Literature Courses in London

We offer a wide range of daytime, evening and weekend literature courses at City Lit, from classical to contemporary literature, and including novels, short stories, drama and poetry. Our reading groups are popular and suitable for all levels, and we also offer an advanced course for those who want to develop their literary skills further. Classes take place in Covent Garden and also online; students can also benefit from our partnerships with others, including Keats’ House.

You can now study in the comfort of your home with our online courses.

For a limited time you can enjoy 20% off our online courses with a start date from 1 September 2020 using discount code: NEWONLINE. (Terms & Conditions apply )

To participate in online classes you will need an email address, a reliable internet connection, a computer/laptop/tablet with fully updated browser (preferably Google Chrome). Your device will need a microphone, and preferably a camera. Many classes use Google Classroom.

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  1. 19th century American literature

    Evening
    Course Date: Thu 24 Sep 2020 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: Online
    This class explores 19th century American literature, from slave narratives to the seminal works of the American Renaissance, reading classic texts to broaden knowledge of literary history through a range of influential stories, poems and novels. Among the writers considered in their literary, political and cultural contexts will be Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Hawthorne, Melville, and Twain.

    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

  2. Beckett: three major texts

    Course Date: Thu 24 Sep 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    ‘Words have been my only loves … Nothing else matters but the writing’ (Samuel Beckett). A close reading and discussion, as if approached for the first time, without preconceptions, of three middle period works which together represent the essence of Beckett's achievements in prose and drama.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £189.00
    Senior fee: £151.00
    Concession: £115.00

  3. Apocalypse London: the city in dystopian fiction

    Course Date: Fri 25 Sep 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    The recent pandemic showed us London as an eerie, empty place. This silent, scared city has echoes in such works as John Wyndham’s Day Of The Triffids, HG Wells’ War Of The Worlds, Orwell’s 1984, and Quatermass & The Pit. These fictions explore Londoners’ responses to invasions from space, from savage animals and plant life that has got dangerously out of control; also from ecological disaster and political totalitarianism, which turn the capital into a place of nightmare.

    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. City Lit Evening Reading Group

    Evening
    Course Date: Mon 28 Sep 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    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 Porpoise by Mark Haddon (2019). Monthly meetings on 28 Sept, 26 Oct, 23 Nov; 25 Jan, 22 Feb, 22 March, 26 April, 24 May, and 28 June.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £89.00
    Senior fee: £89.00
    Concession: £54.00

  5. City Lit reading group 1

    City Lit reading group 1

    Course Date: Fri 2 Oct 2020 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: Online
    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 On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (2019). Monthly meetings on 2 Oct, 30 Oct, 27 Nov; 22 Jan, 19 Feb, 19 March; 23 Apr, 21 May and 18 June.

    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: £103.00

  6. City Lit reading group 2

    Course Date: Fri 9 Oct 2020 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: Online
    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 'Forest Dark' by Nicole Krauss. Monthly meetings take place on 9 Oct, 6 Nov, 4 Dec; 29 Jan, 26 Feb, 26 March, 30 April, 28 May and 25 June.

    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: £103.00

  7. Faith and Doubt in Victorian poetry

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 10 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Victorian Britain saw an upsurge of religious affirmation in the context of increasing unease concerning the conventional assumptions of Christian faith. Tracing the evolution of Victorian poetry, we shall consider how the age’s most accomplished poets attempted to resolve that paradox.

    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: £36.00

  8. Dante, Petrarca & Boccaccio: creators of Italian literature

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 24 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio set the foundations of Italian literature and developed the Tuscan vernacular into a literary language. See how they contributed to the shift from an essentially medieval worldview to humanism and the Renaissance.

    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: £36.00

  9. Guillaume Apollinaire: writer of poetry, drama and prose

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sun 25 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Although widely known as a poet of World War I, Guillaume Apollinaire was a prolific journalist and art critic, as well as playwright and writer of fiction. The intellectual and personal relationships that he formed in the artistic milieu of the Parisian Belle Epoque established his reputation as one of the most innovative and challenging writers at the beginning of the 20th century.

    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: £36.00

  10. Short story reading group: classics to contemporary

    Course Date: Tue 27 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Join us in sharing feelings about, and reactions to, a selection of classic and contemporary short stories where we will be reading "Ivy Day in the Committee Room" by James Joyce and "Ivy Day in the Committee Room" by Eimear McBride (2014). Meetings on 27 Oct, 1 December, 2 Feb, 9 March, 11 May and 22 June.

    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. An introduction to poetry

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 31 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Always wanted to read and discuss poetry? Enjoy this introduction to a range of poetry from the last 400 years and explore how the poets shape our responses.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £19.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £12.00

  12. Masters of style: reading and writing Hemingway

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 31 Oct 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Ernest Hemingway was the master of minimalist short fiction where every word counted. While writing many drafts, he pared his writing down to what he felt was 'true'. This day workshop explores the literary interpretations of two of his seminal short stories and writing exercises that encourage you to experiment with Hemingway's style.

    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: £36.00

  13. The European city in contemporary literature

    Evening
    Course Date: Tue 3 Nov 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Reading our way through a series of contemporary European cities, in this course we’ll be taking in some of the standout works of urban literature to have been written since 2000: texts that tell us about places, identities and contemporary life, and which prompt us to question how we think about, inhabit and visit cities.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £89.00
    Senior fee: £89.00
    Concession: £54.00

  14. “Wild Justice”: Power and Revenge in English Renaissance Tragedy

    Course Date: Wed 4 Nov 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    This course explores English Renaissance Tragedy through Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Marlowe’s Dr Faustus and Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi. We will consider how these plays represent revenge and power in relation to authority (individual, state and religious); death; grief; sexuality; language - and theatricality itself.



    Tutor biography



    Sophie has taught Literature, interdisciplinary and performing Arts for over twenty years, working with the Open University, Leeds University, and a range of adult learning institutions before joining City Lit. Previously she freelanced as a theatre and opera director in community theatre and at English National Opera. She has an MA in Nineteenth Century English and American Literature, and a PhD in Early Modern Life Writing. She is also Head of the Arts and Culture programme at City Lit.

    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

  15. Victorian fiction 1840 -1880: the rise of Realism

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 7 Nov 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    The course will consider the Victorian novel over a period of 40 years from the perspective of realism and its importance in the development of the novel’s form, style and significance.

    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: £36.00

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