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 about food: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Laura Silverman
    Love food and want to write about it? Whether you’re keen to review dishes, interview chefs or write about sustainable eating, now is your chance.



    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:
    85% of 100
  2. Writing the body in fiction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Eleanor Penny
    Explore how to write bodies that bring your fiction to life in this short course suitable for those with some experience of creative 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:
    60% of 100
  3. Academic writing: first steps
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anne Wilson
    Learn the basics of the academic approach to writing, including how to change your own style so that it fits this essential register for university students and researchers.



    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
  4. Writing for blogs: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Jul 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lorna V
    Got a passion, a journey or an obsession to share? Blogging is the perfect medium through which to share your interests with the world. This workshop teaches the essential skills required to write blogposts that will resonate.



    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:
    90% of 100
  5. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    Read and discuss celebrated short stories over 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 £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  6. Writing horror
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 14 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jonathan Barnes
    Write to unsettle, in this six-week trip through the techniques of horror fiction, learning from classic horror authors and contemporary masters of the genre.



    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:
    100% of 100
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 'Furious Giants Looming over Europe': World War 1 In continental poetry
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Peter Brennan
    How did poets in continental Europe respond to the unprecedented events of World War I? Representing four countries, this innovatory online course examines the powerful, distinctive work of Guillaume Apollinaire, Anna Akhmatova, Giuseppe Ungaretti, and Georg Trakl.



    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 £38.00
  11. 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
  12. The Exorcist at 50
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    A landmark film, The Exorcist brought a new level of terror to the big screen; nothing like it had been seen before in mainstream cinema - and nor has it since. This course offers a detailed analysis of the film and its key themes, its production, critical and popular reception, and its influence on the development of the demonic possession film, and horror cinema and popular culture in general.



    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 £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. The philosophy of Machiavelli
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Goff
    “ … in constituting and legislating for a commonwealth it must needs be taken for granted that all men are wicked and that they will always give vent to the malignity that is in their hearts when opportunity offers.”.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  14. Television and Streaming's Brave New World: What's on the Box Set?
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 19 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    Did you binge in lockdown but are now more selective? Where and how do you watch your preferred TV series or movies? With current inflation price rises will you let your subscription lapse? The Culture Secretary wants Channel 4 to be more like Netflix, but that model appears to be faltering and it covers no news. We may lose BBC 4 and Radio 4 Extra, but the new generation of viewers don’t use BBC or even television, so perhaps it’s not a problem for them. Let’s come together to discuss the contemporary small screen, our viewing preferences and our favourite TV series and films to see where we stand on the matter.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £59.00 Concession £38.00
  15. 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

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