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. Writing fiction
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Lovers of fiction can develop their creative writing skills on this practical intermediate course. You'll explore the fundamentals of fiction writing craft such as character and structure, and unlock your imagination to produce compelling prose. Suitable for those with some creative writing experience.



    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 £84.00
    Rating:
    86% of 100
  2. Phenomenology: an introduction
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Phenomenology, one of the most influential approaches in contemporary philosophy, asks: how do we constitute experienced reality? Following Husserl and Heidegger, phenomenologists try to understand what it means, if anything, to be in the world.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £146.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  3. New Hollywood, New Wave
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    The film world was breathless with excitement by 1963 but Hollywood had fallen behind the rest of the world and everyone was going to the latest French or Italian films. Exactly four years later Time magazine’s cover story was “The New Hollywood.” How this happened, how Hollywood suddenly went from losing millions on bloated spectacles like Cleopatra to producing smart, talked-about pictures like The Graduate, Badlands and Bonnie and Clyde — how Old Hollywood became the New Hollywood — is the subject of this course.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £146.00
  4. Key texts of 19th & 20th century drama: Ibsen, Wilde, Williams and Stoppard
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will explore the concerns,styles and influences of 4 key dramatic texts from the late 19th and 20th centuries and how they reflect the times in which they were written. Texts studied include Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, A Streetcar named Desire by Tennessee Williams and Travesties by Tom Stoppard.



    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 £134.00
  5. Reading for children's writers
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore recently published successful books for children, mainly by UK authors, and produce your own writing inspired by them. The course will cover pictures books, middle grade and young adult.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £72.00
  6. Queen Victoria's heyday: Britain and Ireland 1848-1861
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Aspects covered include the nature of government and Empire, franchise reform and peace movements; Florence Nightingale, The Crimea and health reform; the role of religion and developments in science; the Arts and the Great Exhibition.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £105.00
  7. Poetry workshop: intensive
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Want to have your poems critiqued in a supportive environment? This intensive poetry workshop focuses on offering feedback to poets who have already written a selection of poems and are looking to push their writing further.



    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
  8. Great Historical Novels
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Historical fiction is enjoying a boom. Authors are recreating ancient Rome, Tudor England, medieval Europe and Civil War America while writing prequels and sequels to Homer and Jane Austen. We’ll be reading and discussing some classics of the genre from Mary Renault’s admired evocation of ancient Greece The King Must Die to novels by Alice Walker and James Meek and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  9. Creative non-fiction
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore practical and imaginative approaches to creative non fiction, including travel writing, life writing and the essay. Analyse published work, produce your own pieces, and benefit from detailed feedback.



    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 £84.00
  10. Writing for children
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Always wanted to write a children's book? This practical course will develop your ability to write for different age groups and genres of contemporary children's fiction. (Please note this two-term course is payable in two instalments.).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £389.00 Senior fee £389.00 Concession £156.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Exploring literature: an introduction to prose and drama
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will introduce you to a range of prose and dramatic texts that explore the human condition and analyse how the writers shape your response. Prose texts include stories by Alice Munro, Raymond Carver and Kazuo Ishiguro and the short novel Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. The drama texts will be 'Ghosts' by Ibsen and 'All my Sons' by Arthur Miller.



    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 £134.00
  12. Starting your novel
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 £84.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  13. Writing for magazines
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Get inspired to write on this practical course for freelance journalists and bloggers. Learn to carry out research, interview people, pitch and publish stories, and build your presence on social media.



    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:
    98% of 100
  14. Short story writing
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    A hands-on introduction to the art of writing short stories. 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 £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  15. Poetry cooked and raw: from Emily Dickinson to the Beat Poets
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore how poets changed during the 20th century from writing in formal ‘poetic’ language and regular forms towards writing in more natural language, freer forms and with more direct expression of feelings. We will look at free verse, political poetry, the Beat Poets, confessional poetry and prose poetry.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £146.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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