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.

Study in-person at City Lit or offsite, or online from the comfort of home, with interactive classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information on our online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

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.

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 Odyssey reading group (in translation)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Justin Murray
    Homer’s epic tale of Odysseus’ journey home after the Trojan War may now be over 2,500 years old but it still has much to tell us about the Ancient Greek world that is still relevant today. Explore this great work in translation.



    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 £60.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  2. Creative writing for social media
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 28 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Homan Yousofi
    In this new course we will playfully scroll through short-form creative writing approaches, and bring together words, images, found sounds, mixed-media, cut-up and other processual techniques to publish our writing on social media. This course is open to both new and experienced writers.



    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 £28.00
  3. Seven wonders of the ancient world
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 15 Apr 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  William Sterling
    The Seven Wonders fascinate us, but what were they and why were they wonders? Using art, literature and



    archaeology we'll explore possible answers.



    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
  4. Writing for children: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 12 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lou Kuenzler
    Develop your ideas for children's stories in this practical and interactive short course. Topics will include plot, characterisation and viewpoint, and how to approach the children's publishing industry today.



    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 £28.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  5. Writing funny fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 3 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rene Perez
    What does it really mean to write funny fiction and what are the techniques writers use? Learn how to harness the power of humour in your fiction in this fun, supportive workshop.



    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 £28.00
  6. A taste of poetry
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 4 Feb 2022 (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 two evenings of 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 £28.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  7. Writing non-fiction for children: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 27 Jun 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Catherine Ingram
    On this interactive taster course, you will explore children’s non-fiction writing; an exciting and wide-ranging field, encompassing biography, narrative non-fiction and the classic fact book.



    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 £28.00
  8. Performance poetry
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 7 Feb 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Arji Manuelpillai
    Write poetry and perform it, finding your own style and delivery under the guidance of a spoken word artist. Explore the differences between performance and other forms of poetry.



    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 £28.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  9. Indian philosophy in a nutshell
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 7 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Goff
    From mysticism to materialism, Indian philosophy is as diverse as its European counterpart, covering a wide range of thought about the nature of reality and with a distinctive concern for human spiritual liberation.



    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 £30.00
  10. The Art of the Essay: from Walter Benjamin to Claudia Rankine
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 7 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dalia Neis
    We will go on a journey to investigate the art and form of the essay through collectively reading a variety of essayists from the early 20th century to the present day. We will explore the essay’s hazy boundaries between diary, literary criticism, nature writing, elegy, aphorism, political tract, and mystical/religious experiences through key essayists including Walter Benjamin, Virginia Woolf, Clarice Lispector, Audre Lorde, Etel Adnan, James Baldwin, David Rattray, and Claudia Rankine.



    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
  11. Picture book writing
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 14 Feb 2022 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Lou Kuenzler
    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; a starter course to develop both your ideas and your technique.



    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 £52.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  12. Introduction to journalism
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 26 Apr 2022 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Susan Grossman
    On this course students will explore the basic skills a freelance journalist needs to write and sell news and features to newspapers and magazines. From developing ideas and identifying outlets to interview skills and approaching editors.



    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 £52.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  13. Ways into creative writing: a gentle pace
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 21 Feb 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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.



    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 £36.00
  14. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 21 Feb 2022 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Charlotte Heather
    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 £52.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  15. Battles, Riddles and Spells: the Old English tradition 900-1100
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 21 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Steven Breeze
    Great changes occurred in England between 900 and 1100. Viking invasions had turned to settlement, influencing the culture and language. Events in 1066 changed the ruling elite. The language used at court changed from Old English to Norman French. However, English was still the common tongue, and much of the great store of Old English poetry and prose was produced during this time. This course looks at the literature of 900-1100, as well as the turbulent events that affected and shaped English writing.



    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 £48.00

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