Literary non-fiction

Literary non-fiction is wide-ranging, creative and innovative. From short essays to longer prose, from Montaigne to Rebecca Solnit, our courses allow you to explore dynamic, varied and often genre-busting works, across a broad range of subjects.

Learn at time that suits you

We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators. Tutors share their knowledge and passion through presentations, screenings, interactive discussion, analysis, and other activities.

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Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit literary community. Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place now.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of long and short 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, we've got the class for you. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. Speak memory: the rise and rise of the memoir
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Mon 15 Jan 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    The last couple of decades have seen an explosion of a relatively new kind of writing – the memoir. Stories of abusive childhoods, extraordinary parents, and uncovered family secrets fill the shelves of bookshops. Some are mockingly dubbed misery memoirs, some even exposed as fakes. But among them are some masterpieces of modern writing – accounts of painful coming to maturity, or of the growth towards a deeper understanding of a world always taken for granted.
    Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00
  2. The art of the essay: from Michel de Montaigne to Audre Lorde
    Course start date:  Mon 22 Jan 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dalia Neis
    We will go on a journey to investigate the art and form of the essay through collectively reading a variety of essayists from the early 20th century to the present day. We will explore the essay’s hazy boundaries between diary, literary criticism, nature writing, elegy, aphorism, political tract, and mystical/religious experiences through key essayists including Walter Benjamin, Virginia Woolf, Clarice Lispector, Audre Lorde, Etel Adnan, James Baldwin, David Rattray, and Claudia Rankine.

    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
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  3. Women writing and walking: Virginia Woolf, Nan Shepherd, Rebecca Solnit
    Course start date:  Wed 24 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    This online course considers the relationship between walking and writing in three innovative works of literary non-fiction: Virginia Woolf’s essay ‘Street Haunting’ (1927), Nan Shepherd’s ‘The Living Mountain’ (written c. 1945, first pub. 1977), and Rebecca Solnit’s ‘A Field Guide to Getting Lost’ (2006).

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
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