History, culture & writing

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 writing creative non-fiction and American history and politics.

Study 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, 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 online now.

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  1. Write a short story in a weekend
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Turn your great idea into a short story on this fun practical course. Through a series of inspiring exercises, you'll be introduced to some key fiction writing techniques and encouraged to draft a short story from beginning to end in two days. Suitable for beginners who are comfortable learning at a fast pace. Please note - this course includes a 2-hour break from 12:30-14:30 each day.

    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
  2. Writing non-fiction for children: a taster
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 29 Nov 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    On this interactive taster course, you will explore children’s non-fiction writing; an exciting and wide-ranging field, encompassing biography, narrative non-fiction and the classic fact book.

    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 £28.00
  3. Masters of cinema: the Coen Brothers
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The Coen brothers reflect reality through Hollywood genres: the film noir of Blood Simple, screwball comedy in Raising Arizona, the westerns True Grit or Buster Scruggs, and Hollywood musicals as celebrated in Hail, Caesar! Expect the unexpected—the Coens always add something exhilarating to the Hollywood genres they lovingly pastiche so you’ll never look at them the same way again!

    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 £36.00
  4. 'I caught this morning morning's minion': the passions of Gerard Manley Hopkins
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore why Hopkins wrote highly original poems of great power and beauty, but didn’t attempt to have them published in his lifetime. We will look at how this relates to his conversion to Roman Catholicism and, in turn, how this may have related to fears about his sexuality.

    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 £36.00
  5. Self-publishing: a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Want to publish your own novel, poetry / short story collection, memoir or non-fiction book? Self-publishing allows you to keep full creative control of your project. But how do you give your book the best chance of achieving high sales and what does a writer need to consider when taking the giant leap of publishing their own book? This course offers students introductory information on the world of self-publishing.

    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 £28.00
  6. Art of Islamic Spain
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Discover the art and architecture of Spain during the Arab domination (711-1493).

    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 £36.00
  7. A Play in two days: 'Cymbeline'
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Read or seen the play but want to know more? This course examines the background to Shakespeare's 'Cymbeline', discusses characters, identifies themes, draws parallels with Shakespeare's other plays, looks at language and analyses key scenes.

    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 £36.00
  8. Writing eco-poetry: a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    How might poets write about the natural world in 2021 and beyond and what is an eco-poem?

    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 £28.00
  9. Classic Italian actors of cinema: from Anna Magnani to Toni Servillo
    Course Date:  Mon 28 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    In this course we combine biography and film extracts to examine the impact of ten Italian actors who shaped the history of Italian Cinema and became international stars by creating powerful screen personae.

    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 £60.00
  10. Writing for children: a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 3 Jul 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Develop your ideas for children's stories in this practical and interactive short course. Topics will include plot, characterisation and viewpoint, and how to approach the children's publishing industry today.

    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 £28.00
    Rating:
    89% of 100
  11. Performance poetry
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 3 Jul 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Write poetry and perform it, finding your own style and delivery under the guidance of a spoken word artist. Explore the differences between performance and other forms of poetry.

    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 £59.00 Concession £24.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  12. Writing YA fiction: a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 3 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    With so many Young Adult bestsellers topping fiction lists and becoming blockbuster movies, YA fiction has a higher profile than ever before. Find out more about this exciting genre and how it differs from other forms of writing for adults and children.

    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 £28.00
  13. Writing the family
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 3 Jul 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Ever thought about crafting your family history into an engaging narrative that will delight and move readers? This thought-provoking workshop tackles the challenges of writing about family life and offers writers guidance on shaping personal stories into a coherent arc.

    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 £28.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. Ealing Studios
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 4 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Although often remembered for its comedies, Ealing also produced films across a variety of other genres, from social realism and war, to crime thrillers and one great horror film. We will view and discuss a range of classic films and consider the studio's history and development, its key personnel, and a range of critical responses in this exploration of one of Britain's best loved film studios.

    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 £36.00
  15. Beyond the human: explore the philosophy of artificial intelligence and life
    Course Date:  Thu 8 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The fields of synthetic biology and artificial life are merging with artificial intelligence to put our conceptions of what it is to be human in doubt. What are the consequences of thinking ‘beyond the human’?

    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

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