poetry and drama: Nineteenth Century Voices
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Hugh Epstein, Patricia Sweeney
    Explore the rewards of close reading analysis, focusing on the three main literary genres of fiction,



    poetry and drama. Read, analyse and debate British, European and American works from different periods of time, including The Awakening(1899) by Kate Chopin, Hedda Gabler(1891) by Henrik Ibsen, and poetry by Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barratt Browning, Matthew Arnold, Alfred Tennyson, and Christina Rossetti.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
  15. Exploring literature: An introduction to prose and poetry
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    This course introduces you to a variety of prose texts and poems from the nineteenth century to the present. Explore how poems work both ‘on the page’ and as spoken words. Reading prose, we’ll explore narrative technique, characterisation and social context. Come and discover what’s distinctive about these different forms of literature. Includes 'Washington Square' by Henry James, 'Mrs. Dalloway' by Virginia Woolf and a range of short stories and poetry.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00

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