Writing for stage and screen - Online

Screenwriting & Playwriting Courses Online & in London

Behind every masterpiece, lies a captivating script. Delve into the magical world of screenwriting and playwriting, and learn the vital elements required to create an effective screenplay and script. Develop your writing skills, analyse scripts, and discover what it takes to reach a professional level.  

Plus, you’ll get to grips with the fundamental writing principles, and master the technique of bringing your idea and script to life. You’ll explore everything from developing onstage characters to constructing storylines, too. 

Above all, screenwriting and playwriting is a creative process. At City Lit we help you through every step of the way, from dealing with writer’s block to pushing you to your creative limits. Not only that, but you’ll also be working and engaging with like-minded individuals, who are all in the process of honing their craft. 

Our writing students frequently go on to further study or publication. Read their success stories.

You'll learn from experience tutors that are all published authors and experts in their field. Learn about their recent accomplishments.

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, we've got the class for you. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

Discover the key elements of dramatic writing for television, cinema and the stage. Explore character and conflict, story and structure, and receive feedback on your work as you progress from first idea to finished script. All our writing courses are taught by practicing writers.

City Lit's writing students frequently go on to further study or publication. Read their success stories.

Our tutors are published authors and experts in their field. Learn about their recent accomplishments.

For the latest news, courses, events and competitions, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.

Many of our courses are delivered online. For more information about our live online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

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  1. Joke writing
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Kate Smurthwaite
    Uncover the workings of the classic one-liner, practise joke writing and find out what makes a good joke. Learn how to refine and develop your own writing skills for stand up, comedy writing and pleasure.



    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
  2. Write your screenplay: from idea to first draft
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Clive Ford
    A good screenplay starts with a good story but it also needs structure, good characters and interesting twists. This is a course for writers who have an idea they think is ready to go. We’ll look at the best ways to grab the viewers’ attention from the off, and at the end of the course you’ll get a chance to pitch your ideas.



    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
  3. Ways into playwriting: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Apr 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Nicole Acquah
    Explore the fundamental techniques of writing for the stage in this introductory online course. Get to grips with dialogue, character, story and structure, and start work on your own play.



    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:
    80% of 100
  4. Ways into screenwriting: a taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Apr 2023 (and 2 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
  5. Ways into playwriting
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Apr 2023 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Dawn King
    Explore the fundamental techniques of writing for the stage in this introductory course. Get to grips with dialogue, character, story and structure, and start work on your own play.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  6. Ways into screenwriting
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 11 Jan 2023 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Alan Nixon
    Learn to write for the screen on this practical, introductory course. Writing exercises, presentations and screenings will teach you key skills, and you’ll begin to produce work and an outline for a full-length project.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  7. Developing your screenwriting
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 18 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jilly Gardiner
    Continue your screenwriting journey in this practical intermediate course. Writing exercises, presentations and screenings will teach you key skills, and you’ll begin to produce work and an outline for a full-length project.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  8. Television screenwriting
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Jim Hill
    Do you want to write a script for television? What do you write and where do you start? Through exercises and examples, this course will assist you in developing your own projects.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. Advanced playwriting
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Brian Mullin
    Dive deeper into the key elements of writing for the theatre, gain fresh critical insight into your own writing, and produce a new draft of your work. This course is designed for experienced playwrights who have work in-progress.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £110.00
  10. Reading for writers: great plays (a fortnightly course)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Brian Mullin
    Imitation is more than just a form of flattery - it's a tool to discover your own writing craft! Delve into a series of famous playscripts to understand their mechanics and their unique approaches. Then apply your insights to your own writing through in-class exercises.



    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:
    100% of 100
  11. Developing your playwriting
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 17 Jan 2023 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Dawn King
    Continue to explore the key elements of dramatic writing, and benefit from supportive and detailed feedback on your own work. New students with some playwriting experience are welcome to join.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  12. Writing comedy for TV in the online age
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 6 May 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Alan Nixon
    With the advent of streaming services, the opportunities to develop narrative comedy are multitude. Learn how to write narrative comedy for TV, how to identify your outlets, and how to modify your projects accordingly on this intensive short course.



    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
  13. Writing a short film
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 7 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sharmila Chauhan
    Would you like to write a script for a short film? This short course offers an insight into the fundamentals of screenwriting through tutor input, writing exercises, group work and discussion.



    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
  14. Writing the queer play
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 10 Jun 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Grant Corr
    Explore the queer play on this short course for playwrights. In the workshop you will be given opportunities to construct your own queer characters giving you the tools and confidence to write the stories that you want to tell.



    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
  15. How to pitch your screenplay
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 24 Jun 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Alan Nixon
    You've worked hard on a screenplay but how do you sell it? This short intensive course identifies tools you can select to create a compelling Pitch Treatment. Please note: this course will have 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

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