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. Writing flash fiction: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Jul 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lucy Popescu
    A sideways glance: succinct, powerful. This short workshop on the essential components of flash fiction will teach you to tell a complete story in very few words. Please note: this course will have a 2-hr break from 12:30-14:30.



    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
  2. The art of writing the personal essay
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 21 May 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Yvonne Singh
    Follow in the footsteps of Dorothy Parker, George Orwell and Zadie Smith with this taster course on the personal essay, a continuously thriving genre of autobiographical 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:
    70% of 100
  3. Craft focus: dialogue in fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 12 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sophie McKenzie
    When your characters speak, what are they really saying? Develop that all-important ‘ear for dialogue’ through writing exercises and analysis of proven techniques.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
  4. A taste of creative writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 22 Jan 2023 (and 7 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    Give creative writing a try on this fun and supportive online short course. Ideal if you want to express yourself but need help in getting started. Guided exercises will encourage you to experiment and unlock your imagination. (Course includes a 2-hr break: 12:30 to 14:30.).



    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:
    95% of 100
  5. Craft focus: voice in fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 19 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    All fiction must speak to us as readers. It must communicate atmosphere and plot, character and layers of meaning with a unique 'voice'. In this one-day course learn what 'voice' really means in fiction and how to develop this complex identity for your story.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  6. Focus on: British printmaking in the late 19th and early 20th century
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 26 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    Discover the work of the significant artist-printmakers who worked in Britain from the late 19th century through to the Interwar period: the printmaking processes they used, and the ways they variously responded to tradition and modernity.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  7. Creative writing for social media
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 26 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Homan Yousofi
    In this new course we will scroll through short-form creative writing approaches, and bring together words, images, found sounds, mixed-media, cut-up and other techniques to publish 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 £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £19.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  8. Writing women in the 21st century
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie McKenzie
    Celebrate strong women for International Women's Day with this inclusive one-off session on how to create your own, powerful fictional women. Please note: this course will have a 2-hr break from 12:30-14:30.



    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. Cutting it fine: collage in modern & contemporary art
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Immerse yourself in an exploration of the history of collage going as far back as ancient China to international contemporary art today. This engaging study day will enhance your knowledge of the roots of this fascinating media, and illustrate how collage techniques have been pivotal to major modern and contemporary art movements, from Cubism, Dada and Surrealism to photomontage and digital art.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  10. Self-publishing: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 19 Mar 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Helen Cox
    Want to keep full creative control of your writing project? Learn more about self-publishing and how to give your book (poetry, fiction or non-fiction) the best chance of achieving high sales.



    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
  11. Writing historical fiction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 19 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jonathan Barnes
    Dig into the past to craft historical fiction that speaks vividly to contemporary readers. From Hilary Mantel to C.J. Sansom, learn techniques writers use to turn historical record into compelling fiction.



    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:
    80% of 100
  12. Between two bars: Art and architecture of Fleet Street
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 2 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    In 1878 the symbolic entrance to the City of London from Westminster, Temple Bar was taken down to allow greater traffic flow into the City. It was replaced by the Temple Bar Monument, a more subtle marker into the City. In this walk we trace the history of Fleet Street and some of the outlying courts and streets and discuss the institutions and professions that the street is symnominous with. We shall take a survey of the architecture and monuments of this conservation area. The walk ends at the entrance of Paternoster Square, where in 2004 the former, restored Temple Bar was re installed as its gateway.







    Meeting point - Bell Yard by telephone boxes, outside the Royal Courts of Justice junction with the Strand and Fleet Street; Ends Paternoster Square, City of London.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  13. Ways into screenwriting: a taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 9 Jul 2023 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Alan Nixon
    Want to write scripts but don't know how to start? Discover the basics of screenwriting - character, conflict and more - on this online taster course that will help you shape your ideas and get your story going. (Course has a 2-hr break from 12:30-14:30.).



    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
  14. Craft focus: grammar, syntax and style for creative writers - a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  William Brady
    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 a review of essential points of grammar.



    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
  15. Writing inspiration jam
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 30 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sue Healy
    This fun, inspiring day workshop explores the many sources of inspiration available to writers in their everyday lives.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £19.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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