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. Ways into poetry: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Feb 2023 (and 7 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Billie Manning
    Are you just starting to write poetry? This inspiring short course offers an opportunity to experiment with language and a variety of poetic devices. Discover the key elements of a poem in a friendly and interactive class.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £44.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  2. Creative non-fiction: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Jun 2022 (and 5 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Claire Collison
    This short introductory course explores the core elements of creative non-fiction across genres such as travel writing, the personal essay and life writing. On this course you will start to produce your own works of creative non-fiction.



    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:
    95% of 100
  3. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Feb 2023 (and 14 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    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 £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £36.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  4. The Odyssey reading group (in translation)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 14 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

    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
  5. City of words: London's literary landscape
    Course start date:  Thu 15 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Mixed Mode (Online and In Person)

    Tutors:  Eleanor Jackson
    London has been muse, magnet and mecca to writers for 400 years, home to Shakespeare's successes, Dickens' dramas and Wilde's witticisms. After an introductory lecture we walk a different London neighbourhood each week exploring its literary connections. Initial lecture is on zoom . This is followed by 8 guided walks.



    This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £85.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  6. The men who built London
    Course start date:  Thu 15 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Mixed Mode (Online and In Person)

    Tutors:  Eleanor Jackson
    London was shaped by its architects, engineers, bricklayers, navies etc. Our lecture and walks examine London’s buildings and the men (and women) who worked throughout history to create this eclectic and wonderful city.



    London guide: Eleanor Jackson



    First lecture will be delivered via zoom followed by 8 guided walks.



    This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £95.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. Art in Britain 1950-2000 - 'This is Tomorrow' (Part 1)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 15 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Discover the work of selected British artists whose innovative practice shaped the development of modern art in Britain from the 1950s to the 1970s. Explore how and why the ideas and themes behind their work continue to be relevant to today’s audiences.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. Starting your novel
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 25 Apr 2022 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    Got a great idea for a novel? Jump start your project in this supportive course that covers craft basics such as character and plot. Ideal for writers of fiction with some experience who have an idea for a novel.



    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
  9. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 27 Apr 2022 (and 15 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
  10. An introduction to the art of seventeenth-century Europe: 1590–1690
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Often referred to as “the Baroque”, the seventeenth century embraces some of the most dramatic, dynamic and acclaimed artworks ever produced, yet also some of the most tranquil and gentle. We will explore a wide range of paintings and sculptures from this period, discover why they look as they do, and investigate the powerful religious and historical contexts that influenced its artists.



    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 £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    Read and discuss celebrated short stories each week for six weeks – discuss and explore what we understand might be the writers’ intentions, and what it means for us as readers – which can be quite different. Join us in sharing feelings about, and reactions to, a selection of classic and contemporary short stories and how they withstand the shifting context of readers, and time.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  12. Liars, heaps and surprise tests: an introduction to paradox
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Oliver Josiah
    A paradox is an apparently absurd conclusion derived from seemingly uncontroversial premises through supposedly valid reasoning. This course will introduce you to six major philosophical paradoxes and some of the attempts to solve them.



    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
  13. Writing a memoir: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 16 Jun 2022 (and 5 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 course will help you plan and craft a memoir 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 £65.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  14. Get together and read
    Course start date:  Thu 29 Sep 2022 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Enjoy talking with other people about the things you have read? Want to share great stories, poems and drama? Come along and join the conversation. The group is led by a shared reading practitioner trained by The Reader Organisation.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  15. The Byzantine Empire
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 29 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sean Gabb
    The purpose of this course is to give an overview of Byzantine history, from the refoundation of the City by Constantine the Great to its final capture by the Turks.



    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 £84.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100

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