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. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 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
  2. Writing a memoir (continuation)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 14 Jan 2022 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    Some moments in our lives are so powerful they beg to be shared with the world. This continuation course guides students in developing a memoir project that will resonate and inspire.



    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:
    100% of 100
  3. Developing your creative writing
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Claire Griffiths
    This supportive intermediate course for writers with some experience will provide inspiration, technical guidance and feedback on your work, as well as helping you to sustain your writing practice. This course welcomes those interested in writing 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 £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Creative non-fiction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 21 Jan 2022 (and 7 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Paul Laffan
    Explore practical and imaginative approaches to creative non fiction, including travel writing, life writing and the essay. Analyse published work, produce your own pieces, and benefit from detailed feedback.



    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 £84.00
  5. Short story writing
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022 (and 5 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Jonathan Barnes
    A hands-on introduction to the art of writing short stories. You will receive technical advice, creative exercises to generate ideas, and feedback to develop your writing skills.



    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 £84.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  6. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022 (and 8 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 £40.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  7. Advanced poetry workshop
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 14 Jan 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ella Frears
    Develop your poetry, taking it in new directions and maturing your poetic voice. Various approaches and techniques will be explored, and new poetry can be workshopped. For experienced poets only.



    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 £88.00
  8. Craft focus: grammar, syntax, and style for creative writers
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 14 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Emma Park
    Great poetry and prose begin when the writer puts the right words in the right places. Learn how and why the rules and conventions of language matter in this new course, which combines creative writing with opportunities to learn/revise essential points of grammar and useful literary concepts. Suitable for beginning writers looking to build confidence, and those with more experience who would like to practise these essential skills.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £72.00
  9. Advanced playwriting: workshop
    Course start date:  Fri 14 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    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 workshop is for experienced playwrights with ongoing projects.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £309.00 Senior fee £309.00 Concession £124.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  10. City Lit reading group (online)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 15 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jenny Baynes
    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first



    online session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read 'Hamnet' by Maggie O'Farrell. Monthly meetings take place on 15/10, 19/11/21, 04/02, 04/03/22.



    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 £71.00 Concession £54.00
  11. Arts of the golden age of the Ottoman Empire
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 14 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    Looking at how the vision of the Ottoman Sultans was crafted from diverse sources during a period of maximum growth, this course will focus on the architecture, arts and crafts of the early Ottoman Empire.



    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
  12. Looking at paintings
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 14 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    Look at masterpieces in major London galleries in this introduction to European painting. Explore different painting techniques and genres (landscape, portrait and history painting) for a basic understanding and increased enjoyment of Western art.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £152.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. Philosophy and cultural theory
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 14 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Barrie Selwyn
    We will look the philosophical underpinnings of culture through the writings of key philosophers who engage critically with the self images of the post enlightenment era. In particular we well look at Ideology, language and art in the context of cultural reproduction.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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