History, culture & writing - Online

Explore History, Culture & Writing

Explore our extraordinary range of History, Culture and Writing courses and lectures. We offer both introductory and specialist in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, from ‘How to read a film’ and World literature, to Creative non-fiction writing courses and American history and Politics courses.

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.

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

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit Learning community.

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

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  1. A taste of creative writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 13 Aug 2022 (and 11 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Sophie McKenzie
    Give creative writing a try on this fun and supportive online short course. Ideal if you want to express yourself but need help in getting started. Guided exercises will encourage you to experiment and unlock your imagination. Please note: this course has a 2-hr break from 12:30-14:30.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  2. Ways into screenwriting: a taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 17 Sep 2022 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Alan Nixon
    Want to write scripts but don't know how to start? Discover the basics of screenwriting - character, conflict and more - on this short online course that will help you shape your ideas and get your story going.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. A taste of poetry
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 17 Sep 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Julie Irigaray
    This short, fun workshop is the perfect starting point for students who are writing for the first time or new to poetry. Join us for thought-provoking writing exercises and poetry theory for beginners.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  4. Think like an artist: in 16th century Venice
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 18 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    Find out how the art of the mercantile republic of 16th century Venice reflects its unique location, trade routes and society.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. The 60 minute writer
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022 (and 11 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    Fit creative writing into your busy day: a relaxed, informal rolling programme for writers of all levels of experience who enjoy being thrown new ideas and experimenting with poetry and prose.



    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 £50.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  6. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022 (and 11 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Claire Collison
    Not sure whether creative writing is for you? Give it a try on one of these fun and supportive short courses covering the basics of fiction and poetry. Increase your confidence and produce work through guided exercises and discussion.



    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 £65.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  7. Ways into creative writing: a gentle pace
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022 (and 4 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sarah Leipciger
    Are you brand new to creative writing? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive environment alongside other beginners? This gentle short-course guides students taking their first steps on the path to becoming a creative writer.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. 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
  9. From Film Noir to Realism: Hollywood in the 1940s
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 24 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Dominating Hollywood style in the 1940s, the film noir includes thrillers, horror films, westerns and melodramas, but the industry was also producing 'social problem' and semi-documentary films during this period as part of an emerging realist cinema. Explore these and other developments in Hollywood as it adjusted its operations in the face of changing social, economic and political conditions.



    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
  10. The Legacy of Lord Reith: The BBC and Public Service Broadcasting
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 1 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Paul Rixon
    This two-week course explores John Reith’s role in helping to set up the British Broadcasting Company (1922) and its transformation into the British Broadcasting Corporation (1927) as well as his ideas relating to what contribution broadcasting should make to national life. We will reflect on how influential his ideas of public service have been for British Broadcasting, as well as other national systems around the world, and how important they might still be in the digital age.



    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
  11. Symbolist Poetry: a season in Hell
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 2 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Beatrice Ashton-Lelliott
    The pandemic has made many people feel as though we are living in a slow apocalypse – but looking back at similar feelings experienced by the poets of the late nineteenth century can help to put things into perspective. This weekend online course looks at a selection of the Symbolist poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, Arthur Symons and Charles Baudelaire, considering their contemporary struggles and how, through these often initially morbid fin de siècle poems, we might find some light at the end of the tunnel.



    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. Masters of Cinema: Paolo Sorrentino
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 2 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Graham Rinaldi
    “Everything's important in a film, not just the shots. Even the sound man's mood or the quality of the catering.” Explore the virtuosic, melancholic cinema of Paolo Sorrentino from his early hypnotic and claustrophobic The Consequences of Love (2004) through his grandiose award winning The Great Beauty (2013) to his most personal and recent work, The Hand of God (2021).



    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
  13. History reading group: political biographies
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Zoe Quinn
    Through discussion of selected biographies we will explore in depth key individuals in world history , their legacy and the era in which they lived.The first class will discuss The Human Factor: Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher and the End of the Cold War by Archie Brown (2022). As the edition is fairly recent, the cheapest version I have found (at the moment of writing this- 20/4/22) is on kindle.



    NOTE: This course consists of four sessions on the following dates:4/10/22, 29/11/22, 17/1/23 & 7/3/23.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £35.00
  14. Writing and rewriting fairytales
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Mar 2023 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mary Victoria
    Once upon a time there was a City Lit workshop all about writing fairytales. The quest: to inspire writers to pen stories of love, fear, forests, revenge, dragons, witches, kings, queens, frogs and magic.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  15. Picture book writing
    Course start date:  Mon 24 Oct 2022 (and 9 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Andrew Weale
    Would you like to write a picture book text for young children? This course is designed for children's writers and for illustrators wishing to write their own stories, develop their ideas and technique.



    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 £50.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100

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