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.

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.

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

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  1. The present and the past in historical fiction: Maggie O’Farrell, Pat Barker and Sara Collins
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Why are we drawn to historical fiction? What do we want to discover? This course investigates historical fiction written in the twenty-first century and how it reimagines past societies for contemporary readers. Reading novels and selected extracts, we’ll explore the strategies, pleasures and challenges of historical fiction: how it can bring unknown lives into the light and ask us to think again about the present. Includes The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell, The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker and The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins.



    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 £79.00
  2. Japanese Feminist Literature
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Japanese literature in translation has often been dominated by male writers such as Haruki Murakami. Increasingly, however, books written by female authors are now receiving English-language translations and critical acclaim, as seen with the publication and success of Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman last year. This 6-week online course explores some of the most exciting literature translated in the last few years, which give an insight into the experiences of women in modern Japan.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  3. The Power of Language: the emergence of Middle English Literature 1100-1300
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Around 1100, after the Norman Conquest, English language and literature went underground. The powerful elite didn’t speak it, and they definitely didn’t write it. This course is about the resistance movement of vernacular-speaking lower-class poets and authors who kept English alive as a literary language, setting the scene for the great re-emergence of Middle English literature that culminated in the works of Chaucer and Gower.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  4. Film of the Book
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will read works of fiction and view their cinematic transformations, developing an understanding of plot,



    characterisation and narrative in a film making context. Each session includes analysis and discussion of the literary



    text and an opportunity to view and consider the film.



    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 £79.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  5. America in the 70s: culture and society
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Journey through the history, literature, film, music and art of the 70s, an era of economic struggle and cultural change. While America continued to reflect aspects of 60s social upheaval, a more energised 'New Right' was emerging in defense of political conservatism and the traditional family, schisms that still exist today. We investigate the cross currents across the many facets of the 70s through a 'taster' of each subject area.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £91.00
  6. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories
    Course start date:  Mon 14 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Read and discuss celebrated short stories – 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.



    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 £79.00
  7. Chaucer and the establishment of English Literature 1300-1500
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 24 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course is about the literature written in English between its re-emergence as a language of power and influence, and the onset of such matters as the printing press and Columbus’s journeys across the Atlantic Ocean that generally represent the end of the medieval world and the onset of the Renaissance. The course takes in Chaucer, Middle English Arthurian Romances, and the re-establishment of English as a great literary language.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  8. The American West in Literature
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 26 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    This class examines the literary history of the American West, delving into its iconic representation in literature from the 19th century to the present day. By looking at an exciting range of texts, the class explores literature’s longstanding and ongoing fascination with the culture, politics, and art of the American West.



    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 £79.00
  9. America in the 80s: culture and society
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 3 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Journey through the history, literature, film, music and art of the 80s as we investigate the cross currents across the many facets of the decade through a 'taster' of each subject area. Includes "Reganomics", the Democratic unwinding, the age of new technology, Top Gun to Blue Velvet, pop to hip hop, and the eclectic movements in art and literature.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £91.00
  10. 'Animals in 20th and 21st century fiction
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 4 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Animals leap, crawl, hop, and gallop across the pages of modern fiction. Why do authors write about animals? What effect does it have on us as readers when we encounter animals in novels and short stories? From Beatrix Potter and Black Beauty to the contemporary novel, this course explores the role of the animal in modern literature. Themes that we will think about together include: animal suffering, animals in depictions of childhood, and animal transformations and dehumanisation. Includes 'Happiness' (2018) by Aminatta Forna and writings by J.M. Coewtzee and John Berger.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  11. Poetic Moments
    Course start date:  Thu 5 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    This 6 week course will give you an opportunity to read and discuss a range of poetry from the19th century right up to contemporary women writers. We will discuss their concerns and styles and how they achieve their poetic effects. There will be a chance for students to share their own poetic favourites.



    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 £79.00
  12. This Rough Magic: enchantment in A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    At the end of The Tempest, Prospero announces that henceforth he will abandon the “rough magic” that has enabled him to guide, trick and torment his fellow characters. Shakespeare himself used magic to wonderful effect in two of his greatest plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest. How is magic used to bestow blessings and curses, and to shape the course of the plays? And how does Shakespeare use the greatest magic of all – the power of his language – to create this enchantment?



    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 £79.00
  13. Japanese crime literature
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 11 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Japanese crime literature is reaching new audiences, with many classics being translated into English for the first time. This course explores a range of Japanese mysteries, detectives and their recurring themes, from ‘locked room’ classics to the dark side of human nature – with many murders along the way.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  14. British Literature of the 1980s: the Granta generation
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 25 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Who were considered the ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ in 1983, and what became of them? What do their styles and topics reveal about the decade, looking back from 40 years on? Read extracts by all twenty writers plus novels by Pat Barker, Ian McEwan, and a third chosen by the group.



    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 £79.00

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