History, culture & writing

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. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 28 Sep 2022 (and 10 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Anna Richards
    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.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  2. Writing horror: a beginners’ guide
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 21 Oct 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jonathan Barnes
    Where does terror begin? This fun workshop explores the core elements of the horror genre so you can walk in the footsteps of writers like Bram Stoker, Shirley Jackson and Stephen King.



    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:
    60% of 100
  3. 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:  Natasha Bell
    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
  4. Micropoetry: small poems, big ideas
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 9 Nov 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Jennifer Wong
    Explore the emerging art form of micropoetry in this fun but informative short course. Compose your own poetry and learn how to make every word on the page count.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £40.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  5. Writing for blogs: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 18 Nov 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Terry Freedman
    Got a passion, a journey or an obsession to share? Blogging is the perfect medium through which to share your interests with the world. This taster course teaches the essential skills required to write blogposts that will resonate.



    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:
    90% of 100
  6. Introduction to the Wallace Collection
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Each week, we'll explore a different aspect of the Wallace Collection looking at its fine and decorative art objects, including paintings, furniture, porcelain and even arms and armour.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  7. A taste of poetry
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Feb 2023 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Billie Manning
    This short, fun taster course is the perfect starting point for students who are writing for the first time or new to the poetry path. 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
  8. Life writing: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lucy Popescu
    This inspiring workshop encourages students to explore a range of techniques and prompts in order to create vivid and engaging life writing.



    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
  9. Italian cinema: From Neorealism to the Genre Film
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 28 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Cristina Massaccesi
    This cinema course focuses on Italian cinema in the years between 1945 and 1980. It will provide you with an overview of the main historical, cultural and social aspects of Italian filmmaking in Italy by looking at the work of some of its most influential author/directors.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  10. Focus on: fashion in 16th century art
    Course start date:  Fri 28 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Do you know your codpiece from your farthingale? Why did the ruff become so fashionable? How do we identify figures in narrative and religious art? This short course explores the fascinating world of costume in 16th century European painting. Explore the socio-political context behind portraiture, how fashion was employed to convey status, and the impact of developments in textiles and trade.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  11. From Caligari to Touch of Evil: Expressionism in the Cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 5 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Characterised by chiaroscuro, or high contrast lighting, and similarly stylised narratives, the expressionist film informs German cinema of the 1920s, French poetic realism of the 1930s, and the American and European film noir of the 1940s and 1950s. This course explores a range of key examples of expressionist cinema drawn from these contexts and asks why the style continues to fascinate us.



    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
  12. Private portraits: painted miniatures in early modern Europe
    Course start date:  Fri 5 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Portrait miniatures are some of the most exquisite and beguiling likenesses ever produced. Their tiny scale and painstaking creation give them an intricacy, intimacy and sense of intrigue. These often reflect the circumstances in which they were gifted to their new owners by the person commissioning them, and both the images and their wider contexts repay our close study on this course.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  13. How do we perceive time?
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 14 Oct 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anita Kasabova
    Einstein famously remarked that time – or the distinction between past, present, and future – is an illusion. Yet we experience events in a temporal order we call the ‘passage of time’. In this workshop participants are invited to reflect on how they perceive time, as we explore the roles of perception, memory, and emotion in temporal experience. This session is part of the 2022 Mental Wealth Festival hosted by City Lit and partners.



    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. 'We're still here': new contemporary painting in the UK
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 9 Jun 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Living in a digital age, is contemporary painting ‘redundant'? This four week course explores how alive and kicking contemporary painting is in Britain. Discover how exciting, new UK-based artists use both experimental and traditional painting approaches to address issues of identity, history and personal experience.



    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 £79.00 Concession £64.00

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