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.

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.

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.

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  1. Ways into advanced fiction, poetry and drama: the transition to modernity
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 1 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Hugh Epstein, Patricia Sweeney
    Explore the rewards of close reading analysis, focusing on the three main literary genres of fiction, poetry and drama. Read, analyse and debate works from the early 20th century that represent a transition to modernity. Includes Quicksand (1928) by Nella Larsen, The Cherry Orchard (1903) by Anton Chekhov and poetry by T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, W.B. Yeats, Edward Thomas, Charlotte Mew and Edna St.Vincent Millay.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Ways into creative writing: a gentle pace
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Feb 2023 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    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.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. Lunchtime lecture: Winter Sun: Nancy Holt's land art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Join us for an introduction to the work of Nancy Holt, one of the foundational figures of the land art movement.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £8.00 Concession £7.00
  4. The Odyssey reading group (in translation)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Feb 2023 (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 £64.00
    Rating:
    84% of 100
  5. Creative non-fiction: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Feb 2023 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Lucy Popescu
    This short introductory course explores the core elements of creative non-fiction across genres such as travel writing, the personal essay and life writing.



    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:
    95% of 100
  6. Introduction to journalism
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 £65.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  7. The City of London: the Square Mile
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Paul Sinclair
    Explore the City of London after the Great Fire of 1666. Discover how London recovered from one of the great disasters and became a centre of commerce and the heart of a great empire. We follow in the steps of some of its best known characters like Doctor Johnson and Samuel Pepys and some lesser known including William Lilley and Thomas Chatterton. The course follows on from the HLW06 The City of London: the square mile, but new students are welcome. The first meeting place is Monument station, Fish Street Hill exit.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £85.00
  8. Advanced creative non-fiction workshop
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 31 May 2023 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Paul Laffan
    This advanced workshop is designed for students who have already completed introductory and intermediate creative-non fiction courses and would like to focus on workshopping their writing.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 17 May 2023 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Rebecca Ferrier
    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
  10. Arts of the golden age of the Ottoman Empire
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    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 £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
  11. The philosophical Hamlet: life, death and everything in between
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Borna Radnik
    Can we ever escape our past? Can we act to change our future? This course examines various philosophical themes through engagement with different philosophical traditions and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.



    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 £50.00
  12. Curating and collecting contemporary art in the UK
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Have you ever wondered how works of art and cultural objects have been collected for public museums and galleries in Britain? Who collected these objects? What functions have public collections played in society? Why ‘collect for the nation’?
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  13. That's entertainment
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Rachel Kolsky
    This series of walks profiles entertainment in London, past and present. Discover the theatrical and musical heritage of Soho, Covent Garden, Camden and Marylebone together with London landmarks used as popular film locations.



    22nd February : Beatles London - inside Marylebone Station near the tube entrance



    1st March : Theatreland - outside Covent Garden tube, on Long Acre on corner of Neal Street



    8th March: Musical Soho - outside Dominion Tottenham Court Road



    15th March: London on Film - outside Barbican tube.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £45.00
  14. Short story writing (intensive)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jonathan Barnes
    A fast-paced introduction to the art of writing short stories. In this 6-week course 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 £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
  15. Writing a memoir (continuation)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (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.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    88% of 100

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